July 1, 2020
Imagine Physical Therapy
One out of 10 people in the United States experience persistent pain along the bottom of the foot, a condition known as plantar fasciitis. In this country alone, outpatient clinics receive more than 1 million visits a year from people seeking help for this type of foot pain. In 2014, the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association published updated clinical practice guidelines on the best treatments for patients with plantar fasciitis. The guidelines present evidence that strongly suggests a combination of manual therapy and rehabilitative exercises to help patients with this foot condition. In a more recent study published in the February 2017 issue of JOSPT, researchers reviewed the records of people with plantar fasciitis who were sent to physical therapy to determine whether this treatment lessened their pain.
The researchers studied a database of 819,963 patients diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Only 7.1% of these patients were prescribed physical therapy. Overall, patients sent to physical therapy received evidence-based treatment. These patients were given manual therapy 87% of the time and supervised rehabilitative exercises 90% of the time. The researchers found that patients who received manual therapy as part of their treatment averaged fewer visits and had a lower cost of care of $340. These results support prior studies that show faster recovery time for those who receive evidence-based physical therapy for their foot pain.
This study shows that despite strong evidence on the benefits of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis, very few patients were given this treatment. If you have foot pain, evidence suggests that physical therapy will help you recover faster and cost you less than if you do not receive this treatment. This study also indicates that physical therapists are quickly adopting the recommendations in the updated clinical practice guidelines on plantar fasciitis. Therapists' use of manual therapy increased from 78% in 2007 to 94% by 2011, while their use of supervised rehabilitative exercises increased from 85% to 91% during this same period. If you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, physical therapy offers evidence-based treatment options to help you recover from your pain.
Foot orthotics (arch supports), that are inexpensive and effective, provide short and long term relief. Your Doctor of Physical Therapy will also educate you regarding the best shoes to wear which is essential to having happy feet.
Your physical therapist will prescribe a combination of manual therapy, exercises, and stretches to help remove your pain and get you back to doing what you love.
Your physical therapist will almost ALWAYS rub the pain out of your feet and teach you to do so as well.
Physical Therapy Will Relieve Your Foot Pain!
For all of your physical therapy questions, concerns, or to schedule an appointment, contact our team at Imagine Physical Therapy today!
This JOSPT Perspectives for Patients is based on an article by Fraser et al, titled "Utilization of Physical Therapy Intervention Among Patients With Plantar Fasciitis in the United States" (J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(2):49–55. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.6999).