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Optimal Physical Therapy helps patients with many different conditions. Please see the diagram below for information on common conditions we treat and how physical therapy can help you.

Ankle and Foot Fractures

There are many bones that can be fractured in the ankle and foot. Typical fractures that occur are to the fibula bone (avulsion fracture), metatarsal bone fractures, and calcaneal fractures. Fractures are typically immobilized with casting or bracing to allow for healing. In severe cases surgery may be required to align and stabilize the bone with pins or plates.

After being immobile for a period of time whether from casting or surgery, the ankle and foot joints will become quite stiff. This loss of motion in the joint also causes discomfort and results in lost muscle strength in the ankle and foot.

How physical therapy helps:

Physical therapy is very important in the rehabilitative process to help you regain normal range of motion, reduce swelling, resolve pain, and regain function of your ankle and foot.

Physical therapy is effective and will help to resolve your pain while working with your doctor to follow protocol and restore your function. Our goal is to maximize improvements in range of motion, strength, stability, walking, and running. With physical therapy, you can make a complete an efficient and safe recovery. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to learn more about how we can help you fully recover after a fracture.

Ankle Sprains and Strains

Ankle sprains are very common injuries and can occur when walking on uneven terrain, while playing a sport, or after tripping on objects that are unseen. Sprains refer to injuries of the ligaments (connect bone to bone) and strains refer to injuries of the muscles or tendons (connect muscle to bone). Sprains and strains occur from quick overstretching of the tissues causing micro-tearing and subsequent injury. Swelling begins as part of the inflammation process, causing pain and difficulty with movement.

The first step in treating sprains or strains in the ankle is to rest, ice, and elevate. Common sprains in the ankle occur on the outside of the ankle but can also happen on the inside of the ankle. There are different levels of sprain or strain from mild to severe. In some cases, the tearing can be complete and even be in need of surgical repair.

How physical therapy helps:

In most cases, physical therapy can effectively help you recover from a sprain or strain. We first evaluate the injured area to determine the extent of the injury. Then we formulate a treatment plan that will effectively relieve your swelling, pain, and begin restoring range of motion.

The goal of physical therapy is to restore your normal range of motion and strength. Regardless of your activity level, we will work closely with you to make sure that you fully recover and can participate in the activities you love to do. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to discover how we can effectively treat your ankle sprain or strain.

Foot and Ankle Post-surgery Rehab

There are many different surgeries for the foot and ankle from fracture fixations to soft tissue repair from trauma. In addition, common surgeries such as bunionectomies, tendon repairs, ligament reconstruction, and ankle fusion require physical therapy afterwards.

After surgery, due to limited post-operative movement and inflammation, your range of motion and strength will be diminished. The loss of strength and range of motion in the foot or ankle can cause many problems in daily life including difficulty standing for short periods of time and an inability to easily navigate a set of stairs. When you are unable to stand for periods of time or walk on your own it can result in difficulties at work and home, but with a skilled physical therapist working with you, you can get great results and maximize your ability to return to former activities.

How physical therapy helps:

Physical therapy is an important part of the rehabilitative process after ankle or foot surgery. Depending on your surgery and surgical protocols, we will progress you through a structured physical therapy rehabilitation program. Our goal is to restore pain-free range of motion in the ankle or foot while maintaining surgical rehab protocols. Our highly skilled physical therapists will also work to improve your walking coordination, balance, and strength to ensure that you are able to return to normal walking and have the ability to easily be able to go up and down a set of stairs.

About Ankle instability

Ankle instability typically occurs after the ligaments in the ankle have been overstretched, losing the normal stability of the bones in the ankle and foot. This can be a result of an injury or occur over a long period of time from poor foot positioning, improper footwear, or genetic predisposition.

When there is ankle instability the probability of further ankle sprains increases significantly. While the ligaments themselves may not be able to shorten back to normal, the muscles supporting the ankle can be strengthened to take up the slack. This compensation allows for better stability in the ankle and foot when walking, running, and participating in sports. Bracing may also be needed depending on the severity of the instability.

How physical therapy helps:

Our physical therapists work with different physicians, including podiatrists, to rehabilitate ankle and foot injuries. By assessing your ankle and foot joint movements we can determine what areas need to be strengthened, bringing support and stability to your ankle.

With years of training in analyzing and treating joint mechanics, walking, and movement, we put together a custom treatment plan that will improve your ankle stability. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to learn how we can help increase your ankle stability.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue on the underside of the foot, connecting from the heel to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis typically occurs from tightening of the tissues under the foot. In addition, changes in the shape of the foot, such as fallen arches or changes in shoe wear can cause plantar fasciitis. Furthermore, with changes in walking posture for a variety of reasons, the strain on the plantar fascia can increase significantly.

Plantar fasciitis is commonly felt as burning or sharp pain on the bottom of the foot when standing on the affected leg. This typically occurs first thing in the morning or with initial standing after sitting for a prolonged period. Pain may be felt mostly in the heel, but can extend along the bottom of the foot.

How physical therapy helps:

Physical therapy is very beneficial in treating plantar fasciitis. At first we evaluate your movement, posture, walking pattern, ankle and foot mobility. Our gentle hands-on therapy is great for soothing the irritated tissue in the foot and also improving range of motion in the foot and ankle joints.

Modalities may be used to reduce swelling and pain. Our goal is to alleviate your pain and strengthen your feet for long-term results. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to discover how we can help resolve your plantar fasciitis pain and get you quickly back on your feet.

What is Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon that attaches your calf muscle to the back of your heel. Achilles tendonitis is typically caused by tightness in the hamstrings and calf muscles. In addition, limitations in ankle and foot range of motion can alter your walking pattern, putting excessive strain on the Achilles tendon, causing tendonitis.

Typically with Achilles tendonitis, the back of the ankle and heel is very painful to touch, especially after prolonged walking. 

How physical therapy helps:

Physical therapy is one of the best treatment options for Achilles tendonitis. Our physical therapists will evaluate your leg, ankle, and foot mobility, range of motion, strength, balance, and walking patterns. This will help us determine the root cause of your pain and resolve that for long term results.

We focus on treatments to resolve your pain quickly, improve your joint mobility, and strengthen muscles as needed. The result is the ability to walk and run without pain in the back of your heel returning to the activities you love to do. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to discover how we can help resolve your pain and get you quickly back on your feet.