Some things are always a good idea! Hand washing is one of them. It is always a good idea to maintain good hand hygiene! In times of infectious spread of illness, it’s the best idea! Do you know what’s awesome about hand hygiene? It’s easy to do! The poster with this post gives a quick glimpse on hand hygiene. If you follow its recommendations, you will be off to a great start. If you want to learn even more about hand hygiene, specifically in the healthcare setting, use the link provided to see the CDC’s full recommendations and statistical information on the subject.
Let’s talk about hydration! It’s common knowledge that staying well hydrated is a good thing and dehydration is a bad thing. But, do you know enough about this topic to avoid problems? For instance, when should you start taking in more fluids? What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration? When should you seek medical assistance? Knowing the answers to these questions could help you avoid trouble in this area.
It’s that time of year again. When the temperature starts to steadily increase and summer is on its way! What better time to learn about proper hydration and prevention of dehydration?
Let’s start with daily water intake. As a general guideline, Mayo Clinic recommends approximately 15.5 cups per day for men and 11.5 cups per day for women. This is a combination of all fluid intake for a day. Fluid intake can come from multiple sources! Water is the primary source, other beverages and food also contribute to overall intake. Keep in mind that this recommendation is a general guideline! There are multiple factors that can change these numbers. Activity level, environment, and health status, are just a few of these factors. In general, your fluid intake should increase if your output increases. For example, if you are in a hot environment, your water intake should increase to match the increased temperature. This will help prevent dehydration. Which brings with it certain risks. We will get to that next!
Dehydration occurs when your fluid output is greater than your fluid input. When this happens, your body does not have enough water to perform its normal functions. As you can guess, this leads to problems! The tricky part is that your body does not tell you it is becoming dehydrated until the problem is there, which means you don’t feel thirsty until it’s too late. Once the problem is there, then your body lets you know about it, in the form of symptoms. There are multiple symptoms that can occur when you are dehydrated. Some of the symptoms of dehydration are fatigue, dizziness and confusion, less frequent urination, and extreme feeling of thirst. If these symptoms are severe, medical assistance may be needed to restore the body to normal function. Other times, dehydration can be self-treated with rest and increased fluid intake.
The best way to treat dehydration is by preventing it altogether! This can be done by maintaining proper hydration! Seems simple, right? If you rarely feel thirsty and have light colored urine, you are probably well hydrated. Here are some helpful hints to maintain your hydration. It’s always a good idea to drink water before, during, and after physical activity. Drinking water with your meals is another easy way to help stay hydrated.
But wait, there’s more…..
To read more on this topic, visit the links provided, which give more information on proper fluid intake, general guidelines for various activities, conditions, and risks/dangers of dehydration for various populations.
Where to start?
It’s the beginning of a new year! It’s time to set new goals, make a plan to meet them, and then go after them. If any of these goals involve increasing your physical activity or continuing an established physical routine, there are several things to keep in mind. The first is, are you safe to begin physical activity. If you have had a major illness or injury in the past year, you should get clearance from a medical professional before starting regular physical activity. Do you have a nagging ache or pain, that you are worried will worsen with activity? Getting an evaluation from a physical therapist to identify specific deficits and make a personalized plan for you could be the answer!
Things to consider.
Before starting physical activity, it is important to warm-up the body properly. This can be done with active stretching. By making stretches active, you begin to promote motor memory to the muscle, which in turn allows for proper functioning of the muscle during exercise. It is vital to stretch the areas that you are going to be working. So lower extremities, for leg work-outs, and upper extremities for arm work-outs. It does not hurt, however, to stretch both areas, even if you aren’t working those areas out on a particular day. Below are some pictures of basic stretches for the upper and lower body.
Another thing to keep in mind when beginning a new physical activity is moderation. For example, if you haven’t been doing a certain exercise or activity in awhile or ever, do just 10-20 minutes to start. Then, build onto your time as your body gets used to it. Don’t add a lot of new activities all at once, if something bothers you, then you won’t know which thing caused the issue. Start with one or two things and add more on each day or week. Start with low weights or repetitions and increase slowly. This way, you don’t strain or stress any tissues in excess. Lastly, don’t get worried if you are very sore after starting a new activity. It takes time for the muscles to get used to being used in a new way. Soreness is a good sign that you worked the muscles well.
Make it personal!
Whether you are beginning a new physical routine or continuing a previous one, injuries can occur. The best way to treat an injury, is prevent it from happening in the first place. Having a professional, such as a physical therapist, evaluate your movement could do just that! Here at Functional Performance Center, we can analyze your movement, to determine areas that may need more mobility or strength. Then, we can create a plan to address any findings, that is personalized to you! We look forward to helping you in 2020. Happy new year to all!
Let’s get active!
Why you should care!
We spend the majority of our day wearing shoes! Some of us wear only one pair of shoes throughout the day, others wear several different pairs. Some of us wear tennis shoes, some work boots, some dress shoes, or even high heels. No matter how many shoes, or what type of shoe we wear, there is one thing they should all have in common – they should all have a good fit!
Purpose of the shoe
The shoe has several purposes. First, they transfer body weight to the floor when walking/standing. Second, they protect the feet. Third, they minimize stress on the feet. Lastly, they should provide appropriate support and shock absorption for the feet. Most shoes meet at least one, maybe two, some even three of these purposes. But, how many of us wear shoes that do all four on a regular basis? And, with all of the choices out there for shoes, how are we suppose to determine what shoe we should buy? Let’s get some help on that topic!
Things to consider when buying shoes
There are several factors to consider when buying a shoe. One of the most important is whether you want a shoe that promotes stability or mobility? How do you know which you need? Hint: Look at the wear pattern on your current shoes! If your shoes are worn mostly on the medial part (inside of foot), then you may be an over-pronator. Meaning your foot flattens to the ground more than it should. If this is the case, a shoe with a firm arch support and a straight last, would be best. What’s a straight last? Don’t worry we will get there. If your shoes are worn more on the lateral part (outside of foot), then you may be an over-supinator. Meaning you foot does not flatten enough to the ground, putting more pressure the outside of your foot. If this is the case, a cushioned shoe would be best for shock absorption. What if your shoe has even wear across the bottom? Then you have a neutral foot type, and would benefit from a stability shoe that maintains your current mechanics. Meaning your feet are doing just fine on their own!
Other things to consider when buying new shoes are what type of terrain you will be navigating? Having a shoe with the proper grip or tread can help prevent pain or injury. Have you had a previous injury? If so, then a shoe that supports the area of previous injury, or more cushion to allow for greater shock absorption might be best. Also, individual foot anatomy should be considered. Do you have bunions, hammer toes, or neuromas? Then, a shoe with a wide toe box could help prevent excessive rubbing and pain. What’s a toe box? Promise, we are almost there.
Let’s talk about the anatomy of a shoe.
Sole – surface of contact for your foot
Last – the foot shape of the shoe
Tread – bottom of the shoe, surface that contacts the ground
Outsole – area between sole and tread, ensures a secure fit
Lace – tightens around the mid part of foot, allows for more secure fit and stability
Tongue – allows for cinching, promoting more secure fit
Heel – variable in size, allow more or less movement based on size
Toe box – front of shoe, where toes rest, size determines movement allowed by toes
In general, any shoe you wear, should be a good fit! If your feet ache or are painful after only short periods of time, look into a different shoe. Always wear shoes that are appropriate for the terrain and activity you are going to be doing.
If you are unsure of what type of shoe you would benefit from, or have significant pain in your feet or legs, a physical therapy examination might be your answer. We are trained to evaluate biomechanics of the body and determine if deficits exist. In turn, allowing us to recommend the best options to prevent further issues. The physical therapists at Functional Performance Center are happy to assist you in this area! Give us a call at (480)968-2020, to set up an appointment!
Why you should care!
Have you ever finished a workout and felt great! Then, hours later or the next day you are so sore it’s hard to move? Did you know there is a term for this feeling? It’s called delayed onset muscle soreness. Although it isn’t fun to have, it is a good indicator that you worked your muscles really hard, which is good for your strength. If there were a way to reduce this problem before it started, wouldn’t you want to know about it? Well, there is something that can help!
What can foam rolling do?
Foam rolling has been shown to effectively reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. In multiple studies foam rolling after bouts of physical activity, reduced muscle soreness and improved passive and dynamic range of motion. Meaning muscles didn’t get as tight! This happened because foam rolling affected the neural responses in connective tissues. Want to learn how to foam roll yet?
What to do next?
Below are some basic foam rolling techniques to use after a workout or physically demanding activity, such as house or yard work. If you find that these are helpful, let us know! If you feel you may benefit from a full evaluation to determine a more personalized routine, contact us to set up an appointment today!
Why is this important?
Do you enjoy playing sports such as golf, baseball, tennis, or racquetball? If you do, you may have had a time you didn’t perform as well as you wanted. But, you are unsure how to improve other than playing more often. Or, maybe, you experienced pain during or after you played. Low back pain is common in swinging sports. One study found that low back pain was the most commonly occurring injury in golf, with up to 36% of golfers experiencing it. Whether you have or haven’t experienced this, the information below could help you!
How the hips work
In any sport, there are many moving parts, which all must come together correctly to have success. For example, if you are swinging a golf club or a bat, not only do you have to transfer your weight from one leg to the other, you have to stabilize your trunk while you rotate, and all of this is to bring your upper body and arms through smoothly to make contact with the ball. This sounds like a lot, because it is a lot! And, at any given point during that motion something can go wrong, causing failure and possible injury. One such area, which was previously mentioned is the low back. There are several ways to address this type of pain. One of those, is to address why the back was injured in the first place, and correct that error.
What you can do
In physical therapy, we specialize in the area of examining and evaluating movement. We do this to find what areas are moving to little or too much, and which muscle groups require more strength to improve or maintain such motions. For example, if your hip mobility is limited on one side or both, this can lead to over rotation through the lumbar spine, which is a contributor to back pain. The stretches and exercises below are the beginning of a much larger program to improve functional mobility and strength throughout the body. If you, or someone you know, has had problems in the past with an injury, or recently sustained one, please contact our office and set up an appointment to be evaluated!
Stretch those hips!
Work those hips!
Summertime brings several things to mind; sunshine, barbecues, and baseball. Whether it is tee ball, club ball, little league, or major league, games are happening almost every day. One thing every player learns to do at a young age is throw the ball. Unfortunately, even with perfect mechanics, injuries occur. This can be due to many different things. One problem is overuse of the throwing arm. Another is improper warm-up, resulting in strains, sprains, and tears of upper extremity structures. These types of injuries don’t only happen when throwing. For example, swinging a bat, tennis racquet, or golf club can result in injury to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. The best idea is to avoid such injuries before they occur!
Shoulder Injury at a Glance
There are several simple things you can do to help prevent upper extremity problems during throwing and swinging activities. The first is maintaining adequate scapulothoracic range of motion and rhythm. That’s right, our bones have rhythms! That is, bones have certain patterns they are meant to move through, and when that rhythm is off, problems can arise. So, making sure that we incorporate exercises and stretches that improve the motion of the entire shoulder complex, both scapulothoracic and glenohumeral, are very important. By doing this, one can also take stress away from the elbow. Secondly, you should always strengthen your body in its full range of motion. If you want your body to function properly in all positions, then you have to train that way too. With throwing and swinging sports in particular, this means strengthening in overhead planes and at end points of reaching and pulling.
How to Treat
The stretches and exercises listed below are a good start to improving upper extremity mobility and strength. While performing them, make note of differences from side to side, and ranges of motion that are most difficult. These are indicators of areas that might need additional work. If you feel you may benefit from a more thorough evaluation and individualized exercise program, please contact our office, at (480) 968-2020 or to email us click here. We are happy to help get you back onto the court or field!
Stretches & Exercises
By Brooke Iseler, PT, DPT
Have you ever rolled your ankle while playing sports? Maybe you were walking on uneven ground, or just going up/down stairs at home? Ankle sprains happen a lot! Some studies show upwards of 70% of active individuals experience an ankle injury during their lifetime. Of these, most experience reoccurring injuries to the same ankle. When this happens, damage can occur to the tissues around the ankle. In turn, leading to deficits in mobility and strength of the ankle and lower extremity as a whole. These deficits may prevent full participation in desired activities. Does this sound familiar to you?
The ankle is a complex joint – consisting of multiple bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. All of these have to function correctly for proper biomechanics during activity. If any one component is damaged, lower extremity movements patterns can be altered. As the foot and ankle are the first to take impact during weight bearing activity, this can lead to dysfunction at the foot/ankle or further up the chain at the knee, hip, or even back. The severity of ankle injuries can differ greatly. Even a mild injury can result in long-lasting deficits and dysfunction.
If you have had an ankle injury recently, or in the past, the stretches and exercises below may help improve any remaining symptoms. If you find these to be helpful, or more difficult than you expected, you may benefit from further evaluation to determine if formal physical therapy could get you back to 100%. Please give us a call at (480)968-2020 or email us, if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our professionals. We are happy to help get you back on your feet
With hands on wall, bring one leg forward and rotate it from side to side, keeping knee in line with belly button. Rotate 20 times, switch legs, and repeat. Perform 2-3 sets on each leg. This will stretch the muscles in the calf. If you don’t feel a mild to moderate stretch, move stance leg back farther from wall.
Begin with one foot on edge of chair or bench. Then, drive hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the hip. Return to starting position and repeat. Perform 15-20 times, 2-3 sets on each leg. This will stretch the lower extremities and improve hip mobility. Remember, safety first. If your balance is compromised, stand at edge of counter or at wall for upper extremity support.
Standing in doorway, using frame for support, reach back and tap toe out to right, return to starting position, then reach and tap toe straight back, return to starting position, lastly reach back and tap toe out to left. Perform 15 taps per leg, repeat for 2-3 sets. This will help strengthen the muscles in your leg and hip, improving stability as well.
Begin standing on one foot with hands overhead. Reach other heel forward, tap on ground, reaching back with arms as you do. Return to starting position, repeat 15-20 times, switch legs and repeat 2-3 times on each leg. If you have pain or lose balance quickly, perform in doorway and hold onto frame for support. This exercise will improve lower extremity strength and stability, as well as increase ankle range of motion.
by Brooke Iseler, PT, DPT
Have you ever experienced sharp pain in the front of your lower leg? Did it occur when you increased your activity level suddenly? If this has happened, you may have medial tibial stress syndrome, or what is commonly known as shin splints. This condition occurs when the muscles and tendons in the lower leg are overworked, causing increased stress on the tibia or shin bone in the leg. This usually leads to pain, tenderness, and soreness along the inner part of the front of the lower leg. Acute cases can be treated successfully with rest and ice, but long-term cases or more severe cases may require more rigorous treatment, such as physical therapy.
There are multiple ways that physical therapy can help improve the symptoms associated with medial tibial stress syndrome. These include analyzing body mechanics and prescribing appropriate exercises, based on that analysis, to avoid over stressing the connective tissues in the leg. Examination of footwear and recommendation on best footwear for desired recreational activity. And structural evaluation of foot structure, to determine if benefit can be gained from use of a custom orthotic.
If you feel you would benefit from any of these things, please contact our office to schedule a physical therapy evaluation. Below, are several stretches and exercises to help prevent shin splints and to help treat them if you are already experiencing symptoms.
Calf Stretch with Rotation
With your hands up on wall, bring one leg forward and rotate it from side to side, keeping your knee in line with your belly button. Rotate 20 times and then switch legs and repeat. Perform 2-3 sets on each leg. This will stretch the muscles in your calf. If you are not feeling a mild to moderate stretch move your stance leg back farther from the wall.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Begin with one foot on edge of chair or bench. Then, drive hips forward, keeping weight in back leg, going forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Return to starting position and repeat. Perform 15-20 times, 23 sets on each leg. This will stretch the lower extremities and improve hip mobility. Remember, safety first. If your balance is compromised, stand at edge of counter or at wall for upper extremity support.
3-way Reaching to the Floor, Standing on One Leg
Standing on one leg, reach small weight or ball down to floor and touch, then return to starting position, standing back up fully each time. Tap in multiple directions, for example left, center, and right. If you need to put your other foot on the ground for balance, that is fine. Safety first! Perform 5 touches in each direction, for a total of 15 touches. Repeat 2-3 times on each leg. This will help strengthen the muscles in your leg and increase your balance and stability as well.
Standing on one leg, cross your other leg in front of body and tap toe gently on ground, sticking your hip out to the side as far as you can. Move your arms in opposite direction as you do so. Return to start position, perform 15-20 touches, repeat 2-3 times on each leg. This will help increase strength and stability of both your lower extremity and core. As you are comfortable and confident, add a small weight overhead to increase difficulty. Remember, safety first, if your balance is compromised, use upper extremity support, such as a counter-top or wall.
by Brooke Iseler, PT, DPT
Did you know that ~37.3 million falls requiring medical attention occur each year? There are many factors that contribute to fall risk, one of which is physical health. This includes mobility, strength, and balance. All of which, can be improved with regular stretching and exercise.
One of the steps in reducing fall risk due to poor mobility, strength, and balance is performing basic lower extremity stretching and strengthening exercises. These will help to increase neuromuscular control and prevent future falls. Below are several stretches and exercises to get you started and allow you to self-assess your flexibility and balance. Safety is extremely important when performing exercises! Do not try advanced techniques until you are confident you have mastered lower level techniques!
If you feel you are at risk of falling or have had falls in the past, you may benefit from a formal assessment of your strength and balance. Please, schedule an appointment with us if you feel you need a more personal, individualized plan!
Sitting or standing at edge of bed, leg straight out in front of body, lean forward until stretch is felt in back of leg, rotate leg back and forth (like a windshield wiper), do this 20 times, then switch legs and repeat, perform 2-3 times on each leg. This will actively stretch your hamstring muscles. Do not progress to standing stretch until confident balance is adequate to maintain position without falling.
Hip Flexor Stretch
With chair pushed up to wall or counter top, put foot onto edge of chair, drive hips forward and back, keeping arms straight the whole time, repeat 20 times, switch legs and repeat, perform 2-3 times on each leg. Put your hands up on wall or on counter top for balance. Progress to hands on knee as balance improves. This will help stretch the front of the hip and improve mobility and balance in lower extremities.
Standing at edge of counter top, reach foot out to the side and tap your toe, return to starting positioning, repeat 10-20 times, then switch sides. Perform 2-3 sets on each leg. Put hands on counter top for balance when beginning exercise, progress to hands overhead as balance improves. This exercise will help strengthen your legs and improve single leg balance.
Standing at edge of counter top, reach foot across your body and tap your toe, sticking your hip out to the side as you do so, return to starting position, repeat 10-20 times, then switch sides. Perform 2-3 sets on each leg. Put hands on counter top for balance when beginning exercise, progress to hands overhead as balance improves. This exercise will help improve hip mobility, strengthen your legs, and improve single leg balance.
The shoulder is one of the most commonly injured areas of the body. Rotator cuff injuries, shoulder impingements, and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) are just a few of the many injuries that can occur at this complex joint. The shoulder joint consists of several bones, many muscles and their associated tendons, multiple ligaments, bursa, and a joint capsule. Injury to any one of these structures can cause significant pain and subsequent dysfunction of the shoulder. Over time, this can lead to chronic pain and limited use of the arm.
Whether you’ve had a shoulder injury in the past, or you’ve recently endured a shoulder injury, there are things you can do to help improve functioning of your arm and prevent permanent damage to the joint. It is very important to maintain the range of motion of the shoulder complex. This includes the shoulder joint and the shoulder blade. It is vital to include stretches and exercises that involve increasing the mobility and strength of the shoulder blade muscles, as well as the shoulder joint, to maximize function. The shoulder blade provides 1/3 of the total motion of the shoulder joint. Failure to address shoulder blade range of motion and strength can result in prolonged pain and activity limitations.
Listed below are several basic stretches and exercises to increase the range of motion and strength of the entire shoulder complex. If you are currently suffering from shoulder pain or dysfunction, come see a therapist at Functional Performance Center today (call us to schedule), for a full examination and personalized exercise program! Shoulder pain does not have to be permanent!
Forward Flexion with a Stick
Start with your thumb on the end of the stick, with the same foot forward. Shift your weight onto the front foot and use your bottom arm to push the forward arm up to your ear, keeping your elbow straight. Return to starting position, repeat 15-20 times, then switch sides. Perform 2-3 sets per side. This will help to improve shoulder mobility and shoulder blade rhythm.
Standing in doorway, put arm on frame at shoulder height, with same foot forward. Shift weight forward, driving chest straight ahead, until you feel a stretch through the front of the shoulder and chest. Return to starting position, repeat 15-20 times, then switch to other side. Perform 2-3 sets per side. This will help to improve muscle length in the front of the arm and allow more mobility for the shoulder and shoulder blade.
Scapular Retraction with Resistance Band
Start with arm fully forward, with your thumb facing down and the opposite foot forward. Shift your weight back, pulling the band back to armpit, your thumb should end facing up. Return to starting position, repeat 15-20 times, then switch sides. Perform 2-3 sets per side. Make sure to let arm go fully forward and fully back to maximize benefits of exercise. This will help strengthen the shoulder and shoulder blade muscles.
Where is the pain really coming from?
It can be very frustrating trying to figure out the cause of your back pain or knee pain or ankle pain when you are suffering from multiple different issues? So, you go see a foot doctor for your foot/ankle problem, then you see an orthopedic surgeon for your knee pain and then a back doctor for your low back issue. You often come away confused about which one of your problems is the root cause or if you have multiple causes. You get frustrated that all your doctors don’t seem to communicate or that nobody is actually helping YOU to solve YOUR pain puzzle.
Seeking medical opinions is always a good start and seeing specialists is a good way to get answers, but often times you need to see a physical therapist that can help you put YOUR body puzzle together. Most of the patients that we see have or have had multiple issues. An old ankle surgery from 10 years ago may not necessarily still be directly bothering you, but since then, you have had a knee surgery and now are suffering from recurring bouts of low back pain. So, perhaps the ankle range of motion is limited and is partially causing compensations to occur that are limiting how your leg muscles are working and you have functional weakness on that leg. That then leads to excessive forces to your pelvis and low back. As physical therapists, we will develop individualized exercise prescriptions that are unique to your complete functional situation.
Since we have the experience of dealing with a variety of patients with multiple issues, we consistently identify common trends in joint immobility and muscle weakness. So, we have listed a few lower body stretching and strengthening exercises that can be helpful in getting you functioning again. Please note that it is best to actually have a therapist evaluate you prior to starting them and get clearance from your physician. All exercises should be pain-free. Give FPC a call to see if we can help solve your “pain puzzle”!
Hip Flexor Stretch
Single-Leg Mini-Squat Strengthening
Three Dimensional Movement Analysis and Performance System (3DMAPS)
Most people are familiar with, and consult their physician for a yearly physical. These physicals performed by physicians, PA’s, or nurse practitioners will often be preformed in the absence of the patient being sick or injured. They will often yield results that help to direct the patient’s health and well-being. As physical therapists, we are highly trained to perform movement screens or a “movement physical exam”. This helps us obtain information about a patient’s functional imbalances, as well as, serve as a foundation of revealing where a patient’s successful movement patterns already exist.
3DMAPS (Three Dimensional Movement Analysis and Performance System), established by the Gray Institute, is an innovative, effective, and comprehensive approach that enables the therapist to gain invaluable information on a patient’s ability to move or where they are most limited. Our bodies function as a complex interaction of multiple joints, bones, and muscles moving in multiple planes of motion. This movement screen gives the therapist the data/information needed to advise the patient on the specific body regions that need attention. The movement screen will help show specific limitations in the hips, ankles, spine, or shoulder blades that can often lead to overuse injuries in golfers, runners, or fitness enthusiasts. Once these successful and problem areas are identified, an individual exercise prescription will be provided. The therapist will use this data, in conjunction with the person’s past medical history and specific goals, to provide a road map to success. These prescribed exercises can also help prevent issues like patella tendinitis, low back pain, hip pain, Achilles tendinitis, shoulder pain/impingement, etc.
All three of the physical therapists here at the Functional Performance Center (FPC) are certified through the Gray Institute, in 3DMAPS. Give us a call now to schedule your movement screen (movement physical exam). You will benefit from this screen, even if you are not currently having any problems.
In the month of April alone, there are nearly 90 different organized road races in the Greater Phoenix area. The most popular race, Pat’s Run typically gets 30,000+ runners. With all these feet hitting the ground, it’s inevitable to see a multitude of different running-related injuries. So, in this post we are going to look into plantar fasciitis/fasciosis, or the pain on the bottom of the heel or arch of the foot.
What is Plantar Fasciitis/Fasciosis?
Plantar fasciitis (acute inflammation)/fasciosis (chronic) is a diagnosis/ailment that affects 10% of the population, roughly 2 million people/year in the USA. Estimates of $284 million/year is spent on treatments. It usually involves pain on the bottom of the heel/arch and can be very debilitating. Many different practitioners treat this disorder.
As physical therapists, we will assess multiple things in order to help people with this ailment. We will evaluate the foot/ankle as well as the entire lower extremity/pelvis in order to be able to treat each case individually. Flat feet or high arch feet are more susceptible, as well as those people who stand/walk/run a lot. The biomechanical evaluation can reveal imbalances leading to the cause of the pain. Often, we will find limitations in range-of-motion and weakness that needs to be addressed in order to effectively treat this condition for long-term success.
Often, a change in shoe types or over-the-counter orthotics can be used in adjunct to the exercise prescription. We also have significant success at enhancing the healing time with ASTYM treatments. ASTYM uses specifically designed instruments that help to initiate the healing cascade, while breaking up scar tissue (abnormal collagen formation). This process is very conservative and price-effective in relationship to other treatment options such as surgery or injections. A patient may feel relief from a cortisone injection initially, but if the biomechanical imbalances that are causing the heel/arch pain are not addressed, then the rate of recurrence increases significantly.
So, if you are suffering from pain on the bottom of your heel or arch, look to a physical therapist with confidence to assist you in your recovery. The Functional Performance Center in Tempe, AZ, has been successfully treating patients with plantar fasciitis/fasciosis for over 15 years. Call 480.968.2020 to schedule a consultation. We take most insurance plans and also can assist you as a self-pay/cash patient without breaking your bank (injections can often be $750-1,500).