Suffering With Foot and Ankle Pain? A Physical Therapist Can Help.
Foot and ankle pain can be caused by trauma, such as occurs with a sports injury or a fall. Many people, however, are surprised to learn our normal daily activities or an increase in our activity level can also lead to foot and ankle pain and can even cause damage to one of the many structures within the foot and ankle. We increase our risk of foot injury as the weather gets warmer and we find ourselves increasing our activity levels both inside and outside of our home. Understanding common causes of foot pain and learning a few secrets to reduce your pain can allow you to get outside this spring and enjoy the activities you love.
Plantar fasciitis is one common cause of foot pain that can be brought on as a result of prolonged standing from a job, sport, or hobby, rapid increases in activity, such as beginning a new running program, or by increased body weight. All of these potentially aggravating factors increase the stress on the structures within your foot and can eventually lead to injury.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Simply put, this is a condition where the plantar fascia, tissue along the bottom of your foot, becomes inflamed and can even deteriorate. The result of aggravation or injury to the plantar fascia is significant pain on the bottom of your foot and/or in your heel. The onset of pain is most often gradual and progressively worsens over time. The pain is often most severe with the first step in the morning or walking after a period of inactivity, like sitting to watch a movie or hours spent at your work desk. Symptoms are more easily managed in the early stages of the condition, before considerable breakdown of this tissue takes place. Gentle, frequent stretching to the bottom of your foot will help reduce your pain and improve your tolerance to weight-bearing tasks. Below is a simple stretch to try three times a day to help improve your pain. For best results, perform this stretch before you get out of bed and after you have been sitting for extended periods of time.
If you feel your condition is more severe or has been present for more than a month, you may benefit from physical therapy, as your condition may need more than one stretch. If you have foot pain, and want to see if physical therapy can help, contact a ProCare Physical Therapy near you.