Foot and ankle pain can result from a variety of disorders, including sprains, irritation of the tendons and connective tissues, and joint issues such as arthritis. These disorders can be a result of trauma, postural imbalances, wear and tear, and a variety of other mechanisms. Treatment begins with a thorough history, to help your therapist understand your pain. Your therapist will complete a thorough physical examination and biomechanical assessment, to determine the reason for your pain. Treatment options are determined by your symptom behavior and evaluation findings. Options available include:
- Modalities: A variety of methods such as heat/ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation may be used to help control your pain and inflammation.
- Manual therapy: This includes joint mobilization/manipulation to improve deficits in mobility, as well as soft tissue mobilization and myofascial release to decrease pain and improve mobility.
- Orthotic management: In some cases, a specialized foot orthotic can be used to control the motion around the foot and ankle to decrease stress and reduce pain. This may either be a pre-fabricated device, or a custom device made from a cast of your foot.
- Exercise: This can include specific stretching or strengthening activities to improve the motion, strength, control, or endurance. Most programs will also include a specifically tailored home exercise routine to help you continue your progress.
- Education: Your therapist will help you to understand your pain, and develop strategies that you can use to control your pain on a daily basis.