If you’re mystified by sharp pains on the bottom of your foot near your heel or a persistent burning sensation in the middle of your sole, you might be dealing with plantar fasciitis, a condition that nearly 2 million people suffer from each year.
You can experience those symptoms separately or simultaneously, and you might even notice bruising that’s visible. What’s going on?
At Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation, our physical therapists Paul LaRosa, MS, PT, and Billy Reilly, MS, PT, have relieved the life-altering pain of plantar fasciitis for countless patients.
And before they treat you, they provide an in-depth clinical explanation of what the condition is and what can be done — by both you and them — to get relief. Our team is dedicated to freeing you from the discomfort of plantar fasciitis because we know how much it affects your quality of life.
Inside your foot, there’s a thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes and supports your arch. The plantar fascia enables you to do everything from walking to running and jumping.
When it becomes inflamed, the pain starts, but the typical pain pattern is a bit unusual.
Plantar fasciitis pain usually doesn’t aggravate you when you’re exercising, but your foot hurts after exercise. The pain is worse upon waking and walking first thing in the morning, or after a period of being off your feet.
Yes, and we know that your debilitating pain can be long-lasting if you have plantar fasciitis. Since we consider ourselves partners in your care, here are some self-care strategies you can practice to lower your risk of getting plantar fasciitis, or to reduce pain if you live with it already.
Opt for exercise that doesn’t put undue stress on your heel. Bike or walk instead of taking ballet or running long distances. When you do exercise, use proper form.
Wear the proper shoes that address your foot’s unique anatomy. If you have flat feet, for example, physical therapy helps and do custom orthotics.
Finally, maintain a normal weight to avoid putting too much strain on your plantar fascia.
We know you can’t control some factors that play into plantar fasciitis, like what you do for a living and your age. Your job might require that you stand for long periods, and we know that if you’re 40-60, you’re more prone to it. Ditto if you have diabetes, so get proper care for any foot neuropathy.
Fortunately, we offer diverse treatments that lead to true and lasting relief from the searing pain. They range from conservative home care to in-office treatment, but they’re all designed to allow you to re-enter life fully.
We believe in teaching you about the condition itself so you understand what’s going on in your body. Then we typically begin teaching you exercises and stretch series to do at home that are designed to lower inflammation in your fascia.
We also provide hands-on manual therapy here in our Manhattan office.
Heat therapy can be quite healing, and we talk with you about the role that devices like orthotics and splints, which you wear at night, can play in your healing and recovery.
We also offer an innovative electrophysiology treatment that uses sound waves to stimulate the area around your plantar fascia to promote healing and improve blood flow.
Plantar fasciitis can start a negative domino effect when it comes to discomfort in other areas of your body, and we want to stop this from happening.
The preventive part of our treatment is just as important as what we do to proactively address your pain. Why? Because if the way you move and walk is altered long-term by plantar fasciitis, it often leads to problems with your ankles, knees, hips, and even your back.
If just one of your feet is painful, holding off on treatment can hurt your pain-free foot.
We continue to screen our patients and our staff diligently for symptoms of COVID-19, including taking the temperature of anyone who enters our office and maintaining a lower capacity than normal for how many patients are in our office at any given time.
Your safety continues to be paramount.
Don’t live with the pain of plantar fasciitis for one more day. Call our New York City office in Manhattan’s Midtown East to schedule a consultation or reach out to us through our website to request an appointment.