When your feet hurt, your whole body hurts. It might seem like your foot is such a small component of your body, and so it shouldn’t have that much of an impact on how you feel all over, but this just isn’t the case. Your feet are essential to mobility. When you experience pain with every step, your entire day becomes a series of attempts to avoid movement so as to avoid further pain.
After experiencing a foot injury, physical therapy can help you get back in motion without having to deal with ongoing pain. Targeted exercises and stretching techniques can make a huge difference in dealing with foot pain.
THE CAUSE OF FOOT AND ANKLE PAIN
There are a lot of factors that can influence foot pain. From footwear choices to how many steps you typically take in a day, your feet are susceptible to injury with almost every movement you make. And where the foot is involved, so too is the ankle. The foot and ankle go, well, hand in hand. The foot only is able to be mobile thanks to the flexibility of the ankle. This means that taking care of your feet and your ankles should be top priority when you are working on keeping your body mobile and pain-free.
Foot injuries are incredibly common. A misstep, a sudden fall, a sharp object underfoot, and you could suddenly be in a lot of pain. Here is a quick list of some of the most common foot injuries:
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Bone spurs
- Flat feet
- Achilles tendinitis
- Avulsion fracture
- Sprains and/or Strains to ankle or foot
ABOUT FOOT AND ANKLE PAIN
While some of these injuries will develop as a result of a sports accident or similar event, this isn’t the case every time. Unfortunately, one of the most common injuries that are likely to cause foot and ankle pain are called overuse injuries. These are injuries that occur not as a result of any particular accident or fall, but as a result of regular use.
Every time you take a step you put pressure on your feet and ankles. Every jump compounds that pressure. This means that engaging in activities like running or walking long distances can put a lot of stress on both your feet and your ankles. If you are doing what’s necessary to prevent injury, such as regular stretching and wearing the right types of shoes, then you could develop an injury just from going about your daily business.
Ankle pain can develop just as quickly as foot pain. A sudden fall or sports injury can frequently result in a sprain or a strain, and sometimes these injuries can cause uncomfortable pain that lingers for weeks on end, especially if it isn’t properly treated.
PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR FOOT AND ANKLE PAIN
Foot and ankle pain may develop gradually, as is often the case with overuse injuries, or may occur suddenly following an accident. The first thing to do when you begin experiencing pain is to see a doctor to ensure that there is no risk of further injuring yourself. Then, physical therapy is the next step. Your physical therapist will use a combination of tools, including massage, stretching techniques, and different exercises to help build strength and restore mobility while alleviating pain by targeting the core of the discomfort.
In addition to the above techniques, your physical therapist may also recommend specialized footwear. Well-developed orthotics with your personal needs in mind can make a huge difference in your experience of foot pain, improving your gait by supporting your arch and helping to alleviate pain with every step.