The foot and ankle act to support our bodies in providing stability during standing, and mobility during walking, running, and exercise. The foot is required to be flexible in some instances, such as when walking on uneven surfaces. It also needs to be rigid at times to support our bodies during ambulation. The foot is made up of tarsal bones (ankle bones), metatarsal bones, and phalanges (toe bones). The main arch of the foot runs lengthwise and is called the plantar arch. The foot connects to the ankle where a tarsal bone meets the lower leg bones, the tibia and fibula. The ankle and foot joints are supported by an association of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Injury to any of the elements of the foot or ankle can affect the workings of our entire bodies.
Our therapists treat a variety of ankle or foot injuries including:
- Ligament Sprain: Traumatic stretching of one or more of the ligaments of the ankle, usually resulting in swelling, pain, reduced motion and strength, abnormal gait.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation of the connective tissue running along the foot’s plantar arch, usually caused by overuse or faulty foot mechanics. Pain in the bottom of the foot and heel are common complaints.
- Fracture: Break in any of the foot or ankle bones, most often as a result of trauma.
- Shin Splints: Inflammation of the tendons and muscles in the front of the lower leg and ankle, usually resulting from overuse or faulty foot mechanics. Common complaints include pain near the shin bones, especially with running/activity.
- Achilles Tendonitis: Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel. Usually caused by overuse from sports or faulty foot mechanics, and resulting in pain and swelling at the back of the ankle and heel.
Our therapists aim to treat injuries to, and pain in, the foot and ankle by:
- Reducing symptoms through modalities, exercise, and manual techniques
- Evaluating and treating the source of the problem, including specific muscular tightness or weakness, abnormal foot mechanics, or abnormal movements caused by patients’ work, sport, or lifestyle
- Improving range of motion, strength, and balance necessary for activities of daily living and sport activities
- Evaluation of foot mechanics and recommendation of proper correction
- Providing each patient with an individualized home exercise program to prevent re occurrence of the problem