Can Physical Therapy Help Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects millions of people every year, causing foot pain. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the ball of the foot. This tissue can become inflamed or tear, leading to pain in the heel, arch, or ball of the foot. People diagnosed with plantar fasciitis may also have heel spurs, a bony growth that forms on the heel bone.
How to recognize plantar fasciitis
Pain is typically experienced during the first few steps in the morning, with prolonged standing, when standing up after siting for a long time, when walking barefoot, when climbing stairs, or during activities that involve running or jumping. Pain may be experienced as a dull to sharp or stabbing heel pain, an aching or burning sensation, or even stiffness.
Who is at risk of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis occurs most commonly in people in their 40s, but can affect people of all ages. Athletes or individuals who stand for long periods of time are most at risk for developing this condition.
How does PT help plantar fasciitis?
Physical therapy can be helpful in reducing the pain and improving mobility for people experiencing plantar fasciitis. Physical therapists are experts in movement and can provide hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement to help reduce pain and restore walking ability for those with plantar fasciitis. This is accomplished through stretching, exercise, taping or fitting for orthotics. As a part of our patient education, it is our goal to also address underlying biomechanics of plantar fasciitis, such as foot pronation, flat feet, and high arches, which can reduce peak plantar pressure and successfully treat plantar fasciitis.
Provided is a simple stretch that may be helpful if you are experiencing any symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Sit and cross your affected foot over your other knee. With your hand, stretch the toes back and hold. Remember, do not stretch into pain. Hold and repeat.
As always, please contact us at Conifer Physical Therapy if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis or any other form of pain or dysfunction. We would be happy to help you start your recovery off on the right foot! Give us a call at 303-838-7444.