Foot and ankle pain can impact daily activities including walking, climbing stairs, running, and recreational activities. A physical therapist will address issues such as pain, swelling, decreased range of motion, and decrease strength in order to restore your daily routine. SportsCare physical therapists are knowledgeable and skilled in foot and ankle injury rehabilitation and post-surgical rehabilitation. A foot and ankle injury occurs across all ages and activity levels. Common diagnoses we treat include ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, Morton’s neuroma, posterior tibialis tendonitis, Sever’s disease, osteoarthritis, and fractures.
During your initial evaluation, a SportsCare physical therapist will obtain a thorough medical history and physical examination. This information will be used to create a patient specific treatment plan. Treatment to the foot and ankle may include range of motion exercises, muscle strengthening exercises, body awareness and balance training, functional training, modalities, and activity specific training. The foot and ankle joints are one of the major weight bearing structures in the body. As a result of this function and partly due to its structure, the ankle is often injured and the risk of re-injury is as much as 40 to 70%. For this reason it is important to undergo proper rehabilitation following an ankle and foot injury. Physical therapy treatment is different for each person and depends on the type of injury, how you are healing, and whether you had surgery, as well as your age and physical health. Common interventions include:
Gait Training. Your physical therapist will offer specific instruction and exercises to restore a normal walking pattern. The focus will be on how your foot and ankle move on level and uneven surfaces, and the timing of your steps.
Manual Therapy. This is hands on care which includes joint mobilization, soft tissue and deep friction massage and manual stretching by a physical therapist to regain mobility and range of motion of the ankle and foot.
Therapeutic Exercises. These include stretching and strengthening exercises to regain range of motion and strengthen the ankle. The muscle groups of the lower leg are targeted, as well as the tendons and ligaments that control movement in your feet.
Neuromuscular Reeducation. The purpose of these exercises is to restore stability, retrain the lower extremity, and improve movement technique and mechanics. Ankle taping techniques are used to help support the ankle and reduce stress on the ankle during activity. They can be used for both the treatment and prevention of ankle injuries
Modalities: Ultrasound, electrical stimulation, ice, and others are used to decrease pain and inflammation at the ankle and foot.
Your physical therapist will also provide you with a home program that will help support the recovery process. Please contact your SportsCare Physical Therapy location to schedule an appointment.
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