Our feet are, literally, what keeps us grounded. For many of us, having healthy and pain-free feet is key to navigating our world. But many of the bones of the foot and ankle are small and sensitive, and their overall structure has a complex series of attachments. Each human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. If just one of these individual parts suffers enough damage, the whole foot may be difficult or impossible to walk on.
This is why it’s important to get evaluated and treated right away if you’re experiencing foot and ankle problems. At JAG Physical Therapy, our long clinical experience gives us the knowledge and tools we need to treat your foot conditions with empathy and skill. Since every foot is different and there are so many variables involved, we’ll always work with you to come up with a customized solution.
Common Foot and Ankle Injuries
Learn more about some conditions that impair foot and ankle functioning in many people below, or schedule an appointment today. Your feet deserve the best in rehabilitation!
Is Physical Therapy Good for Foot and Ankle Pain?
In short, yes – physical therapists are always able to treat complaints of the muscles, tendons, and bones, even when they’re joined together in a complex structure like the foot. JAG PT’s specialist physical therapists will work with you to determine a treatment plan that will let you run and walk pain-free and with confidence, using every applicable method.
What Causes Pain in the Foot and Ankle?
Just about everyone has experienced a sprained ankle or dropped something heavy on their foot. But most foot and ankle pain is not caused by a single, sudden injury. Damage over time to the connective tissue, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones, often due to improper walking or running, is likely the most common cause. Foot pain can also be due to a neuropathy or an atrophy of the sole or heel.
Physical Therapy Before and After Foot and Ankle Surgery
At JAG Physical Therapy, our pre- and post-operative therapy program can be instrumental in preparing you for foot or ankle surgery. The ankle has a unique structure, and is referred to as the only mortise-and-tenon joint in the human body, after the term from carpentry. Because of the unusual way the ankle joint operates, maintaining flexibility and reducing the possibility of complications is paramount. Our PT includes training you on how to keep your joints strong and properly stretched at home before your surgery.
Common Injuries to the Foot and Ankle
The foot and ankle are some of the areas most susceptible to injury on the human body. Common ailments affecting them include –
Sometimes, due to genetic or other chronic factors or repeated tears, the ligaments in the ankle can be too loose, which is referred to as a laxity. Loose ligaments provide less effective support to joints than ones that are properly tight. This results in much higher susceptibility to other types of joint injuries and reduced sensitivity to what position the ankle is in.
The plantar fascia is the connective tissue that causes the arch of the foot to maintain its shape. Inflammation of this part, called plantar fasciitis, most notably results in sharp, stabbing pain to the bottom of the foot that’s felt most strongly when taking the first step out of bed after waking up. Bending the foot or toes upwards can also be painful.
A heel spur is an exostosis, or bone spur, that grows out of the heel bone, known medically as the calcaneus. Heel spurs can be caused by stress to the bone that’s brought on by other conditions like plantar fasciitis and ankylosing spondylosis, and their typical symptoms are a pinpoint heel pain and the inability to bear weight effectively on the affected foot.
Shin splints don’t directly affect the foot or ankle, but are intimately connected to these parts of the body because of their use in walking and running. Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints cause pain in the inside edge of the shinbone, usually due to high-impact exercise. They can result in stress fractures over time.
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Physical Therapy Treatment Methods in NY, NJ, and PA
At JAG PT, all of our clinics are ready to treat your foot and ankle conditions from your first visit. We use stretching, exercise, manual therapy, heat and icing treatments, and a variety of specialized methods to get your feet and ankles back in good shape.