Instead of jumping out of bed each morning, you step very carefully and grit your teeth through searing pain across the bottoms of your feet and in your heels. This discomfort is the hallmark of plantar fasciitis, which sends two million people in the United States to seek medical help.
The team of physical therapy excerpts here at TLC Physical Therapy, led by Jason LaMendola, PT, has been on the receiving end of many of these visits and, we’re pleased to say, quite successfully.
Physical therapy (PT) is a frontline treatment for plantar fasciitis, which means our team is uniquely qualified to help treat your current condition and prevent the problem from rearing its ugly head again down the road.
So, if you’re thinking of letting your plantar fasciitis heal on its own, read on.
Behind the singular pain of plantar fasciitis
To understand why plantar fasciitis can be so painful, let’s take a closer look at the problem. Along the soles of each of your feet runs a tough band of tissue that stretches from the base of your toes to your heels. Called the plantar fascia, this tissue is quite taut and supports the arches in your feet.
With plantar fasciitis, this tissue becomes overstressed and develops tiny micro-injuries, which cause inflammation. The reason why the pain strikes after long periods of inactivity is that more inflammation sets up in your plantar fascia when you’re not using your feet. Then, when you return to your feet, the inflamed tissue stretches out painfully with your first steps.
Making matters worse, your heel bone can develop bone spurs in response to the damaged tissue, which only exacerbates the pain in your feet.
Why PT for plantar fasciitis is a good idea
The answer to “ whether plantar fasciitis heals on its own” is both yes and no. If you give your feet as much rest as possible, the tiny tears in the tissue can heal on their own, but the problem can redevelop quite quickly if the tissue doesn't mend correctly.
If you want a faster solution and one that promotes better health in your plantar fascia to avoid the problem again down the road, we highly recommend coming to see us.
Our physical therapy first takes you through targeted stretches and exercises that can help with immediate pain and inflammation. We also deploy hot and cold and massage therapies to encourage circulation in your plantar fascia, encouraging faster healing and minimizing inflammation.
These stretches and exercises are critical for helping these already taut tissues to relax so that you’re not met with that considerable pain in the mornings. Waking up to plantar fasciitis pain is no way to start a day off right.
Moving forward, we can recommend exercises, performance tips, and orthotics that will help keep your plantar fasciitis from re-developing. This is especially important if you enjoy an active lifestyle — daily runners are some of the people we see most with plantar fasciitis.
For experienced and expert care of your plantar fasciitis, please contact one of our offices on the North and South Shores of Staten Island, in Englishtown, New Jersey, or Midtown, Manhattan, in New York City, to schedule an appointment.