Can Physical Therapy Help with Foot and Ankle Pain?

Generally, foot and ankle pain occurs due to soft tissue injuries and only requires simple home remedies. However, sometimes, you may feel foot and ankle pain for no reason, and it may appear to worsen even with home remedies. As a result, you may need to seek other efficient measures.

There are many treatment methods for foot and ankle pain, regardless of the cause of the pain. While most people resort to over-the-counter treatment methods, such as pain relievers, most of these treatment methods don’t address the problem. Therefore, foot and ankle pain is likely to recur. Physical therapy is one of the most effective treatment methods for foot and ankle pain. This article will examine how physical therapy at FYZICAL South Scottsdale helps with foot and ankle pain.

What Foot and Ankle Conditions Can Benefit from Physical Therapy?

You may feel foot and ankle pain for several reasons, including injury from traumatic events, overuse, and medical conditions. Other common foot and ankle conditions that can benefit from physical therapy include:

  • Fracture: A fracture refers to a partial or complete break of a bone. While several types of fractures have different causes, foot or ankle fractures are commonly caused by accidents or injury. The foot and ankle are also the most common victims of stress fractures. Unlike a regular fracture, stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone that occur due to excessive force or pressure on the bone. Fractures can lead to swelling and pain, restricting movement and preventing people from carrying out daily activities. Physical therapy can deal with fractures causing foot and ankle pain.

  • Sprains: A sprain is an injury that occurs when the fibrous tissues that connect the bone and joints (ligament) are stretched or torn. A sprained ankle is one of the most common causes of foot and ankle pain. The ligaments in the feet and ankles are susceptible to injury because they support your body’s weight and are almost always in use. Other causes of ankle sprains include falls and awkward landings that injure the ligaments during sports. Ankle sprains cause pain and may make movement difficult. However, physical therapy can help to treat ankle sprains and manage their symptoms.

  • Arthritis: This condition affects joints (a place where two bones meet). It is a degenerative disease that leads to the inflammation of the joints, causing severe pain and stiffness. Arthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic foot and ankle pain, affecting the ankle and toe joints. Physical therapy employs different treatment interventions to treat arthritis and manage its symptoms.

  • Achilles tendonitis: The Achilles tendon is a band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the calf muscles. This tendon may become inflamed or irritated due to overuse or injury, causing severe pain, swelling, redness, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Achilles tendonitis can be treated and managed through physical therapy.

Other foot and ankle conditions that physical therapy can treat include post-surgical rehabilitation, foot or ankle bursitis, neuroma, corns, calluses, bunions, sores, gout, flatfoot, etc. Obese people, pregnant women, people over the age of 65, and people who engage in sports and activities that require jumping and quick movements are at a higher risk of developing foot and ankle pain.

How can Physical Therapy Help with Foot and Ankle Pain?

Physical therapy relieves pain, strengthens the musculoskeletal system, and improves mobility through several non-invasive treatment interventions. Therefore, physiotherapists can help with foot and ankle pain by treating the cause of pain and managing the symptoms of these conditions. The following are the ways through which a physical therapist helps to relieve foot and ankle pain:

Comprehensive Assessment

The first step that an ankle and foot pain specialist in Scottsdale takes during physical therapy is to evaluate the situation of the foot and ankle thoroughly to determine the cause of the problem, the extent of damage, and the appropriate treatment intervention to employ. You may be required to undergo a physical examination and even imaging tests during a physical therapist’s comprehensive assessment.

Treatment Plan

After a comprehensive assessment, your physical therapist formulates a treatment plan to address your foot and ankle pain based on the results of their evaluation. Physical therapy interventions that your therapist may employ for foot and ankle pain include:

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is a physical therapy treatment intervention that uses hands-on techniques to treat musculoskeletal pain. Common manual therapy techniques, such as massage, joint mobilization, and joint manipulation, can treat foot and ankle pain in South Scottsdale.

Therapeutic Exercises

Physical therapy also employs exercises – physical activities designed to relieve pain, strengthen the muscles, and restore physical function. Your physical therapist may include therapeutic exercises in your foot and ankle pain treatment plan. Types of foot and ankle pain exercises include a range of motion, stretching, and muscle strengthening exercises. These exercises include calf and foot muscle stretches, squats, reaching exercises, heel raises, ankle pump-ups/pump-downs, toe pick-ups, bent-knee wall stretches, etc.

Balance Training

Foot and ankle pain restricts movement and can cause you to lose balance, making you vulnerable to falls. During Scottsdale physical therapy, your therapist may teach you balance training to reduce your risks of falling while treating foot and ankle pain.

Orthotics and Other Assistive Devices

Your physical therapist may recommend orthotics, splints, and other assistive devices to reduce pain, support your arch, and improve mobility.

Other modalities employed by physical therapists for foot and ankle pain include electrical stimulation, laser therapy, ultrasound therapy, heat and cold therapy, dry needling, shockwave therapy, etc.

What does Physical Therapy Do For Foot and Ankle Pain?

The following are the advantages of undergoing physical therapy for foot and ankle pain:

  • Reduction of pain and inflammation
  • Improved range of motion
  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved stability
  • Strengthened muscles
  • Prevention of future injuries
  • Improvement of overall quality of life.


Foot and ankle pain may result from injuries from traumatic events, repetitive motion, and medical conditions. It causes severe discomfort and can limit your movement. This condition may hinder you from carrying out your daily activities comfortably. Foot and ankle pain may be very frustrating, especially when you have tried several treatment options, but it keeps recurring. Fortunately, physical therapy provides a long-lasting solution. Therefore, you should consider undergoing physical therapy at FYZICAL South Scottsdale if you are suffering from foot and ankle pain.