Plantar fasciitis is a particularly painful and debilitating foot problem. Plantar fascia pain develops when the thick band of tissue located on the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed and irritated. This causes a sharp, often severe pain in the heel when weight is placed on the affected foot. Not only does this create mobility difficulties, but compensating for the pain by limping can lead to secondary symptoms in other body parts. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options available, including physical therapy.
Physical therapy can help reduce your pain and rehabilitate the injured foot. Additionally, your physical therapist can advise you of ways to prevent future occurrences of plantar fascia pain. Initially, you may be asked to keep weight off the foot as much as possible until the inflammation subsides. Then, your physical therapist will guide you through a series of stretches and exercises. For example, while seated, raise the affected foot and rest it on the opposite leg. Use the hand on the affected side to gently stretch the toes back toward the shin. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
It is possible to stretch the plantar fascia while you sleep. Consider wearing a night splint, which holds the affected foot in a stretched position. Night splints also keep the Achilles tendon in a lengthened state.
A sports medicine doctor may recommend modifying your footwear. Choose supportive shoes with plenty of cushioning in the heel area. You might also use over-the-counter (OTC) or custom-made orthotics to add extra cushioning, particularly if you have flat feet or high arches.
A doctor might advise taking an OTC nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to manage your pain and reduce the inflammation. In severe cases, an injection may be administered. Additionally, cold therapy can be quite effective for plantar fascia pain. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a clean towel to the heel for 20 minutes at a time.
If you’re suffering from plantar fascia pain and live near The Woodlands, there are effective treatment options close to home.
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Wednesday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
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