Foot pain can happen for a number of reasons, but whatever the cause, it can make it difficult to walk and interfere with your quality of life. At Avant Garde Physical Therapy in New York City, we have developed a treatment for foot pain to help, quite literally, get you back on your feet.
What Causes Foot Pain
Our clinicians will work with your doctor to determine what is causing your foot pain, and when possible, design a treatment plan to help reduce that pain with physical therapy.
The most common causes of ongoing foot pain include:
- Bone Spurs
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Sprains and Strains
- Broken Bones
Symptoms of Foot Injuries
Foot injuries can arise from the conditions listed above and cause a wide array of symptoms. The most common symptoms of a foot injury include:
- Heel pain—Plantar Fasciitis commonly causes heel pain. Heel spurs, which are bone spurs that develop on the bones in the heel, can also cause heel pain.
- Pain in the ball of the foot—Metatarsalgia is a common cause of pain and inflammation that occurs in the ball of the foot. Ill-fitting shoes or certain types of strenuous activity are the usual causes.
- Morton’s Neuroma—results in a thickening of the nerve fibers in and around the toes, causing toe pain and pain in the ball of your foot.
- Fallen arches—also known as flat feet, can lead to pain in any part of the foot.
- Gout—a type of arthritis most commonly causing extreme pain in the big toe, though it can cause pain in other toes and the rest of the foot as well.
- Bunions—a bony spur along the edge of the foot can cause deformity and pain.
Identifying Issues with Functionality
Physical therapy is used to reduce pain or discomfort, but it is also intended to improve address and improve functionality issues in the muscles, bones, and joints of the area, causing you pain. For foot pain, we will assess your gait, balance, and your ability to bear weight.
It is not uncommon to find functional issues the patient is not aware of. For instance, you may be changing the way you walk to accommodate pain in the foot. The change in your gait might also be affecting your balance, creating a fall risk. We will assess and treat all areas of pain and functional impairment, helping you get back to your normal life as soon as possible.
Those two things are often linked. It could be a functional issue that is causing your pain. A back injury could cause you to unknowingly change your gait, which has lead to foot pain. The same can be said for the hip or leg. In cases like this, physical therapy will be instituted to address the underlying issue instead of the point of pain. Taking care of the underlying issue will result in an improvement in the pain you are experiencing.
Treating Foot Conditions
Once the cause of your foot pain has been diagnosed, a physical therapist can concentrate on assisting you in managing the symptoms. They will use proven rehabilitative therapies, including exercises and manual therapy to ease your discomfort, and at times, heal the condition.
At Avant Garde, we know your time is valuable. Our goal will be to diagnose your problem and then teach you rehabilitative exercises that you can do both in our presence and at home. These exercises, designed specifically for foot pain, will be simple motions you do in prescribed sets and intervals.
Compliance with physical therapy is crucial to success. It takes time to stretch and restore muscles and address other weaknesses in the body that are contributing to your pain and functionality problems. Physical therapy is not an instant solution, so you have to commit to giving it time to work, though many patients do experience some immediate relief.
We also use manual therapies which are massages and movements the physical therapist performs on your foot, or feet, while you are in the office. These therapies have the same goal as rehabilitative exercises, but manual therapies can often lead to faster progress. The best results come from a combination of the two types of therapy regularly used until maximum improvement is achieved.
If you are experiencing foot pain from a diagnosed medical issue, or remain unsure of what is causing your pain, contact our office for a comprehensive evaluation. Once we determine the cause of your pain, our team will develop a customized treatment plan to help restore function and reduce the pain. At Avant-Garde Physical Therapy, we appreciate the trust you place in us. We work hard to stay abreast of the latest treatment options, and we promise to treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve.