Injuries to the feet and lower legs are especially troublesome, because they can quickly slow us down and prevent us from performing the daily activities we enjoy. Our lower legs are made up of numerous muscles, ligaments and joints, and when one or more of these is out of commission, it can lead to extreme pain. In most cases, lower leg and foot injuries can be treated effectively with non-surgical options such as mobile physical therapy.
What Causes Lower Leg and Foot Injuries: There are many different causes for foot lower leg problems. At times, it may just be a matter of overuse. For example, if you have not exercised for several weeks, then run in a five-mile marathon, your calf muscles might be sore for a while. In other cases, a specific issue causes the pain or injury. Here are a few examples:
- Ankle Sprains: The ankle is a complex joint where many other bones converge. It is also a fragile area that is easy to get twisted and sprained from jumping too high, landing on it wrong, etc.
- Shin Splints: These injuries occur on the inner edge of the shinbone, which is located between the knee and the ankle. Pain and injuries happen due to nearby muscles swelling and putting undue pressure on the bone.
- Plantar Fasciitis: The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone with the toes. When this tissue swells, it can lead to chronic pain in the heels. This pain can be aggravated by long periods of standing.
How Physical Therapy Helps Treat Lower Leg and Foot Problems: Whether you are recovering from surgery after a fracture, have a severe sprain, or just have ongoing pain for an unknown reason, the best path to recovery is to strengthen the problem areas. This is done most effectively through a series of targeted stretches and related exercises.
During physical therapy, the therapist begins with a thorough evaluation of the lower leg or foot pain. The goal of this evaluation is to identify which areas need to be worked on, so they can create an individualized conditioning program designed to bring you back to normal.
This program usually consists of several exercises, some done with the therapist, and some performed on your own. As your lower leg or foot gets stronger, additional exercises are added to build on previous sessions. For this reason, it is important for therapy patients to stay consistent and miss as few visits as possible.
Why Mobile Physical Therapy: Patients recovering from foot or lower leg problems have the option of physical therapy from a clinic or hospital, or mobile physical therapy. Mobile therapy is growing in popularity largely because of its convenience. When your lower leg or foot is hurting, it can be difficult to drive to your appointments. And if the pain is really intense, it might lead to some appointments being cancelled, which can set your progress back significantly.
With mobile physical therapy, this is no longer a concern. The therapist from the home health agency comes directly to your home or office, and all you have to do is be ready for their visit. This reduces the chances of missed appointments, and puts you on the road to a faster recovery.