Foot/Ankle pain is one of the most common problems I have dealt with in my 20 years of
practice as a physical therapist. Most of these issues have a common root cause of tightness in
the calf. Your calf acts like a shock absorber when you walk, taking force off the structures of
your foot. The motion of your toes coming toward your shin is called “dorsiflexion” and it is
limited by a tight calf. This tightness changes the way forces are distributed through the foot and can cause several structures to become inflamed.
Some common problems are: plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, etc. For very acute
cases, early stretching alone can resolve the issue. Chronic cases can require injections and even
surgery. Physical therapy addresses the problem by trying to correct the mechanics and re-
establish normal motion.
If you are having foot and ankle pain, talk to your doctor about physical therapy with
Travis Smith, PT