Foot and Ankle Rehabilitation
Foot or Ankle Pain? What do I do now?
The ankle and foot joints are very complex with many different joints, muscles, and ligaments. With the average person taking 5000-7000 steps per day any pain or injury can be very debilitating. It’s important to take appropriate action to protect and support your feet every day. Appropriate shoes and orthotics can provide the proper support for pain relief and injury prevention. Your Omaha physical therapist will evaluate your foot & ankle to determine a diagnosis and a plan of care to get you back to your life.
The most common ankle injury is a sprain which most of us have experienced at some point. Ankle sprains can vary in severity and cause, but recurring simple ankle sprains can be indicative of a more serious problem and may need to be looked at to determine the need for further treatment.
What injuries or diagnoses do our Physical Therapists treat?
Your Physical Therapist treats the full range of conditions including:
- Ankle Sprain
- Chronic Ankle Instability
- Traumatic Injuries and Fractures
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel Spurs
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Post Surgical
What treatment options will my Physical Therapist utilize?
Your physical therapist’s overall goal is to return you to your prior level of function in the home, at work, recreationally, and in the community. Without proper foot and ankle rehabilitation, serious problems—such as decreased movement, chronic pain, swelling, and joint instability—could arise, severely limiting your ability to do your usual activities.
Your treatment plan may include the following:
Range of Motion
Swelling and pain can result in limited mobility of the ankle. A physical therapist teaches you how to do safe and effective exercises to restore full movement to your ankle.
Ankle muscle weakness may cause long-term instability of the ankle and new ankle injuries. Your physical therapist can determine which strengthening exercises are right for you based on the severity of your injury and where you are in your recovery.
Body Awareness and Balance Training
Specialized training exercises help your muscles “learn” to respond to changes in your environment, such as uneven or unstable surfaces. When you are able to put full weight on your foot without pain, your physical therapist may prescribe these exercises to help you return to your normal activities. For instance, your physical therapist might teach you how to do this: with or without your eyes closed, stand on one leg or stand on a wobble board to challenge the muscles around your ankle.
When you can walk freely without pain, your physical therapist may begin “progressing” your treatment program to include activities that you were doing before your injury, such as walking in your neighborhood, jogging, hopping, or modified running. This program will be based on the physical therapist’s examination of your ankle, on your goals, and on your activity level and general health.
Activity Specific Training
Depending on the requirements of your job or the type of sports you play, you might need additional rehabilitation that is tailored for your job or sport and the demands that it places on your ankle. Your physical therapist can develop a program that takes all of these demands—as well as your specific injury—into account.
Ankle Sprains: Article explaining best treatment methods for first-time and recurrent ankle sprains or instability.