female physical therapist stretching her patients foot while he sits on table

Plantar Fasciitis

Identify the cause, learn exercises, and prevent a recurrence of plantar fasciitis while reducing pain.

Physical therapy for plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain or bottom of the foot pain. It is the result of irritation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue on the bottom of your foot that extends from the heel to the toes and helps to support the arch of the foot. It often develops slowly and is most painful first thing in the morning or after prolonged rest.

Physical therapy for plantar fasciitis can help treat the pain that comes with plantar fasciitis by reducing inflammation and improving biomechanics.

Causes of plantar fasciitis

Faulty foot biomechanics are ultimately the cause of most cases of plantar fasciitis. Contributing factors include running, an occupation that requires long hours of standing, tightness in the calf and lower leg muscles, improper footwear, and obesity–especially in the case of rapid weight gain.

close up of female hands holding a young boys foot

Plantar fasciitis symptoms

Patients suffering from plantar fasciitis may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the foot or heel
  • Stiffness in the foot or heel
  • Swelling around the heel
  • Aching on the bottom of the foot
  • Burning sensation on the bottom of the foot
older female walking on treadmill next to male physical therapist

How we treat plantar fasciitis

Treatment for plantar fasciitis begins with a thorough examination of the entire lower extremity. This includes your leg, foot, and ankle biomechanics, as well as gait analysis. Often the symptoms are caused due to faulty biomechanics. Treatment will include addressing the local inflammation as well as improving biomechanics to decrease the stress on the plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis treatment may include:

  • Joint mobilization/manual therapy
  • Proprioceptive/gait training
  • Strengthening/flexibility exercises of the entire lower extremity
  • Home exercise program
  • Anti-inflammatory modalities
  • Taping
  • Orthotics
  • Education about lifestyle changes

Plantar fasciitis resources

Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis: Tips to Manage and Prevent Debilitating Pain

Derik Elmore, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT Plantar fasciitis is an orthopedic condition that affects the foot. The condition is the result of degenerative irritation and...

What Not to Do With Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis

What Not to Do With Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain that affects one in ten people during their lifetime. This condition causes extreme discomfort, what many...

Dry Needling for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis

Everything You Need to Know About Dry Needling for Plantar Fasciitis

Every year, more than two million people are treated for plantar fasciitis in this country. Plantar fasciitis affects the band of tissue that supports the...

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Beginners Guide to Cold Therapy: What Does Cryotherapy Do?

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is a technique that exposes the body to extreme cold temperatures to achieve certain health benefits. While cryotherapy as...

What to expect

Your first physical therapy appointment is about creating a personalized treatment plan based on your health history, diagnosis, and goals. Here’s what you can expect at your first physical therapy appointment:

Your first appointment will last about an hour. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

If applicable, bring your physician referral or prescription, insurance card, paperwork, ID, and co-payment.

At your appointment, we’ll do an initial evaluation and discuss your care plan.

*Services are not available at every location. Visit our Locations page for more details.