Athletics and physical exercise can have many health benefits, but they can also lead to serious foot injuries. Foot or ankle pain can lead to chronic pain, swelling and discomfort.
Physiotherapy can be used in order to treat a wide array of mobility issues and can also accelerate your recovery. Physiotherapists also play an integral role in promoting optimal fitness. You will be taught techniques and exercises that will promote your mental and physical well-being while also preventing foot injuries in the future.
Physiotherapy will help reduce your pain via manual techniques and other modalities that focus on relieving pain, increasing mobility and accelerating your recovery. For example, they may loosen up knots in your ankle or foot in order to quickly relieve discomfort.
Here, we will focus on how physiotherapy can cure foot injuries.
Common Types of Foot Injuries
The knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the human anatomy. It also happens to be one of the largest. Any of the bones in and around your knee can suffer from a fracture that is caused by an accident or a fall.
Ligament injuries are also quite common. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) provides structural stability and support to the knee joint. An ACL tear may occur if you fail to land properly or if you turn suddenly in an awkward way. Many athletes suffer from ACL tears that require surgery.
During a knee dislocation a bone may slip out of place. In some cases, more than one bone in the knee may be involved. Knee joint misalignments may occur due to blunt force trauma, such as being involved in a car accident or being injured while playing sports.
Bursitis occurs when bursae become swollen due to repeated pressure from kneeling or from overuse. Bursae are sacks that are filled with fluid. They allow your ligaments and tendons to glide easily and help cushion your knee joints.
Tendinopathies may include patella tendinitis. When the tendon that connects the shinbone to your kneecap becomes inflamed due to a serious injury you may develop patella tendinitis.
Iliotibial band syndrome primarily affects long-distance marathon runners. It occurs when the illitoal band, which is situated on the exterior of the knee, rubs against the exterior of your knee joint, causing irritation or pain.
The treatment that is used in order to treat your foot injury will depend on the type and severity of your injury. Physiotherapy and self-care may suffice to treat your injury, whereas severe injuries may also require surgical intervention.
Signs of Foot Injuries
Your ankle bones include the fibula, tibia and talus. There are also a myriad of ligaments that are involved in providing stability and support to your bones. An ankle strain or sprain occurs when one or several of these ligaments are injured.
If your normal range of motion is impacted or if you are dealing with bone tenderness or pain, then you are dealing with an ankle sprain or strain. Inability to bear any weight or even stand up for a few seconds may also constitute a serious sprain.
Plantar fasciitis involves the inflammation of the plantar fascia that is located at the base of your foot. The arch of your foot will likely be impacted, as most patients report a sharp, stabbing pain along the arch.
Morton’s neuroma typically impacts the bottom of the foot, and you will likely experience pain between your toes. Morton’s neuroma develops when the nerve that passes between the toes is pinched or injured due to prolonged pressure.
Some foot injuries, such as a sprain, will usually go away with OTC medications or non-prescription treatments, such as ointments, salves or heating/cooling pads.
However, more pronounced injuries or conditions will usually worsen over time and may require surgery if you do not receive the necessary physical therapy in time.
Physiotherapy Can Help You Recover From a Foot Injury
Physiotherapy can be used in order to reduce pain, accelerate healing, and even prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. For example, tennis ball foot massage involves sitting on a chair and placing a tennis ball under your right foot arch, followed by the left.
Apply pressure on the tennis ball before you roll it to your heels from your toes. Repeat the movement for 60 seconds before switching over to your other foot. The end goal of a tennis ball foot massage is to relieve pain by increasing blood circulation.
Achilles rollout involves placing a ball at the back of the ankle while lying flat on the floor. Roll the ball up and down, massaging your Achilles.
A calf stretch involves placing your right foot against a wall while standing. Your heel should be on the floor before you lean towards the wall in a slow but deliberate manner. Proceed to hold for fifteen seconds, repeat three times, and then perform the same motions with your other foot.
An ankle flex stretch will require that you stand on a block with your right foot, ball and toes. The pressure should be on the ball of your foot as you put your weight forward. Proceed to stretch your ankle.
Ankle circles require you to lift your left leg in order to rotate your left ankle. Proceed to make at least 10 circles before switching over to your other leg and ankle.
Toe and ankle extensions require you to press the top of your toes down on a sturdy block. You will then need to form a line with your ankle by leaning back.
A physiotherapist can help treat a wide array of foot injuries using non-invasive massages and techniques. If you want to learn more about how a physiotherapist can help treat your foot injury you should make an appointment for an initial consultation.
Taking the First Step
Physiotherapy can be used in order to reduce pain, enhance mobility, accelerate healing and prevent foot injuries from occurring in the future via preventive medicine.
It is important to stretch properly before exercising and also to wear the proper protective gear before playing sports.