Lower Extremity Pain & Injuries
You Shouldn’t Have to Live with Pain
Pain in the lower extremities can be complicated. Hip pain can be related to stiffness in the foot. Pain in the front of the knee can stem from weakness in the hips and stiffness in the ankle. This is why many people have bad experiences seeking treatment.
Don’t lose hope. Your pain can be treated with the right care.
At Life’s Work, we are experts at treating all types of injury, from chronic pain, to surgery-related pain, to sports injuries and more. Our approach is different than most physical therapy clinics, which allows us to succeed where others fail.
Our Approach to Pain in Lower Extremities
The therapists at Life’s Work don’t just look at the area that hurts. We thoroughly examine how your body is functioning as a whole when you stand, sit, and walk. We’re exceptional at identifying the underlying issues that cause pain. Then, we develop a personalized treatment plan around your health goals.
“Therapy has transformed my walking, posture, and balance—not to mention realigning my ankle and foot.”Barbara S.
Hip Pain and Injuries
Injuries and even regular aging can cause hip pain. Please know that surgery is not your only option. We successfully treat all types of hip pain with a combination of manual therapy, home exercises, and lifestyle changes.
“I have had to see a number of physical therapists over the years. Life’s Work is different — and better.”Ed S.
Osteoarthritis happens when protective tissue on the ends of our bones wears down—often as we age. This can cause limping and pain all around the hip, including the groin.
Front of hip pain
Anterior impingement happens when the femur can’t rest properly in the hip socket and slips slightly forward, usually due to an imbalance in supportive tissues. This is painful, especially when walking and getting up from sitting.
Hip surgery, including total joint replacement, normally involves some pain. For the best possible recovery, physical therapy is important both before and after surgery.
You have little fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles on the side of your hip. If they get inflamed, your hip might hurt, swell, or feel stiff.
Hip clicking or clunking
Hip clicking or clunking sensations are common, especially among active people. There are many possible causes, so a thorough evaluation is crucial.
Muscle sprains and strains
There are many soft tissues around your hip that you can sprain or strain, including hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteals.
Pain in the butt
Pain in your butt often comes from the piriformis muscle, which connects your lower spine and thigh bone. It can also irritate nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, and tingling in your leg.
Labral tears of the hip
You have a ring of cartilage in your hip socket called a labrum. Sports injuries or falls can tear it, causing pain and stiffness in the hip or groin, or even a clicking or catching feeling.
Knee Pain and Injuries
Knee pain can come from many sources: a traumatic event, repeated stress, problems with the mechanics of your joint, and more. It can also be referred pain that stems from a hip or spine problem. We excel at correctly diagnosing and treating even the most complex knee pain.
“This is the single best healthcare experience I’ve had in Portland. My PT has a level of compassion I have honestly NEVER encountered with any healthcare professional.”Mikaela E.
Physical therapy can help you prepare for and recover more quickly from any knee surgery, including total joint surgery.
Your meniscus is a protective cartilage pad between your shin and thigh bones. A traumatic injury or even aging can cause a meniscus tear.
Tendonitis and bursitis
Inflammation of your knee tendons or bursa (fluid-filled protective pads) can limit mobility and cause pain and swelling, often in the areas right around your kneecap.
Four ligaments in the knee are prone to tears: the anterior cruciate, medial collateral, lateral collateral, and posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL, MCL, LCL, and PCL). Athletes are at a higher risk.
Jumper’s & runner’s knee
Both are common sports injuries. Jumper’s knee typically describes trauma to the patellar tendon (which connects the kneecap and shin). Runner’s knee is an injury to the cartilage under the kneecap.
If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you may notice swollen knees, a stiffer gait, and weaker, less flexible muscles. All of this can cause pain.
Front of knee pain
Patellofemoral syndrome causes pain around the kneecap, which intensifies with activities like descending stairs, running, squatting, or sitting for long periods.
Foot and Ankle Pain and Injuries
The physical therapists at Life’s Work are experts at treating even severe and unconventional ankle pain. Whether it was caused by a sprain, came on insidiously over time, or is related to a surgery, we’ll get to the bottom of it together.
Ankle and foot sprains
When you fall or step in an unnatural position, it stresses the ligaments and musculature around your ankle and foot. Pain, swelling, bruising, and decreased range of motion are common.
Fractures and stress fractures
Broken bones can result from trauma, osteoporosis, or repeated stress. Stress fractures (small cracks) are caused by overuse, and are especially common among athletes.
Big toe pain
This can come from types of arthritis, including gout, which causes sudden, severe pain. It can also be caused by a ligament sprain called turf toe, or a bunion, which looks like a bump at the outside base of your toe.
Most people feel shin splints along the front and insides of their shin. This often happens to athletes who increase stress to their lower legs too quickly.
Tendonitis and tendonosis
Inflammation (tendonitis) and chronic damage (tendonosis) can happen around the ankle and foot. Most people feel pain and tenderness right near a joint.
Fallen arches and gait dysfunction
Some people who have flat (“fallen”) arches experience pain and difficulty walking properly. Most gait problems have a wide variety of possible causes.
Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis
The Achilles tendon attaches the muscles of your calf to your heel. Damage to this tendon can cause inflammation, pain, weakness, and limited range of ankle motion.
Your plantar fascia is a band of tissue on the bottom of your foot that connects your toes and heel. When inflamed, it causes tenderness and stabbing pain, especially with your first step in the morning.