A scientific analysis of studies indicates that a quarter of the population suffers frequent foot pain. This pain can limit mobility, decrease the quality of life and create a negative impact on the ability to conduct routine activities.
Don’t let pain limit your life and dictate what you can do. Speak with your doctor to schedule testing and begin working toward solutions. Physical therapy can address many forms of foot pain by providing the modalities and exercise training necessary to correct anatomical issues, improve posture and reduce pain.
Common Causes of Foot Pain
Your doctor, physical therapist and other clinicians will work together to determine the exact cause of your foot pain when possible and develop a targeted treatment plan for that pain. Many people avoid seeking professional treatment because they’re worried that surgery might be necessary. And while that can be the case, most clinicians do attempt less invasive measures if possible, including physical therapy, before taking such a step.
Some common causes of foot pain that might be helped by physical therapy include:
- Bone spurs
- Broken or fractured bones, especially those that have started to heal or have healed leaving some pain and reduced functionality
- Plantar fasciitis
- Strains and sprains
Identifying Functionality Issues and Underlying Problems
Physical therapy is often applied with a two-pronged goal. The therapist works with you to reduce any pain or discomfort you feel in the area, but they also work with you to ensure better functionality of the bones, joints, and muscles in the impacted area.
When addressing issues with the feet, physical therapists may work with you on functions such as balance, gait (how you walk) and be able to bear weight (hold your body’s weight on your foot). All of these functionalities can be impacted if you’re experiencing foot pain — you may not even realize that you’re walking a different way to accommodate for an issue or that your balance has suffered.
Likewise, functionality issues could be a root cause for your pain. If you’ve developed a poor gait because of an injury or issue elsewhere in your body, your feet could suffer as a result. In these cases, physical therapy may not even concentrate on your foot, as the underlying problem might be in your hips or legs.
Treating Diagnosed Foot Conditions
If a foot condition, such as plantar fasciitis, is diagnosed, the physical therapist can then concentrate on assisting with the symptoms. Around 10 percent of people in America deal with plantar fasciitis on a regular basis, and there are proven rehabilitative exercises and manual therapies to help with the discomfort and even reverse the condition.
Rehabilitative exercises are those a physical therapist teaches you to perform both in their presence and at home. Typically, these are simple motions you do in sets according to your PT’s instructions. Performing these exercises regularly is important to stretch and rebuild muscles and address weaknesses in the body that may be causing pain and functionality issues.
Manual therapies are movements and massages the therapist performs on your foot while you’re in the office. They often have the same goal and benefits as rehabilitative exercise, but the therapist is able to safely “push” past some boundaries you might not on your own, which can lead to more progress.
The Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy points out that though best practices are available for the treatment of plantar fasciitis, many people never receive PT for this condition. The same could be true for other foot conditions. If you’re dealing with ongoing foot pain, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor, and consider seeking physical therapy from the licensed, caring practitioners at Ferrell-Whited.
Schedule an Appointment with a Certified Physical Therapist Today
Contact our team to request an appointment and take the first step to life without foot pain! Our dedicated physical therapists are here to help you diagnose the cause and work with you to manage the pain.