When is PT not appropriate for foot pain?
In some cases, patients presenting with hip pain will be referred to a different provider. While this is rare, we want to be certain we, as physical therapists, are able to help.
Some of the symptoms we look for include:
- Fever, chills, night sweats (increased risk of infection or cancer)
- Weight loss (concern of cancer or infection)
- Recent infection (increased risk of infection)
Medication-specific concerns include:
- Steroids (risk of osteoporosis)
- Anti-coagulants (risk of bleeding)
- Immunosuppressants (risk of infections)
The Ottawa Foot Rules were created to determine if a patient needs X-rays following an acute foot injury. A patient needs X-rays if there is:
- Pain in the midfoot zone (see image below)
- Any of the following:
- Bone tenderness along the base of the 5th metatarsal, or
- Bone tenderness at the navicular bone, or
- An inability to bear weight both immediately and in the emergency department for four steps
- Stiell, Ian G. “Implementation of The Ottawa Ankle Rules.” JAMA: The Journal of The American Medical Association, Vol. 271, No. 11, 1994, p. 827. American Medical Association (AMA), https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1994.03510350037034.
Plantar Fasciitis is extremely common in both the athletic and non-athletic populations.
Heel Fat Pad Syndrome is a condition that results from changes in elasticity and/or thickness of the heel fat pad.
Bunions, or medically referred to as Hallux Valgus, are a common deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot.