Why Physical Therapy Is Important for Foot and Ankle Injuries

Physical therapy on leg

Your feet are your foundation. Simple point, right? But think about what that means. If your feet and ankles are hurting or not at full strength and function, it can severely impair your quality of life. Walking, running, shopping, playing sports, playing with your kids or grandkids—to do what you need and love to do, you need your feet at their best.

That’s one of the major reasons why physical therapy is so important after a foot or ankle injury. The healing of the original injury is only the first half of the process.

Take ankle sprains, for example. After a bad sprain, it may only take 6-8 weeks before the injury repairs itself. At that point, you may feel that the pain has largely gone away and you can bear weight comfortably again. You may be tempted to think that recovery is over and everything is back to normal.

However, your body doesn’t really work that way. After a sprain, or Achilles rupture, or other injury that keeps you out of commission for a while, the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints that surround and support the site of the injury weaken and need rehabilitation in order to return to pre-injury levels of strength, flexibility, and range of motion. In the case of ankle sprains, failing to seriously engage in post-injury physical therapy is associated with a high risk of re-injury, early-onset arthritis in the ankle, and chronic ankle instability.

Dedicated physical therapy and rehabilitation after an injury helps you to:

  • Return to full daily activities and athletic participation faster and more successfully
  • Minimize and relieve chronic, long-term pain, soreness, and swelling
  • Significantly reduce the risk of re-injury
  • Significantly reduce the risk of related complications, such as foot conditions that may arise as the result of an altered walking gait

When recovering from an injury, it’s important to have a podiatrist who can help guide you through a safe, effective physical therapy program that will provide the greatest benefit to your situation and keep you healthy and on your feet for the long term. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Keith McSpadden at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, use our online contact form or give us a call at 512-593-2949.

Posted on December 15, 2015 .