People frequently hear about physical therapy in the context of recovering after a major limb surgery, dealing with back problems, or in the cases of professional athletes trying to return to their sports after a sports-related injury. The field extends much further than that, of course, and can actually be valuable for dealing with discomfort in your feet and ankles—especially if you have any trouble with movement.
What Is It?
This therapy is a broad category of treatment options to help improve your lower limb pain, especially discomfort that affects your movement and limb function. It can range from treatment modalities to improve flexibility and range of motion to some non-invasive modalities, like ultrasound & hydrotherapy. It can be used to manage trouble with arthritis, recover from a sprain or fracture, and relieve tendonitis, among other things.
The type and extent of physical therapy depends entirely on your condition and needs. If you are an athlete looking to recover and get back in the game, you may need more aggressive conditioning to prepare your lower limbs to handle the strain of your sport. If you are suffering with general chronic foot pain, therapy will be designed to relax tightened tissues and decrease inflammation. Most treatment plans do involve some form of exercise, but everything is tailored to your specific situation.
What Therapies Are Available?
At Country Foot Care we use different types of therapy regularly to manage a variety of conditions. First, our doctors carefully examine your lower limbs for an accurate diagnosis. Our team will also discuss your needs and mobility to help plan what treatments will best restore your feet and ankles to match your lifestyle. These are just a few conditions that can be addressed conservatively with therapy methods:
Plantar Fasciitis – As the most common source of heel pain, this condition can easily become chronic and hard to improve. Therapy in the form of stretching exercises helps reduce the pressure on the heel bone by stretching the connector. Hydrotherapy and ultrasound are common methods to reduce the inflammation in the heel. Shockwave treatment benefits the tissue as well, particularly if the problem is chronic. If these do not succeed, direct injections of anti-inflammatory medications may be an option.
Achilles Tendinitis – This condition can make it difficult to participate in many activities, since your foot’s main mover is injured. Stretching and strengthening exercises are common for treating this problem. Shockwave treatments are considered the therapy of choice to both relieve discomfort and stimulate healing in the tendon. Custom fabricated orthotics with built-in heel lifts are needed to reduce the pull of the Achilles tendon on the bone. Hydrotherapy and ultrasound treatments can also help reduce Achilles tendon pain.
Neuromas – Nerve pain is difficult to live with, but some simple, non-surgical procedures may improve the condition. Direct injections of pain medications, along with therapeutic ultrasound, are commonly employed. Shockwave therapy is another option for the condition. If these do not help, typically we begin invasive options for relief.
Physical therapy is an important part of conservatively managing a number of conditions in the feet and ankles. It can relieve pain as well as help restore general foot health. If you’re struggling with a lower limb condition, see if any of these therapies will benefit your discomfort. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact either our Mineola or Williston Park Offices or use the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.