Our feet are put through many stresses during the course of our normal day. Ankle and foot pain is common, and can be affected by age, footwear, as well as activities such as walking. Pain can be caused by reduced stability, reduced mobility, or reduced strength. Physical therapy can help.
Within the foot are many small muscles which give our foot form, stability, and strength. When muscles weaken the arch of the foot may drop, range of motion may be reduced, and we may feel stiffness and discomfort. This may cause compensation when walking, which in turn may cause more discomfort in the foot, knees, hips, or even our backs.
One common injury to the foot is plantar fasciitis. Symptoms include pain at the heel, pain which is more intense with the first few morning steps when you get out of bed. This pain may lessen a bit as the day goes on, however, it may also intensify with prolonged standing and taking the stairs. Plantar fasciitis is caused by overuse or repetitive stresses such as excessive pronation, and tight calf muscles, gastrocnemius, and soleus. When these muscles are tight ankle mobility can be reduced or cause excessive ankle pronation. If you are a person with high arches, this too can place excessive stresses on the plantar fascia and lead to plantar fasciitis. Left unattended this condition can lead to bone spurs, and it may lead to an abnormal gait as a person may avoid heel strike, or avoid pushing off their great toe due to increased pain.
Physical therapists can assess your pain, and ankle range of motion and assess your gait, in order to create an exercise program to address your symptoms, improve your stability, and improve how you are walking. If you are experiencing foot pain come see us at Aquacare!