6 top physical therapy treatments for plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that can lead to intense foot pain. If you have plantar fasciitis, seeking treatment as soon as possible can be crucial to your recovery. This condition can cause pain, swelling and tenderness. These symptoms can make simple tasks like walking or standing feel challenging. Fortunately, physical therapy can help offer relief. 

Plantar fasciitis is characterized by the inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a band of dense tissue that runs from your heel to your toes along the bottom of your foot. When this band becomes inflamed, it can lead to symptoms like swelling and a sharp stabbing heel pain. Finding the right treatment for plantar fasciitis is essential. Physical therapy is a popular choice — its holistic approach can empower patients to address their condition and reap long-term benefits. Want to address the root causes of your condition and experience lasting relief from your symptoms? These top physical therapy treatments can be the key to success.

Plantar fasciitis physical therapy treatments

  • Stretching exercises — Stretches can be a great way to manage plantar fasciitis symptoms. Your physical therapist can help you develop a stretching routine that targets the plantar fascia in your foot. Some effective stretches can deliver results without directly involving the foot. For example, your physical therapist might recommend stretching your calf. This can alleviate tension on the plantar fascia. Tension relief often leads to reduced inflammation in the foot. Stretching exercises can address your plantar fasciitis while improving your foot flexibility.

  • Kinesiology taping — Plantar fasciitis pain can vary in intensity. Patients often report that their pain is most intense after long periods of rest. If you feel more pain after waking up in the morning, this is not uncommon. Inflammation in the plantar fascia can also be aggravated by activities like walking and running. This can make it difficult to get around until your symptoms are addressed. With physical therapy taping techniques, you can make movement easier. Kinesiology tape is an elastic material designed to provide support and reduce strain on the plantar fascia. Using this tape can help manage your symptoms during movement.

  • Manual therapy — Hands-on physical therapy techniques are collectively known as manual therapy. These special techniques can be highly effective in treating plantar fasciitis. Certain motions are meant to mobilize tissue and apply light pressure. With these movements, your physical therapist can help address your symptoms. Myofascial release is one common manual therapy treatment for plantar fasciitis. A physical therapist can release tight muscles and promote healing in the foot. Other effective manual therapy strategies include soft tissue manipulation and joint mobilization. These might not always be applied directly to the plantar fascia. However, they can help relieve pain in the surrounding areas.

  • Strengthening exercises — Building strength can boost your recovery efforts. Stronger foot muscles can provide better support for the plantar fascia. With targeted strengthening exercises, physical therapy can help alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms. Your physical therapist may recommend exercises to strengthen your feet, calves and ankles. Having stronger leg muscles can address imbalances in your body. This can help prevent recurrence of your condition in the future.

  • Gait analysis Balance and gait issues can lead to plantar fasciitis. With physical therapy, you can address balance disorders that put excess stress on your feet. A comprehensive gait analysis by a physical therapist can be used to evaluate your walking pattern. By identifying abnormalities in your gait, this analysis can be a great starting point for treatment. Your personalized treatment plan may include guidance on proper posture and gait. By improving your gait while receiving other forms of treatment, you can boost your recovery time and experience pain relief.

  • Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) — IASTM offers an innovative approach to healing. With IASTM techniques, a physical therapist uses specialty tools. These tools are designed to reduce tension and break up hardened tissue. People with chronic plantar fasciitis often experience scar tissue buildup. By breaking up this tissue, IASTM can make your foot more flexible and encourage healing. Special kinds of IASTM include the Graston Technique®. The many advantages of this technique include pain relief and quicker recovery time.

Address your plantar fasciitis with expert guidance at Lattimore Physical Therapy

Tired of dealing with plantar fasciitis? Lattimore Physical Therapy is here to help. Our range of results-driven treatment options are designed to offer the relief you need. With pain relief techniques for managing current symptoms and strategies for long-term recovery, you can work to improve many facets of your health. Our physical therapists are ready to listen and provide tailored care that helps meet your personal goals.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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