The Plantar Fascia is a band of dense tissue that is located along the sole of the foot from the heel to the base of the toes and helps to support the arch during standing and walking. Plantar fasciitis is the presence of heel pain as a result of the tissue having microscopic tears near the heel. With conservative treatment (such as physical therapy), about 95% of individuals will have resolution of symptoms within 6 to 12 months.
What can cause Plantar Fasciitis?
Common Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:
How is Plantar Fasciitis treated conservatively?
In a physical therapy setting:
One of the most common injuries in the active/athletic population is the ankle sprain. The injury typically occurs when weight bearing (i.e. running or walking), and the foot is pointed away from the knee followed by the ankle rolling outward. The sprain can also happen if the ankle and leg are rolled on – such as a football pile up. The resulting injury can range from mild to severe.
The ankle joint is formed by the two lower leg bones, the larger tibia on the inside and the smaller thinner bone, the fibula running down the outside. The two bones form a dome, which holds the talus bone of the foot. Strong thick ligaments connect the bones, covered by a sleeve, or capsule. When the ankle rolls outward, the ligaments can be stretched or torn, resulting in varying degrees of pain, internal bleeding, and swelling around the ankle joint. Sprains are graded as 1 or mild, 2 or moderate, and 3 being severe and involving more ligaments.
Treatment for ankle sprains is extremely important in the first few days to minimize swelling. Crutches can be used initially. Pressure in the form of a foam horseshoe and ace bandage, along with ice and elevation (higher than the heart) are essential for the first 48-72 hrs. Physical therapy treatment should begin as soon as possible to include whirlpool, electrical stimulation, JOBST compression, massage, and progressive weight bearing to reduce the swelling and promote healing.
Once the acute phase is managed, treatment continues along with the addition of exercise for range of motion, strengthening of the ankle muscles, and proprioception (fine tuning agility) exercises to return to physical activity. An ankle sprain will feel better long before the strength and proprioception are back to normal. It is important to continue with a home exercise program for a few months to prevent reoccurrence and additional ligament damage. In some cases, ankle bracing and or ankle taping is effective in allowing return to activity or sports.