Laurel Office 
14435 Cherry Lane Court Suite 100
Laurel, MD 20707
(301) 776-3665
Hours: Mon–Thurs: 7am to 8pm
Friday - 7am to 4pm

Odenton Office
1360 Blair Drive Suite D 
Odenton, MD 21113
(410) 672-8970
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 7am to 8pm
Friday - 7am to 5pm
Columbia Office
5999 Harper's Farm Road, Suite W100 
Columbia, MD 21144
More Info Coming Soon

Foot

Much like the hand, the foot is comprised of a large number of bones. This large number of bones provides more directions of movement and allows for more complex function. The bones are supported by a wide array of ligaments arranged in many different orientations. The ligaments contribute to the formation of an arch in the foot. In addition there are many small muscles within the foot that contribute to its’ stability and movement. The foot encounters a wide variety of positions and stresses and is designed to adapt as needed. When the foot is flat, the bones are more mobile. This allows for absorption of shock and for the foot to adapt to uneven surfaces. When the foot is pointed downward and turned inward, the ligaments of the foot become taught and make the foot more rigid. This is important to assist with pushing off during walking and running. The complexity of the foot and the requirement of daily use for function can make treatment of foot injuries a more difficult process.

Some common conditions of the foot:

Fractures: While there are a large number of bones in the foot, fractures tend to occur in the some areas more frequently. It is common to fracture the toes (phalanges) through some type of trauma, dropping something on them, hitting them on furniture, etc. The other common type of fracture is a stress fracture and usually occurs in the metatarsal bones (the long bones of the forefoot). Stress fractures usually result from higher intensity activity that increases the stress in the bones and leads to an eventual fatigue failure. Frequently a period of rest, and/or immobilization is required to allow the fracture to heal. Physical therapy may then assist with restoring lost motion and strength that accompanies immobilization.

Plantar Fasciitis: The plantar fascia is specialized connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that attaches to the heel bone (calcaneous) and runs up to the base of each toe. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of this connective tissue. Symptoms commonly present as a sharp pain at the heel with weight bearing, especially upon first rising in the morning. It may subside during the day as the bottom of the foot loosens up, or may be a constant ache. While traumatic plantar fasciitis can occur, it is more common a chronic problem due to excessive loading of the foot. In many cases the increased tension on the plantar fascia may contribute to the formation of a bone spur at the front of the heel. Symptoms may be present with or without a spur, and frequently a spur may be present but asymptomatic. In both cases physical therapy treatment is the same, reduction of pain and inflammation, and finding and modifying the cause of the excessive loading on the fascia. In cases where the structure of the foot varies from the norm (high arch, flat feet), generic or custom made orthotics may be beneficial in reducing the stress to the plantar fascia. Early recognition and treatment of plantar fasciitis is very important in preventing it from becoming a long term or reoccurring problem.

Bunions (hallux valgus): Hallux valgus is a condition where the big toe drifts towards the second toe stressing the inside of the metatarsal-phalangeal joint and creating chronic irritation to the joint. The result is a large bump on the base of the first toe that can create a significant amount of pain and have a profound affect on walking. Bunions often accompany flat feet. In cases where the condition is treated early, the inflammation may be resolved, and action can be taken to modify the position and stress on the foot to minimize further progression. In severe cases surgery may be required to fix the deformity and improve foot mechanics.

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