Ankle Physical Therapy

We can help you with your ankle physical therapy!
We can help you with your ankle physical therapy!

Ankle Physical Therapy

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

Longevity Physical Therapy St. Augustine

This is the first part in a 3 part series covering ankle physical therapy for an ankle injury. These are exercises you can do at home but it is recommended that you see a podiatrist and physical therapist to start your recovery. Longevity Physical Therapy St. Augustine is the preferred physical therapy practice of Dr. Thomas LeBeau and St. Augustine Foot and Ankle.
The ankle joint is one of the major weight bearing structures in the body. As a result of this function and partly due to its structure, the ankle is the most commonly injured joint. Every year, an estimated 2 million people are seen by a physician for ankle sprains, strains, and fractures.

Injury to an ankle can increase the risk of re-injury to as much as 40 to 70%. For this reason it is important to strengthen and stretch your ankle with ankle physical therapy after injury to help decrease your risk.

Ankle physical therapy should be done slowly and carefully. Start with non-weight bearing exercises, moving to resisted exercises, and then weight bearing activities as your ankle recovers. In this 3 part series we will cover a progression of exercise types that will be the key to the effectiveness of ankle physical therapy. These exercise types are as follows: Range of motion, Isometric, Resistance, Partial Weight Bearing, Full Weight Bearing, and Balance.

Range of Motion Exercises – Non Weight Bearing
Use these ankle physical therapy exercises to increase ankle range of motion after injury.

All exercises (except The Alphabet) should be performed while sitting on the floor or another flat surface with your legs fully extended, knees straight, out in front of you. Each exercise should be performed 10 times in a row.

Dorsiflexion

  1. Moving only your ankle, point your foot back toward your nose (while keeping knees straight). Continue until you feel discomfort or can’t tilt it back any further.
  1. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  2. Return to neutral position.

 

Plantar flexion

  1. Moving only your ankle, point your foot forward (while keeping knees straight). Continue until you feel discomfort or can’t move it any further.
  2. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  3. Return to neutral position.

Inversion

  1. Moving only your ankle and keeping your toes pointed up, turn your foot inward, so the sole is facing your other leg. Continue until either discomfort is felt or you can no longer turn your foot inward.
  2. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  3. Return to neutral position.

Eversion

  1. Moving only your ankle and keeping your toes pointed up, turn your foot outward, away from your other leg. Continue until either discomfort is felt or you can no longer turn your foot outward.
  2. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  3. Return to neutral position.

The Alphabet

  1. Sit on a chair with your foot dangling in the air or on a bed with your foot hanging off the edge.
  2. Draw the alphabet one letter at a time by moving the injured ankle and using the great toe as your “pencil.”

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle and Longevity Physical Therapy we will do everything we can to help with your ankle injury and get you back to your regular activity. If you suspect you have an ankle injury, require ankle physical therapy, or are feeling pain in your ankle or foot of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel  free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

Diabetic Foot Care

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A specific diabetic foot care regiment is key to managing your diabetes.

Tips for Diabetic Foot Care

Thomas A. LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

 Diabetes will spell bad news for your feet if you are not aware of the issues that can be caused or how to recognize them. A specific diabetic foot care regiment is key to managing your diabetes. Diabetes can reduce the circulation in your feet, depriving your feet of oxygen and nutrients. As a result blisters, sores, and cuts will take longer to heal or may not heal at all. Nerve damage caused by diabetes called peripheral neuropathy can be the source of numbness in your feet. When you are unable to feel cuts and blisters they are more likely to become infected and become sores. When you are unable to feel those sores and they go untreated the sores can become deeply infected, and lead to amputation.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can also cause sharp pain in your feet. You may become excruciatingly sensitive to the lightest touch, like the sheets on your bed. Standing and walking may become completely unbearable. Fortunately, a little TLC goes a long way in preventing foot problems from diabetes.

Here are a few tips that can help:

1)      Check both feet daily

2)      Wash with warm water (not hot)

3)      Wear properly fitting shoes

4)      Avoid walking barefoot

5)      Be aware of sensation in your feet (or lack of it)

6)      Do low or non-impact exercise

7)      Fix structural issues like bunions, corns, and hammertoes

8)      Get fitted for and use a custom orthotic

9)      Control your blood sugar

If you notice a change in the sensation in your feet (particularly numbness), have any unexplained pain, or structural issues like bunions, corns, or hammertoes get to a podiatrist as soon as possible. Diabetic foot care is paramount to anyone suffering from diabetes. The sooner you begin monitoring your feet and get on a diabetic foot care regiment the better and more likely it will be to avoid serious complications.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help you with your diabetic foot care and keep your feet healthy and functioning. If you are a diabetic please  give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

 

Diabetes: Check Your Feet!

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Diabetes: Check Your Feet!

Diabetes: Check Your Feet!

Thomas A. LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

When you have diabetes, you need to examine your feet every day. Be sure to look at all areas of your feet, including your toes. It may be helpful to use a handheld mirror or a magnifying mirror attached to the bathroom wall near the baseboard to inspect your feet. If you can’t see well, have someone else use this Diabetes Foot Checklist to examine your feet for you. Using this Diabetes Foot Checklist helps you remember to examine all areas of your feet.

Diabetes Foot Checklist

Check your feet for:

What to do if you notice a problem

Skin color:

  • Red
  • Blue or black
  • Redness could point to irritation from shoes or overheating or other early signs of a problem. Do what you can to discover the cause and fix it, such as wearing shoes that fit better.
  • Blue or black areas can mean bruising or blood flow problems. Call your doctor to report them.
Patches where hair is missing Bald patches may mean irritation from shoes or a blood flow problem. Show the areas to your doctor during your next visit.
Blister
  • Try to discover the cause of the blister. Friction or rubbing against your skin causes blisters. You may need new shoes.
  • Do not break the blister or open it yourself. Leave the skin over the blister intact.
  • Cover the blister with a sterile, nonstick dressing and paper tape.
  • Call your doctor if any blister becomes red, oozes, or is not healing after 4 days.
Break in your skin
  • Gently wash the area with mild soap; blot it dry and cover it with a sterile, nonstick dressing.
  • Call your doctor if any break in the skin becomes red, oozes, or is not healing after 4 days.

Note: Examine the underside of your toes and the area between the toes for breaks in the skin.

Calluses (hardened areas of skin) and corns (pressure sores, usually found on or between toes) Show the area to your doctor at your next visit. This is very important.

  • Do not use products sold in drugstores to remove corns, calluses, or other problems.
  • Do not use a pumice stone on calluses unless your doctor or foot doctor (podiatrist) shows you how to use it properly.
  • Do not cut, file, or do anything that may break the skin on your feet.
Peeling skin or tiny blisters between your toes or cracking and oozing of the skin This may be athlete’s foot. Treating athlete’s foot early can prevent serious foot infections. See the topic Athlete’s Foot for more information.

  • To prevent athlete’s foot, wear shower shoes or bathing shoes when you use public showers or pools. Otherwise, keep feet dry.
  • Keep feet clean. Wear clean socks every day.
  • Do not treat athlete’s foot without first seeing your doctor or podiatrist.
Moisture between your toes Dry between your toes well. Moisture between your toes provides a good place for bacteria and fungi to grow, causing infection.
Feelings of numbness, burning, or “pins and needles” If you have new numbness or tingling in your feet that does not go away after changing position, call your foot doctor.
Sore (ulcer) Do not try to treat a foot ulcer at home. Call your foot doctor immediately. If you check your feet regularly, you usually will see a problem before it becomes an ulcer.
Ingrown toenail Do not treat an ingrown toenail at home. Call your foot doctor for an appointment.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help you manage your diabetes and keep your feet healthy. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms in the checklist above or are feeling pain in your foot or lower leg of any kind please come see us as soon as possible. Give us a call to set an appointment at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

Ankle Sprain: 101

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We can help you recover from an ankle sprain!

Ankle Sprain: 101

Thomas A. LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

An ankle sprain is an injury to one of the ligaments in your ankle. Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect our bones. Ligaments are flexible, however, all it takes is a sudden twist for them to stretch too far or tear.

Ankle sprains are graded according to severity. A Grade I sprain indicates ligaments that are stretched but not torn. A Grade II sprain indicates that ligaments are partially torn. Finally, a Grade III sprain is a fully torn ligament.

Ankle sprains grade also may indicate your discomfort or mobility. People with Grade I sprains may be able to walk without pain or a limp. Those with Grade III sprains are often in such pain that they can’t walk at all. Grade II sprains usually fall somewhere in between.

You might get a sprain if your foot lands on the ground at an angle. Ankle sprains often occur during intense physical activity or sports such as basketball, volleyball, running, jumping, or football. Ankle sprains are not limited to these activities and can happen in everyday activity.

At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will diagnose your ankle sprain by starting with a physical exam. We may also take X-rays to rule out broken bones or take an MRI. An MRI will show details of the ligament damage. We have an extremity MRI here at the office that is comfortable and does not require you to lay in a tube!

If you suspect you have an ankle sprain, here are a few tips treating it before you get to our office:

  • Rest the ankle – Stay off your feet! Keep weight off your ankle. If the pain is severe, you may need crutches until it goes away.
  • Ice your ankle – Ice will help reduce pain and swelling. Ice your ankle for 15-20 minutes every two to three hours for two days, or until the swelling is improved. After that, ice it once a day until you have no other symptoms.
  • Compress your ankle – Use an ACE bandage to keep down swelling. Start wrapping at your toes and work back towards your leg.
  • Elevate your ankle – Keep your ankle elevated when you are sitting or laying down.
  • Use braces or ankle stirrups – Braces will give your ankle support.
  • Take anti-inflammatory painkillers – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil or Aleve will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs have side effects, like stomach upset and an increased risk of ulcers. They are best taken with food, and they should be used only occasionally, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
  • Get to the St. Augustine Foot and Ankle as soon as possible!

How quickly your ankle sprain heals depends on how severe your injury is. Many people recover in four to six weeks. People heal at different rates. Your age and general health may affect the pace of your recovery.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help you with your sprained ankle and get you back to your regular activity. If you suspect you have sprained your ankle or are feeling pain in your ankle of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com