Ankle - Foot

Physical therapy has a lot to offer for patients who have ankle and foot problems. Over the years we've seen patients spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a variety of treatment options such as orthotics, shoe inserts and different kinds of footwear. There are a wide variety of foot and ankle issues that can cause pain. It's really important to have a thorough evaluation to truly understand what may be causing the problems. Too often patients are only treating symptoms but not getting to the root cause of the problem. This often leads to a lot of frustration and wasted time money and energy for patients.

The ankle is an amazingly complex series of joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles all working in harmony to help produce movement during walking and running. The amount of force that the ankle produces and endures during activities is actually quite astounding. Therefore it's really important to have good mobility as well as good strength to make sure the ankle and foot are functioning properly. Physical therapists use a wide variety of treatment techniques to help improve ankle mobility as well as strength and stability.

Here are some ways physical therapy can be effective for ankle and foot issues:

  • Pain Relief: One of the primary goals of physical therapy is to reduce pain. Physical therapists use a combination of techniques, such as manual therapy, mobilization techniques, stretching, taping and exercises, to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Improved Mobility: Physical therapy can help improve mobility in the ankle joints. Through a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises, physical therapy can help increase range of motion and reduce stiffness therefore improving walking and running.
  • Strengthening of Muscles: Weak muscles in the lower leg, ankle and foot can contribute to pain and injury. Physical therapy can help increase strength in these muscles through targeted exercises and strength training.
  • Improved Balance and Coordination: Physical therapy can also help improve balance and coordination.  The ankle is the first line of defense when it comes to balance issues. By addressing underlying issues physical therapy can help improve overall function and stability in the leg.
  • Prevention of Future Injuries: one of the biggest issues with ankle problems is they have a tendency to reoccur.  Physical therapy can help prevent future ankle injuries and joint deterioration by improving strength, flexibility, and coordination in the joint. By addressing underlying issues that contribute to pain, physical therapy can help reduce the risk of future injuries.
  • Avoidance of Surgery: In some cases, physical therapy can help individuals avoid ankle surgery. By addressing pain and mobility issues through targeted exercises and manual therapy, physical therapy can help reduce the need for surgery in some cases.
  • Improved Quality of Life: ankle and foot pain and injury can significantly impact quality of life. By reducing pain and improving mobility, physical therapy can help individuals with ankle and foot problems improve their overall quality of life.

Did You Know?

  • People often waste a lot of time and money treating symptoms and not getting to the root cause of their foot and ankle problems.
  • Physical therapists have a wide variety of treatment options to help foot and ankle problems.
  • Ankle sprains should always be treated by a therapist as they have a tendency to occur again and again if left untreated.

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