Foot and Ankle Pain Relief
Do you dread taking the stairs, driving your commute, or walking the block from your car to your office, due to your foot and/or ankle pains? If you think about it, we all spend an incredible amount of time using our feet and ankles every day, and if you are suffering from foot and ankle pain, your life can be greatly impacted. Foot and ankle pain can stem from a variety of different causes, but our Cranford physical therapists can help get you back on track. Physical therapy has been proven to help with the rehabilitation of injured extremities, in addition to providing relief for both acute and chronic pain. Contact ProTouch Physical Therapy today to speak with one of our licensed physical therapists and learn more about how our services can benefit you!
How do people develop foot and ankle pain?
Your feet and your ankles are complex mechanical structures that must work together in harmony in order to function at their optimal level. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the ankle joint consists of three bones that all must interact with one another correctly, in addition to the various connective tissues that hold the assembly of the joint together.
Believe it or not, the foot is even more complex than the ankle. It contains approximately two dozen bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Because of all the complicated structures that make up your feet and ankles, it is very common for people to experience pain in those areas. An injury to your foot or ankle can result in pain so severe that you may avoid putting your weight down on the affected body part. This leaves you with only two options: hopping around on your uninjured foot, risking additional damage or injury, or being bedridden until the injury is healed. Even mild pain can cause physical limitations to your daily life, which can become a serious burden.
Why am I experiencing foot and ankle pain?
Foot and ankle pain can occur suddenly due to an acute injury, or it can develop over time in relation to a chronic, underlying condition. The Mayo Clinic states that there are several common causes of foot pain and ankle pain, including:
- Strains and sprains – A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched too far or is torn, while a strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched too far.
- Fracture – A fracture occurs when excessive force or trauma to the bone causes it to crack or break entirely. A fracture to the foot or ankle could result in weeks of downtime to ensure proper healing.
- Fallen arches – Your foot contains several tendons that work together to form your arch. When the tendons pull together properly, your foot will form a proper arch. However, this does not always occur. Sometimes the tendons do not pull together properly, which can cause your foot to form a very small arch, or no arch at all. This is referred to as “fallen arch” or “flat foot,” and it can cause pain or discomfort with time.
- Arthritis – Arthritis is a very common and painful inflammatory condition that affects the joints. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both types can greatly impact the foot and ankle joints, resulting in pain and decreased function.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome – Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the nerve that runs from the ankle to the foot, known as the “tarsal tunnel,” becomes pinched and inflamed.
- Plantar fasciitis – Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation in the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. It is most commonly caused by aggravated overuse, such as constant standing, improper posture, or footwear that lacks proper arch support.
- Tendonitis – Tendonitis occurs from excessive overuse of the tendons, causing them to become inflamed for prolonged periods of time.
- Bursitis – Bursitis occurs when the tendons rub against the anti-friction sacs in your ankle, known as the “bursae,” causing them to become irritated and uncomfortable.
How will physical therapy help cure my foot and ankle pain?
Whether you are suffering from an acute injury or chronic condition in your foot or ankle, you can find relief at ProTouch Physical Therapy. Our Cranford physical therapists will conduct a thorough examination in order to form a diagnosis regarding what is causing your pain, and then they will create an individualized treatment plan for your specific needs. If you have sustained an acute injury, it is likely that our physical therapists will prescribe a RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) for the first few days, in order to make sure that any swelling subsides before your treatment plan begins.
After the initial stages of your injury, you will move on to specialized physical therapy treatments. Comparatively, if you are suffering from a chronic condition, you will begin with specialized physical therapy treatments based on the needs of your condition. This is all part of your holistic healing and pain management program. The goal is to get you back to your optimum physical function and prevent any future problems from occurring.
Your treatment plan will typically include a combination of exercises and stretching, in order to restore joint mobility, improve balance, and strengthen the foot and ankle muscles. Your treatment plan may also include exercises on a balance board, as well as other specialized services, such as manual therapy, laser therapy, ultrasound, or ice and heat therapies. Your physical therapist will focus on easing your pain and boosting your circulation, which may include recommending lifestyle changes or orthotic footwear, in order to prevent more problems from occurring in the future.
Don’t let foot and ankle pain slow you down! Our Cranford physical therapy practice will help improve your mobility, comfort, and overall function, and free you from the limitations of pain. Contact ProTouch Physical Therapy today in Cranford, NJ to schedule your appointment and make the first steps toward getting back on your feet!