What are they?
Foot pain is often caused by a ligament, tendon, or bone issue. A foot sprain is an injury a ligamentous structure of the foot. We often think of spraining the bottom of our foot or the top of our midfoot. A foot strain is an injury to a tendon. We often think of the Achilles, peroneals, or posterior tib tendons in this area of the body as being most often strained. A bony foot injury is often a fracture and usually to one of our metatarsals.
Information on what causes them?
Pain is caused by sprain or strain to the ligaments or tendons of our feet when they are overstretched, partially torn, or ruptured. Bony issues such as arthritis within the joints of the foot, or a fracture of one of the many bones found in the foot can be a cause of the pain. Foot injuries and pain are often caused by a traumatic event causing one of the above issues, a biomechanical issue affecting how we move, or several smaller issues that may or may need physical therapy to address them.
The signs and symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of these issues are acute and sudden pain, swelling, inability to bear weight without compensation, altered gait mechanics, popping, clicking, decreased motion and flexibility, decreased power, and strength, are just a few to name.
Physical therapy will initially focus on the decreasing and eliminating the pain and swelling. Once these are under control or eliminated, we will then work on improving the healing of the affected bone or soft tissue. This could include modalities and exercises to improve the healing process and working on regaining the motion and strength needed to return you back to where you were before the injury. Finally, a comprehensive home program will be set up to make sure you have the tools you need to maintain your gains and avoid this injury again in the future.
At your first visit you should expect a physical therapist that is there to get to know you, your current complaints, and your goals. Using this information and the information they gather during their evaluation they will set up an individualized treatment plan that will help you reach your goals and get back to your life faster. Treatments could include modalities for pain control, manual therapy to help with muscle, soft tissue, and joint healing, and exercises to restore motion and strength.