Move Empower Concierge Physical Therapy Austin TX

How Can Physical Therapy Relieve Plantar Fasciitis Pain?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain and discomfort in your heel and the bottom of your foot. It’s caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. While plantar fasciitis can be frustrating, painful, and debilitating, physical therapy can be an effective way to manage symptoms and enjoy relief.


What causes Plantar Fasciitis?


Tightness or poor flexibility of the calf musculature can reduce the amount of motion of the foot during walking or running causing increased strain on the plantar fascia. Over time, this receptive stress will overload the tissue causing degeneration and an inflammatory reaction. This typically presents as pain and stiffness to the bottom portion of the heel.


Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by issues further up the kinetic chain in the hip and knee. Poor mechanics and flexibility of the hip, knee, and ankle can cause increased pronation of the foot as seen in the image below.  The increased pronation of the foot can cause strain overtime in the plantar fascia.


How is Plantar Fasciitis treated?


Physical therapy for plantar fasciitis usually involves a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises, manual therapy, and perhaps even ultrasound or electrical stimulation. The goal of therapy is to reduce pain and inflammation, improve range of motion, and prevent injury down the line.


Like most therapies at Move Empower, one of the biggest benefits of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis is that we can tailor it to meet your individual needs. Our mobile physical therapy team will conduct a thorough evaluation to assess a patient’s pain levels, range of motion, strength, and overall function. Based on this evaluation, our therapist will develop a customized treatment plan that may include exercises, manual therapy techniques, and other solutions that will help the patient’s specific condition.


Stretching exercises are a crucial part of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis. Stretching exercises can help reduce stress in the legs, feet, and ankles by improving flexibility and reducing tension in these areas. Common stretches used in physical therapy for plantar fasciitis include stretches that work the calf, achilles, and more. 


Strengthening exercises are also an important part of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis. Weakness in the muscles of the foot and lower leg can place extra stress on the plantar fascia. Strengthening these muscles can help improve their stability and function. Strengthening exercises we like to use include toe curls and balance exercises.


Manual therapy options like massages can also be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation in the foot and ankle. Manual therapy solutions can improve blood flow to the feet and legs, reducing inflammation and encouraging healing. Additionally, manual therapy can help improve joint mobility and reduce muscle tension. 


Electrical stimulation can also be used in physical therapy for plantar fasciitis. While we typically don’t use this as a lone treatment for plantar fasciitis, it can be a viable add-on to a holistic, comprehensive treatment plan.


Why is Physical Therapy valuable for patients dealing with Plantar Fasciitis?


Overall, physical therapy is an important part of managing plantar fasciitis. It can reduce pain and inflammation, significantly improve a patient’s range of motion, and prevent future injury. Although it can take time to see significant improvement, physical therapy can be a very effective way to manage symptoms and promote healing.


When choosing an Austin physical therapist, it’s important to look for someone who is licensed and experienced in treating plantar fasciitis in particular (like us!). Your therapist should be open to listening to your concerns, answering your questions, and developing a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs – not a cookie cutter one.


In conclusion, physical therapy is an important part of managing plantar fasciitis. When you reach out to the team here at Move Empower Concierge Physical Therapy, we’ll walk you through a unique process to determine the plan that will work the best for your plantar fasciitis treatment needs. We don’t believe in cookie cutter solutions, and we’re well equipped to deal with even the most complex or long term issues. Contact us for your free consultation today!

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