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Orthotics

Increase in Sports Injury: Ankle Sprain Due to Increased Physical Activity

Ankle Sprain Due to Increased Physical ActivityOver the course of the past decade, an increasing number of people from all walks of life have become more active and more committed to exercise and fitness as well as to engaging in athletic and recreational activities. Although these individuals are enjoying solid health benefits through these activities, they are not without at least some risks. The reality is that the increase in physical activity has attributed to a rise in the incidents of sports injuries, including ankle sprain.

Diagnosing an Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains account for an alarming 50 percent of all sports related injuries. They are the primary reason why people must take time off from a fitness program or participating in a sport or athletic activity.

There exist some common signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain. One or a combination of these symptoms may exist in any given case. These symptoms of an ankle sprain are bruising, instability at the ankle, swelling and plain. In some cases, a person may experience numbness of severe weakness at or around the ankle. If these two last types of symptoms exist, an ankle sprain may be accompanied by actual nerve damage as well.

If these symptoms exist, it is important that a person seek a professional examination and evaluation. This needs to be done promptly in order to rule out another problem — like a broken ankle. In addition, a proactive effort at obtaining a proper diagnosis also best ensures that proper treatment commences in a timely manner. The symptoms of a sprain are addressed most effectively when treatment begins promptly after an injury.

A healthcare provider, including a physiotherapist, may recommend an x-ray or MRI to confirm what is wrong with an ankle. These examinations work to confirm a sprain as opposed to a break or another type of issue.

Treatment of an Ankle Sprain

Once a diagnosis has been made of an ankle sprain, an appropriate course of treatment can be initiated. In many cases, such a course of treatment involves physiotherapy or chiropodist services . The ultimate goal is to promote a more rapid healing of the sprain and to quickly lessen and even eliminate the pain associated with the injury.

Oftentimes, a mantra called PRICE is followed as part of a physiotherapy regimen associated with the treatment of a sprained ankle. PRICE stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. However, this represents only part of a comprehensive course of treatment.

A chiropodist will recommend other strategies beyond these conservative practices, including certain appropriate exercises, massage and other treatments and therapies. A chiropodist maps out a specific, individualized course of treatment for each and every patient seen that is afflicted with an ankle sprain caused by a sports or recreational injury.

Posterior Tibial Tendon Problems

posterior tibialis problemPosterior tibial tendon dysfunction is one of the most common problems of the foot and ankle. It occurs due to the inflammation or tearing of the posterior tibial tendon. Consequently, the tendon may not be able to provide enough stability and support for the arch of the foot, resulting in flatfoot. Most patients can be treated without surgery, using orthotics and braces.

Symptoms:

  • Pain along the inside of the foot and ankle, where the tendon lies. This may or may not be associated with swelling in the area.
  • Pain that gets worse with activity. High-intensity or high-impact activities, such as running, can be very difficult. Some patients can have trouble walking or standing for a long time.
  • Pain on the outside of the ankle. When the foot collapses, the heel bone may shift to a new position outwards. This can put pressure on the outside ankle bone. The same type of pain is found in arthritis in the back of the foot.

Treatment:

Nonsurgical treatment can help relieving the symptoms significantly amongs the patients.

Rest

Decreasing or even stopping activities that worsen the pain is the first step. Switching to low-impact exercise is helpful. Biking, elliptical machines, or swimming do not put a large impact load on the foot, and are generally tolerated by most patients.

Ice

Apply cold packs on the most painful area of the posterior tibial tendon for 20 minutes at a time, 3 or 4 times a day to keep down swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Placing ice over the tendon immediately after completing an exercise helps to decrease the inflammation around the tendon.

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medication

Drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, reduce pain and inflammation. Taking such medications about a half of an hour before an exercise activity helps to limit inflammation around the tendon. The thickening of the tendon that is present is degenerated tendon. It will not go away with medication. Talk with your primary care doctor if the medication is used for more than 1 month.

Immobilization

A short leg cast or walking boot may be used for 6 to 8 weeks. This allows the tendon to rest and the swelling to go down. However, a cast causes the other muscles of the leg to atrophy (decrease in strength) and thus is only used if no other conservative treatment works.

Orthotics

Most people can be helped with orthotics and braces. An orthotic is a shoe insert. It is the most common nonsurgical treatment for a flatfoot. An over-the-counter orthotic may be enough for patients with a mild change in the shape of the foot. A custom orthotic is required in patients who have moderate to severe changes in the shape of the foot. The custom orthotic is more costly, but it allows the doctor to better control the position the foot.

Braces

A lace-up ankle brace may help mild to moderate flatfoot. The brace would support the joints of the back of the foot and take tension off of the tendon. A custom-molded leather brace is needed in severe flatfoot that is stiff or arthritic. The brace can help some patients avoid surgery.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy that strengthens the tendon can help patients with mild to moderate disease of the posterior tibial tendon.

How can orthotics help you get relief from your foot and back pain?

orthotics physiotherapyy

Orthotics are devices used by physiotherapists and orthopedics to help cure a person of various types of foot conditions like Achilles tendonitis, bunions among other type of ailments like back pain, knee pain etc.

These are made of lightweight materials that range from a simple over-the-counter shoe insert to custom made devices which require analysis of body and foot mechanics to create a cast of it.

Who can benefit from Orthotics?

Anyone can benefit from orthotics if they feel the need for additional support while walking or running. It is very helpful for people who want relief from various foot conditions which cause pain, swelling and discomfort.

Below are certain symptoms which suggest you should see a physiotherapist or an orthopedic –

  • Bunions
  • Flat feet
  • Shin splints
  • Frequent ankle sprains
  • Abnormal wear and tear of shoe from one side
  • Pain in knee, heel or lower back

If you are suffering from any of the above, it is advised to see a specialist immediately. The delay would only make the condition worse.

How is Orthotics made?

When a patient visits a physiotherapist, they will create a cast of his feet. The therapist then analyses the cast and sends it to a lab with certain recommendations. The technician in the lab makes the final cast or positive by pouring plaster into it. When the plaster dries, it forms the exact shape of the person’s feet.  Then custom-orthotic is developed against the shape of the cast and the given recommendations to provide ample support to the foot. This is then sent back to the physiotherapist who fits this custom-orthotic to the patient’s feet. This whole process generally takes a few weeks.

The orthotic made through this process provides support, stability, cushioning and alignment to the patient’s feet, ankles and lower body. This, in turn, enables the patient to become pain-free.

So, if you are experiencing foot pain or any of the above symptoms, feel free to visit our clinic for an expert opinion. We have a great team of experienced physiotherapists which would analyse your foot mechanics and help you get relief from your pain. You can either call us at 905-232-2202 to make an appointment or fill an online form here.

Physiotherapy- Your road to quick recovery from wrist fracture

Having a fracture of the wrist is one of the most common hand or forearm fractures. Falling down awkwardly or slipping on ice or involved in a motor vehicle accident are some common ways how a wrist can get fractured. Generally, wrist fractures are caused when it comes under a lot of sudden stress due to falling. The weight experienced by the wrist at the moment of contact with the ground is many times the body weight of the individual. Hence, the bones break under the stress.

Anatomy of the wrist

wrist anatomy

image credit- droualb.faculty.mjc.edu

The wrist is basically a joint between the bones of your hand and the bones of your forearm (ulna and radius). It consists of carpal bones which are attached to the forearm bones on the one side and the metacarpals of the hand. The bones are attached together with ligaments which make the wrist joint stable and limit excess movement.

What are the most common symptoms in wrist fracture?

Fracture of the radius is the most common type of wrist fracture. This happens during the fall when the end of the radius bone is pushed up and back relative to the rest of the forearm. This leads to a deformity of the forearm. Most commonly found symptoms in wrist fracture are:-

  • Acute pain– Pain in the wrist is the hallmark of a fracture. It is felt in the lower end of the forearm. It becomes worse by even slightest movement of the hand or rotation of the arm.
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling– Swelling is generally seen around the wrist and hand
  • Arm deformation– By raising the hand above the forearm, one can see the deformity of the wrist
  • Numbness– if the nerves are compressed or stretched, you will experience numbness in the fingers or thumb.
  • Bent fingers– This happens when the tendons in the wrist are trapped due to the fracture. This causes the fingers to bend and cannot be straightened.

The pain and swelling may continue for several days as your body heal gradually. The accident and the resulting fracture damage the muscles and tendons which take time to heal. Generally, when you go to your doctor, he advises you to put on a plaster or splints to help the bone heal on its own. Once your plaster or splints are removed, judging by the condition of the bone, he will advise you for physiotherapy to help recover quickly.

How can physiotherapy recover from wrist fracture?

Generally, when we receive patients with a recent wrist fracture, their casts have been cut off by their doctor. The pain and swelling have long subsided. The wrist is stiff due to the cast. The next steps in rehabilitation process are-

  • Getting the full range of motion as well as dexterity in the wrist, hand and arm.
  • Strengthening of muscles to prevent scope of future injury or recurrence of the wrist injury

You will perform various exercises under the supervision of our experienced therapists. The initial exercises do not involve putting any weight on your wrist. These generally include stretching of the wrist by moving it up or down. These help to gradually go away with the stiffness and bring range of motion.

Below are some of the exercises that you can do at home to begin with.

wrist fracture exercises

image credit- drfoot.co.uk

As your wrist heals, the exercises involve putting them under measured weight and stress to strengthen the muscles to help prevent future or recurrence of the injury.

Always remember that knowing the problem and its causes can go a long way in recovering quickly. If you are suffering from a wrist fracture, feel free to book an appointment with us by calling at 905-232-2202.You can also fill our online form here. We have an experienced team of physiotherapists who can not only help you recover quickly but also help prevent future occurrences. We have been present in Mississauga for over 14 years now and are conveniently located in the Square One area.

How to prevent foot pain while running

scheduling exercise in daily routineA common complaint among runners is foot discomfort, pain and even damage. There are a number of strategies that a runner can employ to keep his or her feet happy and healthy.

Proper Footwear

Keeping feel happy and healthy requires more than just throwing on any old pair of shoes when heading out for a run. Fitness and healthcare professionals alike recommend that a runner use shoes specifically designed for running. In addition, when selecting a running show, attention must be paid to the experience of a runner and his or her foot and ankle strength.

A person with more running experience and stronger feet and ankles can use more minimalistic running shoes. On the other hand, a person with less experience and less developed foot and ankle strength will need to gravitate towards a product with more structure.

A runner also needs to keep in mind that running footwear does not last forever. The average lifespan of a pair of running shoes is between three to five hundred miles. Once they reach that level of usage, they need to be replaced to optimize foot happiness and heath.

Proper Run Training

Another strategy to employ to enhance a runner’s feet happiness and health is proper running training. This includes gradually building up the distance associated with a running regimen. The reality is that the most common cause of feet and ankle injuries associated with running is too long of an individual run when initially beginning a regimen. Experts suggest no more than a 10 percent increase in distance with each passing week.

Cross Training

Focusing on running related training is not the only training strategy to employ when working to maintain happy and healthy feet. Cross training — fitness activities that compliment running — is also highly important.

The two key elements of complimentary cross training are stretching and core strength enhancement. Stretching should occur before and after every run. Core strength training can be part of an overall fitness regimen that can include weights or cycling, swimming or even Pilates.

General Foot Care

Proper foot care is also fundamental to keeping a runner’s feet healthy and happy. This includes the proper care of nails. They need to be appropriately cut and filed to ensure that they do not snag onto socks or cut into a runner’s skin. If foot related issues occur, a person needs to seek prompt professional care to minimize injury.

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