Plantar Fascilitis and How Physical Therapy Helps

Plantar Fascilitis and How Physical Therapy Helps

November 26, 2020

At the age of 40 years old, some of you may be experiencing a stabbing pain that runs across the bottom of your foot and your heel bone to your toes, well my dear is the symptoms of Plantar Fascilitis. This inflammation of tissues is also the most common cause of heel pain among people ages 40 to 60 years old, athletes especially runners, overweight people, and women who wear high heels and lack heel support.

Approximately 10% of the United States population experiences bouts of heel pain, which results in 1 million visits per year to medical professionals for treatment of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or when you get up after sitting. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during it. Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities. Changing the way you walk as a way to relieve plantar fasciitis pain might lead to foot, knee, hip, or back problems.

Here’s where Physical Therapy would come in handy:

Assessment of your gait (how you walk)

Your PT will always start with the assessment and evaluation in order to gauge the needed treatment of how this may impact your symptoms.

Stretching exercises

Your therapist will teach you some to improve the flexibility of your ankle and the plantar fascia most especially upon waking up and getting out of your bed. Achilles tendon stretching can be performed in a standing position with the affected leg placed behind the contralateral leg with the toes pointed forward.

Strengthening exercises

To improve the strength of supporting muscles. high-load strength training appears to be effective in the treatment of plantar fasciitis- which will be further discussed with you should you opt for Physical Therapy. High-load strength training may aid in a quicker reduction in pain and improvements in function.

Application of ice

This is the most common way to decrease pain and inflammation.

Iontophoresis

It is a process of transdermal drug delivery by the use of a voltage gradient on the skin.(a gentle way to deliver medication through the skin).

  • Taping of the foot for short-term relief.
  • Orthotics (shoe inserts) and supportive footwear

The main purpose why your PT will recommend then is to minimize abnormal foot motion, or to help support your arch, reducing stress to the plantar fascia.

Night splint

Night splints hold the ankle and foot in a position that keeps the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia slightly stretched. To help you maintain correct ankle and toe positions while sleeping.

Gait training

Your Physical therapist will make an analysis of muscle function to understand your deficits in running and walking and how to address them. They would always include exercises that are functional more directly treat how the body performs as a unit during activities and to help lessen symptoms and improve your walking ability.

Ever heard of Fascia mobilization? From the word itself, it is mobilizing the fascial adhesions on the plantar surface of the foot to improve pliability for weight-bearing demands. This way, the therapist can target primary restricted regions, he/she can also address the limitations in the movement of the ankle and foot.

Shoe recommendations

Patients who are using either low or high heels can develop plantar fasciitis, the choice of appropriate shoe wear can differ vastly. A therapist can not only evaluate how your foot accommodates to the ground, but also offer shoe recommendations to reduce pain with walking and standing

So the next time you feel something on your foot and ankle, be sure to have it checked. And if you know someone who’s diagnosed with having plantar fasciitis, maybe it’s time to consider Physical Therapy for pain management.

 

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PHYSICAL THERAPY
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CLINICAL PILATES
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SOFT TISSUE MOBILIZATION
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THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE
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