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Physical Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Published February 23, 2015

Physical therapy can be one of the most powerful tools in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Multiple forms of therapy may be combined to create a course of treatment based on the severity and cause of your pain.

Electric Stimulation
Electric Stimulation, or often referred to as Stim, is a form of therapy that uses low-frequency electrical stimulation to stimulate the muscles around the affected area. The stimulation pads are often placed on the heel and the calf to reduce the pain and muscle spasms that are aggravated by the plantar fascia. Stim treatments are usually performed at least twice a week in conjunction with other forms of therapy.

Ultrasound
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound vibrations to penetrate the affected area and create heat deep in the affected area which reduces inflammation.

Ice
Ice can be used to reduce the inflammation and swelling from plantar fasciitis and the arch of the foot. Ice reduces the increased blood flow to the affected site, providing relief. Ice is typically used after stretching or other forms of therapy. Your doctor may instruct routine icing at home.

Heat
Heat may be used as a treatment if the pain is caused by tears in the plantar fascia. Heat stimulates blood flow to the tears and aids in the healing process.

Whirlpool
Whirlpool therapy uses cold or warm water in a whirlpool tub that agitates the water around the foot and ankle. The water temperature will be determined by the condition. The moving water around the foot and ankle increases the circulation and blood flow, thus promoting healing.

All of these treatments are available in our office. Keep in mind that physical therapy is only one form of treatment for heel pain.

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