Why are feet and ankle problems so common?
Foot and Ankle Pain: Our feet bear the brunt of everything we do in our daily lives once we’re upright. They absorb the shock impact of all of the steps, stumbles and heavy jogging strikes that we ask of them. And, of course, we often “ask” this while wearing high heels, or other poor footwear with virtually no support where it’s needed.
In fact, the lower part of our body is such a complex interplay of bones, tendons and joints that it shouldn’t be a surprise when some sort of problem eventually shows up. You probably won’t be able to “outrun” some level of ankle or foot pain in your lifetime, whether you’re a sports junkie or a couch potato. Ironically, both a very active lifestyle and an extremely sedentary one can lead to foot and ankle pain, and aging is often a factor as well.
What types of conditions can be helped with physical therapy?
With the legs’ tibia and fibula bones coming together at the ankle and arching over the foot’s talus bone, problems in your feet can influence ankle pain, and vice versa — as well as put stress on your knees, and throw off hip and spine alignment. For that reason, the number of problems addressed by physical therapy relating to feet and ankles is fairly substantial. Conditions include:
- Balance and mobility issues
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Sprained ankles
- Collapsed arches
- Non-specific foot pain
- Arthritis of foot and ankle
- Sports injuries
- Post-surgical rehabilitation
What happens in physical therapy?
Our physical therapist is trained to evaluate what you will need to work on, based on existing medical information. We’ll also evaluate your footwear and how you walk, and assess your ability to move your feet and ankles in various positions.
Because so many foot and ankle issues stem from muscle tightness and inflammation, causing a kind of seizing-up effect, much of physical therapy will likely focus on deep tissue mobilization and stretching techniques as well as simple movements that encourage flexibility and range of motion. In addition, if your ankles aren’t able to properly support your weight, strengthening exercises might also be an important part of your therapy.
Our physical therapist will also teach you how to improve your posture when walking and running, if gait issues are resulting from — or even causing — your foot and ankle pain.
Are you ready to take the “first steps” toward making the rest of those steps pain-free?
Contact us today for a physical therapy evaluation, so that you
can begin your journey to healthy, strong feet and ankles.