What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Well, Plantar fasciitis (or heel pain) is commonly traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. It is caused by inflammation of the connective tissue that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. Once the ligament gets weak and swollen, you will begin to feel pain on the bottom of the foot.
Plantar Fasciitis is Heel Pain
There are several reasons that this chronic injury can occur. Recent weight gain and increased activity level often start an episode. A person who has been mostly sedentary, who walks a lot at Disney World for 3 days is a prime candidate. A change of shoes from well supporting walking or athletic shoes to floppy sandals can do it. When the arch of the foot collapses or flattens, the Plantar Fascia is stretched, causing the injury where it attaches to the heel bone. Finally, conditions which cause generalized increased inflammation, like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can cause this.
Check out a more indepth explanation about Plantar Fasciitis from other articles we have posted. We know that this can cause extreme discomfort and perhaps even prevent you from doing all of the different things that you love, but here at Family Foot and Ankle Specialists, we have got you covered!
What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy aims to help you function, live, and move better all while easing pain that you may feel. There are various reasons why someone may want/need to try physical therapy; relieving pain or improvement in movement or ability. At physical therapy your progress is recorded in order to be able to best serve your needs as you continue in physical therapy. Some equipment you may use are treadmills and bikes. People who may need physical therapy are those who may be recovering from a sports related injury or rehab from an injuiry or surgery. These two directly correlate with foot realted issues but there are many more reasons why one might need to go to physical therapy.
So, Can Physical Therapy Help Plantar Fasciitis?
Yes, after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, there are many treatments and therapies that we ask you to begin at home. For faster results, we recommend a physical therapist to guide you through your recovery. During physical therapy, they will focus on decreasing the pain and inflammation as well as preventing recurrence.
- Offer Relief at the time of that visit
- Physical therapists can continue with the Kinesiology taping that may have been applied at your first podiatry visit. This taping takes stress off of the plantar fascia to give immediate relief and allow the fascia to heal. Physical therapists also offer many anti-inflammatory treatments including ice therapy.
- Prevent recurrence
- Physical therapists can offer additional biomechanical evaluations to determine the cause of your plantar fasciitis. This will allow them to modify your activities so that you can get back to your daily routines. Many offices also offer ultrasound therapy for damaged ligaments and muscles. They can provide massage to break up tension in the soft tissues and stretching exercises catered to your daily activities.
The recommended amount of physical therapy for initial diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is 2-3 times a week. So it is best to find an office near you. If you have any questions about finding a physical therapist or if you need a referral, please call us at (732) 968-3833