Question: I have plantar fasciitis, what can I do to help this condition?

First, avoid prolonged walking or running until your pain subsides. Using ice can help decrease pain. Apply an ice pack about four times daily to the injured area for about 15-20 minutes. You should also start a stretching program once the pain subsides. Talk to a physical therapist or a physician to learn how to stretch your foot muscles properly. You may also need more appropriate footwear that provides better arch support. You should also consider using arch supports or orthotics in your shoes. Over-the-counter products may be of help, or consult a podiatrist for custom-made orthotics.

Question: I have carpal tunnel syndrome, can physical therapy help?

Occupational therapy or physical therapy can be highly effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Treatments include exercise therapy to loosen tight joints in the wrist and hand and splints worn at night. In addition, mobility and nerve gliding exercises are also used to open nerve pathways and promote healing. Your occupational therapist can also show you how to avoid certain motions and postures that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Question: Can a rotator cuff injury be treated with physical therapy?

It can be very effective with physical or occupational therapy. Treatment usually involves rest at first and the avoidance of any movements that could aggravate the injury. Ice, heat, electrical stimulation and ultrasound as well as specific exercises are then used to promote healing. Your physician may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections. Surgery is sometimes recommended for severe rotator cuff injuries.

Question: How can I keep my back healthy and avoid injury?

One of the most important factors in avoiding a back injury is general overall conditioning. Regular aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging or swimming is very healthy for your back. Staying at a normal weight is also very important. You should also avoid prolonged sitting and standing which can lead to back pain. A physical therapist can also recommend specific exercises to keep your back flexible and strong.