At TFC Podiatry in Point Cook, we see a lot of runners, a big part of what we do is rehabilitate running-related injuries.
When rehabilitating running-related injuries, we talk a lot about exercise rehabilitation, as well as strength and conditioning. We get a lot of questions around exercise rehabilitation for the foot and ankle and what that actually looks like in the context of a Podiatry clinic setting. Rehabilitating foot and ankle injuries is an important part of treating many of our patients.
When talking about exercise rehabilitation, in the context of running-related foot and ankle injuries, we are usually talking about 2 big things:
Range of Movement
When it comes to levels of conditioning these are the 2 BIG things that we look at improving for our running patients. There are of course many other forms of treatments used to improve performance and manage injuries but when it comes to exercise rehabilitation, these make up the bulk of the rehabilitation.
Building strength and improving range of movement through joints in the foot and ankle is a fairly complex area. There are lots of bones in the foot and ankle, and therefore lots of joints through the area. This means that assessing strength, range of motion, and balance through the foot and ankle is a complex task.
In the Podiatry clinic, we call this assessment a biomechanical assessment. This assessment will look at the way our foot and ankle moves in the clinic chair and on a treadmill while you’re running and walking. After this assessment, your Podiatrist will have a great understanding of the way your foot and ankle moves.
From this assessment your Podiatrist will likely help you start building a comprehensive strength and conditioning plan targeting your problematic areas and injuries. Your Podiatrist will be looking to improve the strength and range of movement available through the foot and ankle. The goal is to improve your condition as well as your long term foot and ankle health.
For runners, strength, and conditioning for the foot and ankle area should be targeted around a biomechanical assessment as previously described. For the injured runner, this will usually start with either some light stretching or some static holds. We design the plans to ensure the pain is well controlled and we are working towards improving foot function and fixing the pain. After a basic loading protocol has been established, this will be stepped up as the tissue capacity improves. This will usually mean more intense and specific loading programs for the problem area.
If you would like to start building your foot and ankle conditioning to treat or prevent running related injuries, book an appointment online today!