Physical therapists and podiatrists offer different types of treatment for foot and ankle conditions. At Gentle Touch podiatric care, we have expert physical therapists and highly trained podiatrists who work together to find the right course of treatment for you – to get you back on your feet faster and pain free.
How Our Podiatrist & Physical Therapy Team Work Together
Physical therapists work to restore your full-body range of motion, meaning that they assess each part of your musculoskeletal system to see if it’s functioning optimally, and make adjustments as needed. They utilize a range of tools and methods to do so – including, but not limited to: targeted exercises, joint manipulation and stretches, dry needling, etc.
While physical therapists do not specialize in one area of the body like podiatrists do, they can often influence a podiatrist’s treatment plan or carry it out. Sometimes, foot and ankle issues can stem from gait issues – making adjustments to the knees, hip, or even spine necessary with specialized exercises and stretches.
In our facility, we believe in a well-rounded physical therapy practice. Our podiatrist works closely with our physical therapy team to give you the best treatment possible.
Podiatrists specialize in treatment of the foot and ankle. They will evaluate the overall structure of your foot, diagnose any condition you have, and recommend treatment (which can include referring you to physical therapy).
Podiatrists can tell you if your recovery has reached the point where you can utilize active recovery, or if you need to immobilize your foot. While physical therapists should be able to tell you this as well, podiatrists will be able to order imaging, along with other diagnostic tests, and analyze the results. Podiatrists will be able to offer injections, suggest surgical intervention and wound care as needed.
Differences in Treatment
Physical therapists will generally work with the body to exercise and strengthen certain joints or muscle groups to increase flexibility or stability and to restore function. Podiatrists, on the other hand, may recommend orthopedic footwear that will slowly adapt your foot shape and function over time, and may even at some point recommend surgery.
Surgery isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If it is needed, our team will use measures to have as little impact as possible, and will work closely with our physical therapy team to ensure you have a quick and effective recovery. Therapy can completely improve your outcome from any podiatric surgery.
If you’re experiencing difficulty walking and have foot and ankle pain, make your appointment with Gentle Touch Podiatric Care today for your assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan.