Plan­tar fasci­itis — will phys­i­cal ther­apy help my foot pain?

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By John R. Mishock, PT, DPT, DC Mishock Phys­i­cal Ther­apy Dr. Mishock is one of only a few clin­i­cians with doc­tor­ate level de­grees in both phys­i­cal ther­apy and chi­ro­prac­tic in the state of PA.

Ap­prox­i­mately 10 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion lives with foot pain. Plan­tar fasci­itis is the most com­mon cause of foot and heel pain.

The plan­tar fas­cia is a flat band of tis­sue (lig­a­ment) that con­nects the heel bone to the toes, pro­vid­ing sup­port to the arch of the foot. Plan­tar fasci­itis presents with a deep ache and/or sharp pain in the bot­tom of the heel or the foot. The pain is com­monly felt in the morn­ing or fol­low­ing pro­longed sit­ting or weight-bear­ing ac­tiv­ity (walk­ing or run­ning).

Stud­ies have shown that the use of phys­i­cal ther­apy can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce pain and im­prove func­tion in pa­tients with foot pain. De­spite the mount­ing ev­i­dence on the pos­i­tive treat­ment out­comes, phys­i­cal ther­apy is cur­rently be­ing un­der­uti­lized by those suf­fer­ing from foot pain. Only 7 per­cent of pa­tients seek care from a phys­i­cal ther­a­pist when deal­ing with plan­tar fasci­itis and other foot pain re­lated dis­or­ders. Ev­i­dence sug­gests that phys­i­cal ther­apy will help pa­tients re­cover faster and at a lower cost, sav­ing up to $340 per episode of plan­tar fasci­itis.

In treat­ing foot pain, phys­i­cal ther­a­pists use a wide va­ri­ety of tech­niques to de­crease pain and im­prove func­tion, such as modal­i­ties (the use of cold, heat, elec­tric­ity and ul­tra­sound); hands-on man­ual ther­apy tech­niques (tech­niques done by phys­i­cal ther­a­pists us­ing their hands in very pre­cise ways to re­lax mus­cles in spasm, lengthen tight mus­cles, im­prove cir­cu­la­tion and op­ti­mize scar tis­sue de­vel­op­ment); Gras­ton tech­nique/IASTM (in­stru­ment-as­sisted soft tis­sue mo­bi­liza­tion to in­crease cir­cu­la­tion, op­ti­mize scar tis­sue and fa­cil­i­tate healing); ex­er­cises (to im­prove strength and en­hance op­ti­mal tis­sue healing); body me­chan­ics and pos­ture ed­u­ca­tion (to help in un­der­stand­ing why the prob­lem oc­curred and ways to pre­vent fur­ther in­jury); Ki­ne­sio tap­ing and strap­ping tech­niques; and or­thotics.

Be­yond foot pain, of­ten poor foot me­chan­ics can be the un­der­ly­ing cause of many of the painful con­di­tions that lead to al­tered func­tion and poor qual­ity of life. Con­di­tions com­monly associated with poor foot me­chan­ics in­clude Achilles ten­dini­tis, shin splints, run­ner’s knee, pir­i­formis syn­drome, IT (Ili­otib­ial) band syn­drome, sacroil­iac joint dys­func­tion and lower back pain.

So if you have me­chan­i­cal foot pain or al­tered func­tion, please give us a call for a free phone con­sul­ta­tion at (610) 3272600. Also, visit our web­site at www.mishockpt. com. Mishock Phys­i­cal Ther­apy has six con­ve­nient lo­ca­tions to serve you in Skip­pack, Phoenixville, Gil­bertsville, Lim­er­ick, Barto and Stowe (Pottstown)!

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