Ankle and Foot Disorder
An ankle sprain refers to tearing of the ligaments of the ankle. The most common ankle sprain occurs due to an inversion injury, which means the foot rolls underneath the ankle or leg (twisted ankle). It commonly occurs during sports activities. Patients will complain of pain on the outside of their ankle and various degrees of swelling and bleeding under the skin (i.e. bruising). Depending on the severity of the sprain, a person may or may not be able to put weight on the foot and my require an external support (orthotic or Ace bandage).
Plantar is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position. It is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis.
How can the physical therapist help?
Physical therapy offers several interventions to accelerate the healing process. The most effective interventions are articular mobilizations, active release techniques, education about the condition, wearing a splint, and exercises. When performing mobilization techniques, the Physical therapy can execute passive movements of the ankle/foot and use specific mobilizations to stretch the joint capsule and allow for a better quality of movement. The therapist can also prescribe different exercises meant to increase lower extremity movement, stretch the capsule, and increase the strength of the foot. Other methods can be employed, such as the use of TENS or interferential current for pain management and neuro-proprioceptive taping to improve movement quality and reduce pain. In many cases, Physical therapy treatments are also combined with Acupuncture to help stretch muscle fibers, capsule and relieve pain. Combining these two methods increases the patient’s chances of having a speedy recovery.
Metatarsalgia causes inflammation and a sharp burning pain in the ball of the foot and/or in the area near the big toe or around the second, third or fourth toe. Poor body mechanics causes the arches of the foot to drop, hence increasing weight bearing pressure on the joint .Symptoms may also include numbness and tingling ( neuralgia) that gets worse when the feet are flexed or when standing, walking or running. The pain can be especially intense when walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Proper footwear with shock-absorbing insoles, arch supports and physical therapy may be all you need to prevent or minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.
Hallux valgus is a deformity at the base of the big toe, or metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, in which the great toe, or hallux, is deviated or points toward the lesser toes; in severe types of the deformity, the great toe goes over or under the second toe. Deformity is associated with muscle imbalance at the MTP joint. The muscle imbalance increases with the deformity. As time goes by the metatarsal head becomes prominent medially, giving rise to the bunion deformity.