Our feet are essential in helping us get from one place to another, and we often don’t realize just how much we ask of our feet on a daily basis until pain or an injury develops. Your feet are home to many bones, ligaments and tissues, so a number of different structures can be injured as the result of trauma or repetitive strain. Thankfully, many of the most common foot injuries respond well to physical therapy. Below, we take a look at five foot and ankle conditions that can be treated and prevented with physical therapy.
Treating Foot Problems With Physical Therapy
If you’ve suffered one of the following foot injuries, consider setting up an appointment with a physical therapist.
- Ankle Sprains – An ankle sprain involves the overstretching of the supportive ankle ligaments on either side of your ankle joint. When these ligaments become damaged, they put you at a higher risk for future ankle sprains, so while rest can help you recover after an ankle sprain, rest alone will still leave you at an elevated risk for a subsequent sprain. Physical therapy can help you strengthen these injured ligaments and not only help you recover, but reduce your risk of a subsequent sprain, which is especially important for athletes.
- Plantar Fasciitis – Physical therapy is also the recommended treatment for plantar fasciitis. PT will help to strengthen and stretch your plantar fascia, which can help calm inflammation contributing to the condition. We can walk you through a targeted exercise routine that will help calm your irritated plantar fascia.
- Tendonitis – Tendonitis of one or more of the crucial tendons in the foot or ankle is also quite common in older and active individuals. Achilles and peroneal tendonitis are the two most common types of tendonitis in the foot region, and it leads to inflammation caused by overuse or repetitive motion. Similar to plantar fasciitis, PT for tendonitis can help to strengthen the tendon and nearby structures so the tendon is better prepared to handle stress, which in turn helps prevent inflammation.
- Hammertoes – Hammertoes involve the abnormal and sometimes constant bending of a toe at the joint, and it’s most common in your big toe. Caught early on, hammertoes respond well to physical therapy and can prevent and sometimes reverse joint issues. Left untreated, the joint degeneration will only get worse, and then physical therapy may not be enough. Physical therapy for hammertoes can help prevent the need for eventual surgery.
- Foot Fractures – If you break a bone in your foot, you’re going to need to rest the area so healing can occur. Physical therapy won’t help the actual bone heal, but the muscles and soft tissues in the area may weaken because of the limited physical activity they are exposed to while you’re recovering. PT will help to keep these muscles and ligaments strong so that you’re not at risk for a soft tissue injury once you’ve recovered from the fracture.
For more information about treating foot injuries with physical therapy, or for help with your ankle issue, reach out to the experienced team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.