Foot and ankle physical therapists address any movement deficiencies through the functional "ground-up" analysis of non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing mechanics of the foot/ankle and lower extremity. Treatment interventions are provided to restore the adaptability of the foot/ankle complex to work synchronously within the entire biomechanical chain to allow ease of motion and function, especially during weight-bearing activities. Custom foot inserts are utilized when needed to normalize foot/ankle weight-bearing mechanics during functional activities.
Foot and ankle physical therapists provide a thorough and comprehensive approach to examination and treatment of the symptomatic foot/ankle by addressing non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing mechanical insufficiencies and the related progression of other orthopedic pathologies.
Foot and ankle therapy consists of ongoing treatment modifications which are customized to the patient's feedback and response. Supportive functional exercise programs are designed for each patient which are compatible with the manual techniques utilized to restore normal function. Each patient is educated regarding their pathology. An individualized, progressive home exercise program is provided throughout the formal foot and ankle therapy to supplement and increase each patient's benefit from their treatment. The frequency and duration of supervised therapy sessions are determined by medical necessity based on each patient's condition. A 60-90 minute commitment, 2-3 times a week, is usually required until the patient achieves his/her goals.
Foot and ankle therapy encompasses conditions that involve all levels of foot/ankle movement deficiencies, especially as related to ambulatory dysfunction, including:
- acute foot/ankle traumatic injuries
- ligament sprains/instability
- muscle strains
- tendonitis/rupture-Achilles, posterior tibialis
- overuse injuries-plantar fasciitis
- related pathologies -patellofemoral dysfunction, ACL injuries and other lower extremity diagnoses
- all post-operative foot/ankle conditions, including bunionectomy, ligament reconstruction, Achilles tendon repair, posterior tibialis repair, osteotomies, fusion, plantar fascia releases and more
- normalize joint arthrokinematics
- achieve synchronized muscular balance, recruitment and strength
- promote dynamic stability
- restore optimal balance, proprioception and foot/ankle adaptability to ground surfaces
- obtain functional weight-bearing ability necessary to meet environmental and lifestyle demands