Can You Really Treat Heel Pain With Physical Therapy?

Can You Really Treat Heel Pain With Physical Therapy? Blog

Approximately 2 million people are plagued by heel pain. It can start in the morning and last all day. Sometimes, it gets worse after you’ve been resting for a while. Other times, heel pain develops after you’ve been on your feet.

Heel pain can extend up the ankle or into the arch. It can be tough to ignore.

This type of pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis or fasciosis. It may be referred to as “jogger’s heel.”

Because your feet support your body weight, you can feel pain in your heels with every step. Healing it and preventing further injury can help you deal with the problem.

The plantar fascia connect all of the toes with the heel and ankle. They travel over the arch of the foot. Tiny tears in this fibrous tissue, lack of collagen and scar tissue can contribute to the development of pain at the bottom of the foot.

It can be caused by repeatedly pounding the feet on a hard surface. However, people who don’t get enough exercise are also prone to heel pain. Improper stance or gait can cause the muscles and soft tissue to become worn and pull on certain parts of the foot, causing pain.

Types Of Therapy For Heel Pain

Research has found that invasive therapies for heel pain are often just as effective as physical therapy. Sometimes, physical therapy works better than other treatments.

Manipulating the foot physically, massage, stretching, taping and wearing the right shoe inserts can work well for alleviating the issue. These therapies also have fewer side effects than other medical treatments.

Taping

Taping the arch helps prevent the foot from rolling inward as you move.
This supports the bones in the bottom of the foot and relieves pressure in the heel. Taping can be done for up to three weeks.

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy can help reverse overpronation and stretch the tissues in the foot. It can also bring about mobility.

People with limited mobility in the foot joints may compensate by walking incorrectly. This can put additional pressure on the fascia.

Manipulating the bottom of the foot by pressing firmly on it can help release adhesions that make heel pain worse. Studies have shown that people who receive manual therapy in addition to exercises to relieve the pain have better results than people who just exercise. Manual therapy can also prevent the problem from returning.

Strengthening The Area

The functions of the foot, ankle and leg are interconnected. Stretching and strengthening the calf, shin and ankle can help relieve foot pain.
It can be difficult for a patient to understand how to do this without injuring the area further. A physical therapist can show you how.

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

image

Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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