Foot Health Awareness: Physical Therapy for the Ankles and Feet
Our ankles and feet are crucial because they are the first things to contact the earth as we walk about during the day. Taking care of our ankles and feet reduces our chance of falling and resulting injuries, as well as improving our general quality of life. Because our body weight is supported by our ankles and feet throughout the day, damage to these joints can lead to further ailments or discomfort in the knees, hips, and back.
In physical therapy, we treat a variety of foot and ankle injuries and disorders, including but not limited to ankle sprains, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and post-surgical rehabilitation.
We are educated as physical therapists to examine gait and the reasons of irregularities or deviations, as well as to remedy them. Our walking pattern is described by the term gait. When our gait pattern is altered, whether due to pain or as a result of a previous accident, we are more likely to sustain additional injuries in the future. Physical therapists can assist in the correction of gait abnormalities, allowing an abnormal pattern to be normalized and risks to be reduced.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most frequent and toughest to treat of the foot and ankle disorders we see in physical therapy. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse ailment that affects the plantar fascia, which is a thicker tissue that runs along the bottom of our feet and is responsible for supporting our arches. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain along the bottom of the foot and limits our ability to engage in weight-bearing activities and exercise.
Plantar fasciitis can affect those who spend a lot of time on their feet at work or at home, or who run or jump a lot. For those suffering from plantar fasciitis, physical therapy is an excellent treatment choice. Physical therapy can assist in the treatment of this condition by establishing an appropriate program based on the specific patient’s symptoms and impairments in order to reduce pain and restore function, therefore increasing overall quality of life.
For people suffering from plantar fasciitis, here are some suggestions from a physical therapist:
To wear shoes that provide enough arch support and to replace shoes that are worn often every 6 to 12 months (before they are worn out)
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important.
If you’ll be standing in one location for a long period of time during the day, use a thick mat to provide padding and support.
Maintaining excellent calf muscle flexibility allows your body to use other muscles correctly during daily tasks and exercise.
Plantar fasciitis exercises that a physical therapist may recommend include:
Gastrocnemius Stretch on Wall: Standing gastrocnemius stretch with knee straight
Stretching the soleus muscle while standing with the knee bent:
Stretching Soleus Against the Wall For calf strength and balance, do heel lifts at the counter:
Counter Supported Heel Raises
Foot Roller Plantar Massage: Plantar Fascia Frozen Water Bottle Massage
If you suffer any pain or discomfort while performing the exercises, stop immediately and notify your health care professional.
A physical therapist may also recommend the following treatments for plantar fasciitis:
Mobilization of soft tissues
scrubbing (Graston or ASTYM)
Shockwave therapy is a treatment that uses high-intens
While the preceding therapies can help with plantar fasciitis symptoms, contacting a physical therapist for an evaluation may be the best option. The therapist can then prescribe the most effective exercises, manual techniques, or modalities to address the individual’s ailment based on the results of the evaluation.
Our ankles and feet are critical to our overall health because they allow us to remain flexible and active. Ankle and foot injuries can significantly reduce our everyday function, quality of life, and increase our risk of falling. Physical therapy is an excellent treatment choice for ankle and foot injuries and impairments.