Plantar Fasciitis Physical Therapy Treatment
Andy Tsui was my physical therapist who helped me rehab from a lower back disc injury. Andy was tremendously helpful in helping me change my movement patterns – can’t say enough about him – awesome experience ( but you’ll obviously need to put in the work 🙂
Ashley has been great; she is the first person in years who has managed to help me make some progress with my back pain.
Whole body wellness has changed both how my injuries feel and my general mindset for strengthening and maintaining my body and mind. I feel like this experience has taught me how to prevent injuries moving forward.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
One of the most common sources of heel pain that we encounter in physical therapy is plantar fasciitis. The word itself implies inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot during weight bearing activities. In the PT clinic, we see both acute micro-tearing of the plantar fascia as well as chronic build up of scar tissue from repetitive injury. When the plantar fascia becomes irritated, inflamed, or weakened by injury, every step can be painful.
Physical therapy should be an integral part of the treatment plan for podiatrists, orthopedists, and family medicine doctors that encounter a patient with plantar fasciitis. Physicians often treat plantar fasciitis with orthotics, NSAIDs, and/or corticosteroid injections. These treatments can certainly be helpful for patients but do not directly treat the two biggest risk factors of plantar fasciitis, limited ankle dorsiflexion ROM and a high BMI. Early assessment and conservative intervention is key to avoiding a long term injury and more aggressive treatments like injections or surgery.
Signs & Symptoms
There are a number of risk factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis including limitations in dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) in the ankle, improper shoe wear, and inordinately high or low arches. Studies have shown that limited dorsiflexion and high body-mass index (BMI) in particular are the two biggest risk factors in the development of plantar fasciitis.
- Pain with the first step in the morning
- Discomfort in the heel or arch with walking after prolonged sitting
- Sensation of a lump or rock in the shoe
Plantar fasciitis is a very common injury seen in runners, accounting for 8-10% of all running related injuries. PTs can help to quickly alleviate the primary symptoms in the foot as well as educate patients on any compensatory movement patterns that may lead to secondary complications like knee, hip, or back pain.
Patients often ignore these symptoms because it is not unusual for the pain to quickly go away after the first few steps in the morning or after the first minute or two of a run. However, these symptoms will worsen without getting proper treatment. PTs can help to quickly alleviate the primary symptoms in the foot as well as educate patients on any compensatory movement patterns that may lead to secondary complications like knee, hip, or back pain.
- Joint mobilization, manual therapy therapy, and myofascial release are common techniques to release or inhibit an active trigger point.
- Video run/gait analysis to hone in on specific movement changes to decrease chances of re-injury
- Custom exercises in conjunction with heel and quad range of motion are also effective at reducing plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Better Physical Therapy Experience
At Therapydia, our physical therapists offer one-on-one, hands-on plantar fasciitis treatment. You’ll spend your entire with one of our expert therapists – we won’t hand you off to a PT assistant or aide. We’ll help you understand what’s causing your pain, what you can do to relieve your pain and ways to prevent reoccurring injuries. Best of all, you’re covered. With Direct Access, you can see a physical therapist without a doctor’s prescription and Therapydia works with and provides billing for most PPO insurance groups and Medicare. We also accept cash-based payments.
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Schedule Your Appointment
Start your physical therapy treatment with Therapydia
(415) 765-1502 (Market)
(415) 799-3300 (One Embarcadero Center)