Your doctor may prescribe therapy with a Riverside physical therapist. Physical therapists are health care professionals educated in anatomy and physiology, the study of the mechanical and physical functions of the human body. Physical therapy is used to rehabilitate injured joints and to strengthen tendons, ligament and supporting muscles around your ankle and foot.
Your treatment will begin with a thorough evaluation. You'll be asked questions about your overall health, lifestyle and activities. Your therapist will assess the current condition of your foot and ankle including your pain level, range of motion and strength.
Your Road to Recovery
Using all this information, you and your therapist will establish treatment goals and you'll be given a "Road to Recovery" customized treatment plan. For instance, your goals may include increasing the range of motion in your joint or to reduce pain. Your therapist and orthopaedic surgeon will stay in communication and coordinate your program and progress.
During appointments, you'll receive rehabilitation therapy. Early in your treatment, the focus will be on relieving your pain. For instance, your therapist may have you try exercises to gently stretch tendons in your foot to relieve pain from various foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Then,you'll work to strengthen the surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons. In this case, you might go through a series of exercises to strengthen lower leg muscles, which will stabilize your ankle and foot.
Your therapist may recommend that you try lower impact exercises such as swimming or cycling while your foot and ankle continue to heal. Expect to receive an exercise program to perform between sessions either at home or at one of our fully equipped Wellness and Fitness Centers. In addition to swimming pools, the fitness centers offer a variety of equipment and classes that are low impact.
A part of your physical therapy is educational. You'll learn how to avoid further injuries. You may be shown how to wrap your foot or ankle in a bandage for protection. In the case of arthritis, you'll be taught strategies for living with reduced mobility and exercises to keep your supporting muscles strong.