Plantar fasciitis is a condition that can affect the feet, causing pain and stiffness in the heel and foot. Physical therapy can help relieve symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. In this article, we’ll discuss some common physical therapy exercises for plantar fasciitis, as well as tips for preventing and treating the condition.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a disorder that causes pain and inflammation in the feet and toes. The condition is caused by a deficiency in the ability of the plantar fascia to protect the heel bone.
When this happens, friction and pressure on the heel bone can cause pain and swelling.
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are the main treatments for plantar fasciitis. Physical therapy is helpful in reducing pain and improving function.
Plantar fasciitis has many treatment options that include rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Physical therapy will help relieve the pain and improve function, with exercises that strengthen leg muscles.
Physical therapy is an effective treatment option for plantar fasciitis, including rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Types of Plantar Fasciitis
There are several types of plantar fasciitis, each with its own symptoms and treatments. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types:
– Overuse foot pain: This is the most common type of plantar fasciitis, accounting for 85-95% of cases. People who experience this type of fasciitis typically overuse their feet by walking or running long distances or working at jobs that require lots of standing and walking.
– acute plantar fasciitis: This type occurs suddenly and is often accompanied by severe pain in the heel, ankle, and foot area. It can be fatal if not treated quickly. Acute plantar fasciitis is usually caused by a rupture or inflammation of the fascia (a thick band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot).
– chronic plantar fasciitis: This type develops over time and is often more gradual in onset. people with this form of plantar Fasciitis typically have more pain on the bottom (plantar) side of their feet than on the top (foot) side. The pain may come and go, but it usually becomes worse over time.
– mixed plantar fasciitis: This type is a combination of two or more types of plantar fasciitis.
– other forms: Other forms of plantar fasciitis include calcaneal apophysitis, retrocalcaneal apophysitis, and tenosynovitis.
Testing for Plantar Fasciitis
If you are experiencing heel pain, there are a few things you can do to help determine if plantar fasciitis is the cause. One test that can be done is to measure your foot’s pronation (rolling inward of the foot). If your foot is excessively pronated, this could indicate plantar fasciitis. Additionally, if you have ankle dorsiflexion (the ability to extend your ankle) problems, this could also be a sign of plantar fasciitis. By ruling out other causes of your heel pain and measuring these key movement abilities, you can begin treatment for your condition.
If plantar fasciitis is diagnosed, your doctor may recommend physical therapy and/or a boot. Surgery is also an option but is typically only recommended for severe cases.
If you suspect that you may have plantar fasciitis, consult with a doctor or physical therapist to rule out any other causes and begin treatment. Treatment may include stretches, exercises, and rest.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Physical therapy for plantar fasciitis is designed to improve the patient’s range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Often, exercises have been prescribed that focus on the heel, ankle, and foot muscles. Additionally, patients may be instructed on how to stretch properly. In many cases, medications are also prescribed to help relieve inflammation and pain.
If conservative treatment fails to improve symptoms, surgery may be considered. In some cases, plantar fasciitis can be treated with a heel lift or an operation to cut off the small band of tissue that is responsible for inflammation and pain.
Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to preventing plantar fasciitis, but following some conservative guidelines can help you reduce your risk.
First and foremost, stay active. Over time, sitting down all day can lead to problems with your feet and ankle joints. Instead, try to get up and move around every hour or so.
If you’re a runner, make sure to form a good running stride by keeping your heel on the ground as much as possible while lifting your toes off the ground. Don’t overstride, though; overstriding can cause you to put too much stress on your plantar fascia.
Also, make sure to wear shoes that fit well and support your feet. Too often, people choose shoes based on their style instead of what will best protect their feet. Make sure to visit a podiatrist for a proper fitting before buying new shoes.
And finally, if you experience pain in your foot or ankle when you walk or stand for long periods of time, see your doctor immediately. A doctor can perform an exam and recommend appropriate treatment for plantar fasciitis.