Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a structure in your foot used during walking and foot movement. Many different factors can contribute to plantar fasciitis developing. Shoes that don’t fit, foot structure, overuse, and walking on hard surfaces like concrete are all common causes of plantar fasciitis.
Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis are heel pain or pain in the arch of your foot. You may also have foot stiffness, swelling around your heel, and/or a tight Achilles tendon. Repetitive motion or built-up tension can trigger plantar fasciitis, so these symptoms can slowly develop over time. You may feel that walking or exercise are irritating the plantar fascia more, which can drastically affect your daily life. Fortunately, physical therapy for plantar fasciitis can help.
How can physical therapy help with common problems plantar fasciitis sufferers deal with?
A physical therapist can guide you through specific treatments for plantar fasciitis with the goal of helping you recover faster. They can focus on helping you build back strength in your feet and legs. In addition, physical therapy can help reduce the pain you feel in your foot so that you can get back to walking with more confidence. There are a range of treatment options to help you with different kinds of symptoms and problems associated with plantar fasciitis. Some of the most common plantar fasciitis-related problems PT can help you address include:
- If you also have leg pain
You may also have other issues occurring at the same time as your plantar fasciitis. For example, if you are overusing your muscles, you may experience leg pain with plantar fasciitis. A physical therapist can take into account both your other issues and plantar fasciitis and create a treatment program that helps you recover and strengthen both areas.
- If you feel pain when wearing your shoes for a long time
A physical therapist can give you recommendations for shoes and insoles. This can help you with pain that may be occurring because of your shoes. If you have very high arches or if you have flat feet, insoles that provide arch support may provide much-needed relief and support.
- If you feel pain during exercise or when walking
A physical therapist can also recommend proper exercises or form modifications to help with plantar fasciitis. For instance, if you are a long-distance runner, your physical therapist may recommend that you use swimming to reduce pressure on your feet while still getting cardio in.
- If you feel stiffness in your feet
In physical therapy, treatments like joint mobilization can increase mobility and flexibility in your feet and ankles. This can be beneficial if your pain or the other symptoms of plantar fasciitis are mild but you feel that you can’t move the same. Physical therapy can help you move better and also build strength back into the feet with exercises and stretches.
- If you have swelling around your foot and ankle
Swelling can make moving and exercising difficult, especially if you have swelling in your foot and ankle. Specific treatments like electrical stimulation can be used to address tissue injuries and reduce inflammation. Kinesiology taping can be used to support the muscles surrounding weakened joints like your ankle and foot to help improve circulation, reduce bruising, and relieve inflammation. A physical therapist can combine different kinds of treatments to maximize the effectiveness of treatment.
Lattimore PT can treat your plantar fasciitis
At Lattimore Physical Therapy, we have highly trained physical therapists versed in how to treat a wide range of conditions and symptoms. Our physical therapists will take into account your specific symptoms and goals with your plantar fasciitis and guide you through different treatments and exercises to get you back to your daily life.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.