April 2, 2010
We are writing in response to your March 30 article, "Sports Injuries: When to Tough it Out," by Gina Kolata.
Physical therapists advocate taking a proactive approach to pain and injury instead of "toughing it out." As an expert in human motion, a physical therapist can help prevent pain and loss of mobility related to physical activity by developing a fitness- and wellness-oriented program tailored to your specific needs.
For heel pain, taping may indeed be part of the treatment plan. While evidence for taping is weaker, according to clinical guidelines developed by the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, that does not mean taping is ineffective. Taping is considered an effective option when used appropriately.
Patients must often learn new habits or modify their current physical activity to avoid future injury. Physical therapists work to return patients to normal activity and give them the knowledge they need to prevent re-injury or disability.
In most states, individuals can make an appointment with a physical therapist without a physician referral. To find one near you, go to www.moveforwardpt.com.
James J. Irrgang, PT, PhD, ATC, FAPTA
President, Orthopaedic Section
American Physical Therapy Association