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Navigating the 1-2 Month Milestones after a Plantar Fascia Tear

Plantar fascia tears are like uninvited roadblocks on the path to athletic endeavours and everyday mobility, but with the right management, the road to recovery can be smooth and sure. Sandy from Logan Physio shares his progress from the one-month mark to close to two months post-injury, providing insight into the healing journey and the importance of adhering to best practice guidelines for managing a plantar fascia tear.

Month 1: Building Foundations of Rehabilitation

As Sandy steps into the one-month point, a significant leap in the plantar fascia recovery timeline he is walking free of walking aides and the moonboot which had been so helpful in the early week . He experiences minimal pain while wearing normal shoes, however discomfort in bare feet or thongs signals that healing is ongoing.

This distinction suggests healing is occurring but not complete and thus gradual exposure to stress on the foot is required to build tolerance.

Throughout the week, Sandy undergoes massage sessions to promote circulation and reducing potential scar tissue buildup. He carefully tapes her foot to provide additional support that limits excessive stretch on the healing fascia.

A vital addition to her exercise regimen is the careful integration of calf raises with a toe stretch, brilliantly combining muscle strengthening with a gentle stretch of the plantar fascia. This dual approach aligns with recommended exercise protocols emphasizing both strengthening and flexibility.

Walking: A Natural Progression of Healing

Sandy champions walking as a pivotal rehabilitation activity. Steady, controlled ambulation matches the guidelines that suggest using walking to reintroduce weight-bearing and encourage functional movement patterns. He’s cautiously optimistic about a reintroduction of jogging at this stage as an eventual return to long distance running is the goal of rehabilitation, and at this stage Sandy had even participated in some light social tennis, showcasing a carefully graded approach to returning to sport-related activities.

Week 7: Challenging the Last Stretch of Recovery

By week 7, Sandy feels 80% healed but acknowledges that the remaining 20% of recovery will require significant effort, echoing the commonly held view that the final phases of recovery are the most challenging. He continues his exercise routine with focused dedication—walking regularly despite some discomfort from hard surfaces like concrete and shopping centres.

Advancing the Exercise Regimen

Sandy progresses to include squats and lunges, layered with calf raises, to address a slight weakening in his quadriceps—demonstrating functional movements that challenge multiple muscle groups. These exercises are not just about building strength; they also maintain flexibility and function in the plantar fascia and calf, all of which are critical for full recovery. In later stages weights will be added as will more dynamic exercises such as jump squats, stepping lunges and a gradual return to running using intervals, paced repeats, hill repeats and endurance runs.

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