Knee, Ankle & Foot Pain or Impairment

After an injury to the foot or knee, many people continue to walk or run, causing further inflammation, which produce additional adhesions. MRT® is essential in clearing away these adhesions, allowing the lower extremity injury to be restored more quickly and completely for optimal function. Patients can then exercise and incorporate stretching routines without triggering more inflammation—resulting in a long lasting recovery.

A patient with knee, ankle, and foot pain does a squat.

Many patients with foot or knee injuries have an experience like this: “My foot started hurting and I went to get treatment for it. I was really good and did everything they told me to do and it felt better after a while. But I started running again, and now it hurts off and on. It is driving me crazy. They tell me to keep stretching but I don’t know how to stretch any more than I already am. I am not sure I will be able to keep running.”

Many, if not most, of the problems in the foot are associated with moderate to severe inflammation that creates ongoing scar tissue after the original injury has healed. This includes problems like plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, recovery from foot and ankle sprains and fractures, shin splints, metatarsalgia, recovery from peroneal tendon repair, and arthritis. Scar tissue in the soft tissues of the foot, ankle and calf creates poor circulation, stiffness, pain, poor muscle response, tingling, and other frustrating and challenging experiences. Foot and ankle problems persist since scar tissue within the tightly confined space of this area is particularly troublesome. MRT is highly effective with these conditions.

Mettler Institute routinely treats these lower limb conditions with excellent and lasting results:

Achilles Tendonitis

Do you suffer from pain and functional limitations in your Achilles tendon? Do you wonder what causes this and, more importantly, what do to about it? Perhaps the most under-appreciated cause of Achilles problems is poor foot control and/or footwear. Another common cause is day-to-day use and strain put on the tendon with walking, stair climbing and prolonged standing. Add sport and recreational activities and this tendon can become strained and very painful. A major contributor to injury is a build-up of adhesions in the soft tissue, which prohibit the tendon from healing or moving properly. Additionally, the Achilles tendon has poor blood supply, making injuries slow to heal. By releasing adhesions formed as a result of trauma or chronic overuse, circulation and mobility to the tendon and surrounding tissues can be restored. MRT helps to accomplish this important treatment concept which speeds treatment time and improves overall outcomes.

Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries to the foot and ankle. The most common sprain occurs over the outside of the ankle and to a lesser degree the inside of the ankle. Symptoms include swelling, bruising, pain and redness and these symptoms often can last for days or weeks. Some people have ankle sprains more often and some do not. It is known that once a person has one sprain, they are more likely to have another one on the same ankle. Many times this can be avoided with prompt and proper physical therapy intervention. The key is to decrease the swelling, increase mobility and movement, and prevent tissue and muscle tightness. If one of these areas are not addressed (most often the tissue tightness), then chance of re-injury is greater. At the Mettler Institute, our expert physical therapists utilize manual therapy and MRT, functional exercise and other modalities to improve recovery and function.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

Why does the ACL tear and is there anything that you could have done to prevent the tear? The tear occurs when too much force is applied to the ligament either through movement or through a direct hit. A person cannot accurately predict if and when a tear will happen, but they can help prevent tears. Making sure that the muscles in the core, hip and legs all work together and efficiently will decrease the likelihood of an ACL injury or tear.

If a tear actually occurs then physical therapy post-surgically or for those who do not have surgery is key. Ensuring that range of motion, strength and mobility return are the highlight of recovery and tissue tightness and adhesions can limit one or all of these things. The Mettler Institute combines the most up-to-date research and protocols with our specialized manual therapy treatment to maximize recovery and achieve a full return to activity, regardless of your chosen path of healing.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (Runner’s/Jumper’s Knee)

This syndrome is very common among runners and active people. The IT Band is a long tendon that extends from the hip to the outside of the knee. Pain and symptoms occur up near the hip and more often near the outside of the knee. It is often referred to as “jumper’s knee” due to the pain experienced with repeated bending/straightening and impact to the knee. The pain can be sharp and severe and often starts out as a slight discomfort and progresses to the point of not being able to run without significant pain. Over time, repetitive stress and poor muscle function leads to tightening of the tendon and surrounding tissues. Physical therapy at Mettler Institute uses MRT to release the tissue tightness. Once this tightness is re-formed back to normal, exercise and proper lower body mechanics are used to help return to normal function.

Patellar Tendonitis (Runner’s/Jumper’s Knee)

Do you experience pain in the front of your knee below your knee cap and it doesn’t seem to go away? You may be experiencing “jumper’s knee” or patellar tendonitis, an irritation to the tendon that starts at the knee cap and extends to the top of your lower leg. Often this pain is sharp and limits many activities to include but not limited to walking, stairs, kneeling and jogging. The pain starts off slowly and can progressively worsen. The causes of this irritation are often a result of muscle weakness and imbalance and a build-up of inflammation in the tendon. It often does not respond well to stretching and is temporarily helped with ice and wearing a knee strap. The key is to release the tightened and irritated tissue and combine that with carefully crafted strengthening and stretching. Our team of physical therapists uses MRT and proven functional exercise tools to hasten the recovery and return to previously enjoyed activities.

Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)

Why does your heel hurt when you get up in the morning and take your first couple of steps? Do you have pain in the heel if you sit for long periods and then take a step? You are probably suffering from plantar fasciitis which is an irritation to the bottom part of your heel. Many people develop this condition as a result of poor foot mechanics, poor foot wear, increased weight to carry around, or a tightening of the structures that form the arch and attach to the heel. The pain is quite sharp at times and can become worse over a short period of time. The key is to address the problem quickly and correctly. Many people have brief success with icing and calf stretching, but often, this does not keep the pain from returning. The long-term success lies in correcting for the adhesions and tight tissue that develops in the arch and heel while icing and stretching. At Mettler Institute, we use our unique manual therapy intervention to release the adhesions and then facilitate proper self-care and stretching to prevent further injury or future episodes.

Shin Splints

Are you one of those people who is eager to get back into exercise and healthier habits only to be slowed up by pain in your shin? You are not alone and it is not uncommon for the muscles and tissues along the shin to be an area of pain and discomfort. Much of the pain is brought on by too much activity or activity too soon and the muscles that attach to the shin often cannot keep up. Soft tissues and muscles begin to strain and build up adhesions which create pain and poor function. This leads to a slow and gradual worsening of the symptoms often ending when the pain is too severe to allow any activity beyond what is necessary. If the pain is not dealt with early, several problems can develop ranging from a stop of activity because of pain to a possible fracture of the bone. Early intervention is the key and the physical therapists at Mettler Institute can help you determine the plan best for you. Optimal treatment is to reduce adhesions and return to activity progressively and controlled. Our team will help with this approach.