Foot and Ankle Pain Relief Bedford, Manchester, Londonderry, and Nashua, NH

Foot and Ankle Pain Relief

You spend an incredible amount of time on your feet every day, and if you are suffering from foot and ankle pain, your life can be greatly impacted. It can cause dread and agony when taking the stairs, walking a block to your office, or even standing in line. Foot and ankle pain can stem from a variety of different causes, but Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy can help get you back on track. Physical therapy has been proven to help with the rehabilitation of injured joints, in addition to providing relief for both acute and chronic pain. Contact Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy today to speak with a member of our team and learn more about how our services can benefit you!

How does foot and ankle pain occur?

Your feet and your ankles are complex mechanical structures that must work together in harmony in order to function at their optimal levels. The Arthritis Foundation states that the ankle joint consists of three bones that all must interact with one another correctly, along with the various connective tissues that hold the assembly of the joint together.

The foot is even more complex, containing approximately two dozen bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Because of all the complicated structures that make up your feet and ankles, pain in those areas is a very common affliction. An injury to your foot or ankle can result in pain so severe that you avoid bearing weight through the foot. This can leave you with only two options. You could hop around, risking injury to your other foot. You could also be stuck in a chair, limiting your mobility and ability to take care of yourself. Even mild pain can cause physical limitations to your daily life and impact your daily activities.

What causes foot and ankle pain?

Foot and ankle pain can occur suddenly due to an acute injury, or it can develop over time. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several common causes of foot pain and ankle pain, including:

  • Strains and sprains – A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched, while a sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched too far or torn.
  • Fractures – A fracture occurs from excessive force or trauma to the bone, causing it to crack or break. A fracture to the foot or ankle can result in weeks of downtime to ensure proper healing.
  • Bursitis – Bursitis occurs when the tendons rub against the “bursae” or anti-friction sacs, causing them to become irritated and inflamed.
  • Plantar fasciitis – Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation in the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. This can occur from overuse, such as constant standing, improper posture, or unsupportive footwear.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome – Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve (the nerve that runs from the ankle to the foot) becomes pinched and inflamed.
  • Arthritis – Arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints and results in pain; the most common types including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both types of arthritis can greatly impact the foot and ankle joints.
  • Fallen arches – Your foot contains several tendons that work together to form your arch. When the tendons pull together properly, your foot will form a proper arch. However, when the tendons do not pull together properly, your foot will form a very small arch or no arch at all. This is referred to as “fallen arch” or “flat foot” and can cause pain or discomfort with time.

How can physical therapy treat my foot and ankle pain?

Whether you are suffering from an acute injury or chronic condition in your foot or ankle, you can find relief at Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy. Our physical therapists will conduct a thorough examination to confirm what is causing your pain, and then they will create a personalized treatment plan for you. If you sustained an acute injury, it is likely that our physical therapists will prescribe a RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) along with specific, graded exercises to decrease swelling and optimize motion. After the initial stages of your injury, you will move on to specialized physical therapy treatments.  

Comparatively, if you are suffering from a chronic condition, your treatment will not begin with RICE rather than with exercises specific to your symptoms. Our goal at Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy is to help restore you to your normal level of physical performance and prevent re-injury. Your treatment plan will typically include a combination of exercises to restore joint mobility, improve balance, and strengthen the foot and ankle muscles. We will do all we can to ease your pain and boost your circulation, which may include recommending lifestyle changes or orthotic footwear to prevent more problems in the future.

Don’t let foot and ankle pain slow you down! Contact Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy today to schedule your appointment. We will help you get back on your feet in no time!