Plantar Fasciitis: Physiotherapy Treatment and Rehabilitation
After plantar fasciitis surgery, post-operative physiotherapy treatment is strongly recommended by Dr. Julien Lopez, an orthopedic surgeon.
Plantar fasciitis, also known as plantar fasciopathy or heel spur syndrome, is a foot pathology characterized by inflammation of the fibrous membrane connecting the heel to the toes, located in the arch of the foot. It causes pain, difficulties with footwear, and weight-bearing during walking or sports activities. Indeed, this thick and relatively non-elastic tissue plays a vital role in foot support and propulsion during muscle force transfers.
When these symptoms manifest, it is essential to consult a specialist. Dr. Julien Lopez sees patients in one of his offices to make a diagnosis, assess the extent of the condition, and guide you toward the best treatments to relieve your pain. However, if the symptoms worsen or remain troublesome after well-conducted medical treatment for more than 3 months, surgical intervention for this inflammation of the plantar fascia will be discussed by the plantar pathology specialist, using minimally invasive surgery whenever possible.
Following this surgery, often performed with a percutaneous technique, the rehabilitation of the plantar fascia is essential for optimal recovery. The surgeon attaches particular importance to physiotherapy follow-up with a tailored plantar fasciitis rehabilitation program.
Plantar Fasciitis Rehabilitation – Physiotherapy Sessions
After the non-invasive operation, plantar fasciitis rehabilitation is essential. Indeed, your recovery and healing go hand in hand with adapted rehabilitation exercises.
Even in the absence of surgical intervention, the primary treatment for plantar fasciitis, through rehabilitation, is always recommended. It involves a combination of stretching and massaging this thick fibrous membrane located beneath your foot, connecting your heel to your toes. When performed by a professional, stretching the plantar fascia and the Achilles-plantar chain helps reduce tension on the plantar fascia and thereby decrease pain and inflammation.
In the case of surgery, post-operative follow-up for plantar fasciitis through physiotherapy treatment is also essential. The exercises involve stretching and massaging, and several therapeutic methods are available to the therapist, such as ultrasound therapy, shockwave therapy, laser therapy, tekar therapy, and more. The role of the physiotherapist is also to teach you the right exercises to perform at home to facilitate your recovery. They also assist you in resuming your daily and sports activities, which were initially sources of discomfort and acute pain.
Massages and Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis: Self-Application
In addition to physiotherapy sessions, self-applied massages and exercises for plantar fasciitis can help accelerate your recovery. You can perform these actions on your own, promoting the relaxation of your plantar fascia and reducing the risk of recurrent inflammation.
Heel spur syndrome is characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous membrane that extends along the sole of the foot, connecting your heel to your toes. Tensions in the plantar fascia can be reduced with specific exercises capable of stretching the entire Achilles-plantar chain. Stretching your plantar fascia or heel spur involves stretching your calf muscles, hamstring muscles, and even your iliopsoas muscles. To achieve good results, it is essential to perform these exercises regularly so that the initially inflamed fascia regains its pain-free characteristics.
Here are some examples of exercises you can perform at home:
- Rolling Massage: Sit on a chair and place a small rolling object, such as a tennis ball, a cold drink can, or a foam roller, under your foot. Move the object back and forth to massage your plantar arch.
- Wall Stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs straight and your back upright. Place your feet against a wall so that your heels touch the ground, and your toes point upward. Move your legs forward until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot. Hold the position for several seconds to stretch your plantar fascia.
- Single-Leg Balance: Stand on one leg and maintain this position. This exercise engages your foot support and the thick fibrous membrane that contributes to the balance and weight-bearing of your body.
- Stair Stretch: Place the balls of your feet on a stair step and allow your heels to drop downward while keeping your knees straight.
- Toe Raises: Rise up on the tips of your toes and then lower back down with only one foot at a time. Slow the descent, and do 3 sets of 4 repetitions on each side.
Dr. Julien Lopez accompanies you at every stage of your treatment journey, from your initial consultation to complete recovery, whether the treatment is medical or surgical, such as following surgery for your heel spur syndrome.