If you have experienced persistent pain along the bottom of your foot you may be a victim of Plantar Fasciitis. This is a condition that strains the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. This is one of the most common causes of heel pain, so you are not alone.
One out of ten people in the United States are affected by this condition. In the US, outpatient clinics receive more than one million visits a year seeking help with this type of foot pain. Fortunately, there are various researched solutions for treating this source of pain.
How do you know if you have Plantar Fasciitis? It’s pretty simple and typically self diagnosable. Symptoms include stabbing pain near the heel and the most intense pain in the morning. So how do you get rid of it?
Most physicians strongly suggest physical therapy over surgical treatment for treating Plantar Fasciitis. In 2014, the Orthopedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association published updated clinical practice guidelines that present the best treatments for Plantar Fasciitis. These include a combination of manual therapy and rehabilitative exercises to help with this foot condition. Researchers found that patients who received manual therapy as a part of their treatment averaged fewer visits and had a lower cost of care of $340. That should put your mind and pocket at ease.
Physical therapists can teach you the appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises that will lessen your foot pain. They can also a create a plan for your gradual return to activity once symptoms go away. Some of the treatment options that your physical therapist may suggest include calf stretches, foot stretches and hands on therapy.
For calf stretches, while standing with your foot straight ahead, lean forward and keep your heel on the floor until you feel a stretch sensation in your calf. Perform this stretch first with the back leg straight and then repeat it with the back knee bent. For foot stretches, while seated, grab the base of your toes and pull them toward your shin. For some more stretching ideas, look here. If you do not experience significant pain decrease with your stretches, contact your physical therapist. You can receive an evaluation and customized treatment program.
There are multiple avenues to take when treating Plantar Fasciitis. However, the most effective and cost efficient solutions are physical therapy treatments.