Physical Therapy and Foot Pain Treatment

May 28th, 2012
Physical Therapy and Foot Pain Treatment

Physical therapy and foot pain treatment often go hand in hand when it comes to ensuring a quick and almost painless recovery for the patient.  Foot pain is mostly caused by ill-fitting shoes, overuse or injury.  Medical conditions and structural defects like diabetes and arthritis can also cause foot problems.

Here are some common causes of foot pain and how physical therapy can help:

Achilles tendinitis happens when the Achilles tendon of the lower leg is injured.  This can be caused by intensive exercise and other activities that tend to overuse the calf muscles and the tendon. Physical therapy and foot pain treatment comes in by doing the following steps:  resting, applying ice to, compressing and elevating the affected area.

Broken ankle or foot happens when a misstep or an accident causes your bone to fracture.  Treating a broken foot or ankle will depend on the exact location and the degree of the fracture.  Physical therapy and foot pain treatment involves allowing the bone to fully heal and recover.  Once it has fully recovered, the patient will need to perform stretching exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles around it.  Exercises that focus on range of motion may also be performed.

Osteoarthritis is a popular form of arthritis and happens when the cartilage at the end of the bones become worn out over time.  This condition affects the neck, lower back, hips and knees.  Physical therapy and foot pain treatment for this condition would include individualized exercise programs to strengthen muscles around the affected joints, improve the range of motion and to reduce pain.  There are two classifications of osteoarthritis, primary and secondary.  The physical therapy and foot pain treatment for this condition will be customized according to its type and its cause.

Peripheral neuropathy causes numbness and pain in the patient’s feet and hands.  This is can be caused by nerve damage, infections, traumatic injuries, exposure to toxins and metabolic problems.  Diabetes is also one common cause.  Physical therapy and foot pain treatment for this ailment requires the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to relieve the symptoms.  This is done by delivering a gentle electric current through the electrodes attached to the skin.  A study has shown that doing strengthening exercise on a regular basis can help improve muscle strength for patients with this condition.  Physical therapy and foot pain treatment for peripheral neuropathy would include aerobic, flexibility, strength training and balance exercises.

Considering that there are multiple types and causes of foot pain, consulting a doctor is always a good way to start the treatment.  Once you are referred to a physical therapist, he or she will then come up with the most suitable physical therapy and foot pain treatment for you.