What is plantar fasciitis? When should I talk to a PT?
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes. It can cause severe heel pain, especially when walking or running. The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain and tenderness on the bottom of the foot, usually around the heel area. Other symptoms may include swelling and stiffness in the heel or arch area or a burning sensation in the same area.
Causes of plantar fasciitis
The cause of plantar fasciitis is usually overuse or strain on the foot. Common causes include running, dancing, standing for long periods of time, or wearing shoes that do not fit properly. It is more common in people who are older, overweight, or have a tight Achilles tendon.
Treating plantar fasciitis can include rest and ice therapy, physical therapy exercises such as stretching and strengthening of the calf muscles, orthotic devices to support the arch of the foot, steroid injections, and night splints to keep the plantar fascia stretched. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to repair the plantar fascia.
How effective is physical therapy for treating plantar fasciitis?
Physical therapy can be very effective in treating plantar fasciitis. The main goal of physical therapy is to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the foot and calf, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. Physical therapists may use a variety of techniques such as manual stretching, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or taping to reduce inflammation and pain. Physical therapists also educate patients on proper footwear, stretching techniques, and exercises to prevent the condition from returning. Research studies have found that physical therapy is often successful in improving pain and function for those suffering from plantar fasciitis.
The best way to prevent plantar fasciitis is by wearing supportive shoes and avoiding activities that cause excessive strain on your feet. Resting when necessary, stretching before exercise, and icing your feet after activity can also help reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
The key to treating and preventing plantar fasciitis is early diagnosis and treatment. With proper care and attention, you can help keep your feet healthy and free from pain.
By understanding what plantar fasciitis is, how it is caused, and the best treatment options available, you can ensure that your feet are well taken care of. If you experience any of the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis, make sure to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
When should you see a medical professional for plantar fasciitis?
If your symptoms do not improve with home treatments, it is important to see your doctor or physical therapist. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical care as soon as possible:
- Severe heel pain that does not improve with rest or stretching
- Heel pain that wakes you up at night
- Heel swelling
- Signs of infection
- Pain that radiates to the calf
- Inability to put any weight on the foot
It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. A doctor can rule out any other conditions that may be causing your symptoms, as well as provide treatment options to reduce pain and improve function. And in Baltimore, MD, you can see a physical therapist as your first line of care.
The bottom line is that physical therapy can be an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis. It is important to seek medical attention if home treatments do not improve your symptoms, as there may be other medical issues causing the pain in your foot. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can often find relief from this painful condition.
With timely treatment, you can help reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis and get back to living your life free from pain.
1. “What Is Plantar Fasciitis?” American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, www.aaos.org/what-is-plantar-fasciitis/.
2. “Plantar Fasciitis Treatment & Symptoms – Foot Health | Dr. Scholl’s®.” Dr. Scholl’s, www.drscholls.com/conditions/plantar-fasciitis/.
3. “Plantar Fasciitis: Symptoms & Treatment | National Foot Health Assessment 2020 | NAFRAC.” National Foot Health Assessment 2020, https://www.nafrac.org/plantar-fasciitis.
4. “When Should You See a Doctor for Plantar Fasciitis?” Foot Pain Relief, www.footpainreliefguide.com/when-to-see-a-doctor/.
5. “Plantar Fasciitis Treatment: How Physical Therapy Can Help.” PT Solutions, 24 Apr. 2018, www.ptsolutions.com/physical-therapy-blog/plantar-fasciitis-treatment/.