Josh was a great help in relieving me of plantar fasciitis pain. I had given up hope of pain relief and given up an active life of running and hiking due to the pain. The dry needling in office coupled with exercises out of office have helped me achieve a pain free life again.
The team at Therapydia is exceptional. They really understand the body, treatments and desired outcomes of clients. While I’m using them due to a surgery I had, I plan on using their services for more preventative work to improve my overall strength and alignment with running and skiing.
Josh did a great job treating me for a foot and calf-related injury. He did a great job explaining his treatment plan and was able to get me relief and on the road to recovery very quickly.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
One of the most common sources of heel pain that we encounter in physical therapy is plantar fasciitis. The word itself implies inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot during weight bearing activities. In the PT clinic, we see both acute micro-tearing of the plantar fascia as well as chronic build up of scar tissue from repetitive injury. When the plantar fascia becomes irritated, inflamed, or weakened by injury, every step can be painful.
Physical therapy should be an integral part of the treatment plan for podiatrists, orthopedists, and family medicine doctors that encounter a patient with plantar fasciitis. Physicians often treat plantar fasciitis with orthotics, NSAIDs, and/or corticosteroid injections. These treatments can certainly be helpful for patients but do not directly treat the two biggest risk factors of plantar fasciitis, limited ankle dorsiflexion ROM and a high BMI. Early assessment and conservative intervention is key to avoiding a long term injury and more aggressive treatments like injections or surgery.
Signs & Symptoms
- There are a number of risk factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis including limitations in dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) in the ankle, improper shoe wear, and inordinately high or low arches. Studies have shown that limited dorsiflexion and high body-mass index (BMI) in particular are the two biggest risk factors in the development of plantar fasciitis.
- Plantar fasciitis is a very common injury seen in runners, accounting for 8-10% of all running related injuries. PTs can help to quickly alleviate the primary symptoms in the foot as well as educate patients on any compensatory movement patterns that may lead to secondary complications like knee, hip, or back pain.
- Symptoms include:
- Pain with the first step in the morning
- Discomfort in the heel or arch with walking after prolonged sitting
- Sensation of a lump or rock in the shoe
- Patients often ignore these symptoms because it is not unusual for the pain to quickly go away after the first few steps in the morning or after the first minute or two of a run. However, these symptoms will worsen without getting proper treatment. PTs can help to quickly alleviate the primary symptoms in the foot as well as educate patients on any compensatory movement patterns that may lead to secondary complications like knee, hip, or back pain.
- Joint mobilization, manual therapy therapy, and myofascial release are common techniques to release or inhibit an active trigger point.
- Video run/gait analysis to hone in on specific movement changes to decrease chances of re-injury
- Dry needling to release knot-like trigger points
- Custom exercises in conjunction with heel and quad range of motion are also effective at reducing plantar fasciitis symptoms.
- Learn more about physical therapy for plantar fasciitis.
About Therapydia Denver
Better Physical Therapy Experience
At Therapydia Denver, our physical therapists offer one-on-one, hands-on treatment. You’ll spend your entire with one of our expert therapists – we won’t hand you off to a PT assistant or aide. With our manual therapy techniques and custom exercise programs, we’ll help you strengthen your lower limbs and achieve rapid improvement in heel cord and calf mobility. We’ll help you understand what’s causing your pain, what you can do to relieve your pain and ways to prevent reoccurring injuries. Best of all, you’re covered. Therapydia works with and provides billing for most insurance groups and Medicare. We also accept cash payments.
- Lifetime Wellness
- Quality Treatment
Casey McNitt, MPT
and Physical Therapist
Aaron Page, DPT
Cami Hatch, DPT