Foot and Ankle

Acute Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments have been stressed beyond a normal range of motion. Most ankle sprains occur on the lateral ankle after rolling or twisting the ankle inward. Ankle sprains are graded 1-4 as mild up to a complete tear of the ligament. Pain, swelling, bruising and difficulty with standing, walking, running are common symptoms. Depending on severity of sprain there can be restricted range of motion, tenderness to palpate ankle. To varying degrees there will be instability in the ankle. Natural footwear with ultimately strengthen the feet and increase proprioception of the foot (feet sensors that send signals to the brain) as well as allow them to move freely within the shoe. This is necessary to regain foot strength and mobility. Short-Term Goal: restore ROM, decrease inflammation, decrease STRs. Long-Term Goal: Improve ankle stability.

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is a thick band connecting calf musculature to the heel bone (calcaneus) which can become irritated and inflamed. Tendinitis is generally an overuse injury caused by sudden increase in activity, poor foot/ankle stability or mobility, and tight calf muscles. The achilles is often overused secondary to weakness in hip extensor muscles and lack of hip and ankle mobility. A stress will also be placed on the achilles with the use of traditional footwear which squishes the toes together, has a slight to significant heel drop (shortens calf muscles) and excessive motion control. Symptoms include pain, irritation, swelling, stiffness in achilles, heel, and calf. Increased pain in weight bearing. Difficulty and pain with stairs, running, jumping. Avoid excessive running mileage and jumping while healing. Goal: Improve ROM/Dorsiflexion, decrease STRs in calf and plantar fascia, increase foot/ankle stability and lateral hip stability and mobility.

Chronic Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments have been stressed beyond a normal range of motion. Most ankle sprains occur on the lateral ankle after rolling or twisting the ankle inward. Ankle sprains are graded 1-4 as mild up to a complete tear of the ligament. Pain, swelling, bruising and difficulty with standing, walking, running are common symptoms. Frequently people experience multiple ankle sprains due to a lack of rehabilitation of initial ankle sprain. There is often scar tissue and compensations. To varying degrees there will be instability in the ankle. Short-Term Goal: restore ROM, decrease inflammation, decrease STRs. Long-Term Goal: Improve ankle stability.

Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis

The Posterior Tibialis is a muscle located deep to the calf muscles and medial to the shin bone (Tibia). The Post Tib helps to plantar flex and invert the ankle. Many foot muscles become weak and tight as a result of wearing modern day traditional footwear. This creates an overuse of the Post Tib tendon which then causes pain along the tendon on the inside of the ankle. If left untreated tendonitis can evolve into Post Tib Dysfunction and fraying of the tendon. The arch collapses and gait is significantly altered. Short-Term Goal: restore ROM, decrease inflammation, decrease STRs. Long-Term Goal: Improve foot and ankle stability. Gait Assessment is encouraged.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fascia are thick bands of tissue running along the bottom of your foot from the heel to the toes which become tight and inflamed. PF can occur with a change in an exercise routine or more strenuous activity, shoe/orthotic breakdown, or standing prolonged periods for work. Symptoms include shooting, stabbing pain at bottom of foot or heel. Pain is worse in a.m. with first few steps after sleeping or being immobile for prolonged periods. Symptoms will continue as long as traditional footwear is worn. To restore strength and mobility of foot, and therefore allow plantar fascia to functional normally, then natural footwear is required. Goal: restore ROM, decrease inflammation and pain, improve foot/ankle stability.

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