If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you know how difficult it can be to get through the morning or day. Pain medication can help, but you may be looking for a more natural way to manage the pain and discomfort. There are many natural solutions, but massage is a popular choice. Does massage help with plantar fasciitis?
We're going to explore how massage can help with this condition and share some tips for effective at-home massages.
What is Plantar Fasciitis? How Does it Cause Foot Pain?
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It’s caused by inflammation of the band of tissue (known as the fascia) that runs from the heel to the toes.
The fascia does a few things. It absorbs shock when you’re walking, and it also supports the arch of your foot. Over time, stress and tension on this band of tissue can cause small tears. Stretching and tearing eventually lead to inflammation and irritation.
Signs and Symptoms
A telltale sign of this condition is a stabbing pain when you take your first steps in the morning. Once you get up and start moving around, the pain subsides, but it may return after standing for long periods of time.
Doctors are still unsure of what causes plantar fasciitis. However, it is more common among runners and those who are overweight.
Is Massage Good for Plantar Fasciitis?
Treating plantar fasciitis can be difficult, but massage therapy can help. In fact, massage has been shown to help break down scar tissue, improve lymphatic circulation and increase blood flow.
In 85% of trials that used massage therapy to treat plantar fasciitis, pain was reduced and mobility was improved. Another case study found that getting a massage twice a week significantly decreased pain and improved mobility in those with plantar fasciitis. Massage was so effective that even physically taxing activities caused very little or no pain.
The Benefits of a Plantar Fasciitis Massage
There are many benefits to plantar fasciitis massages:
- Helps Ease Tension: A deep massage can help ease tension and promote relaxation.
- Can Help Improve Blood Flow: Regular massages can help improve circulation in the feet. The squeezing, twisting and pulling action eliminates lactic acid and increases lymph fluid circulation.
- Helps Ease Stress: Massages can help lower cortisol levels, allowing your body to relax and start healing.
Many people find that plantar fasciitis massage treatment is all they need to find relief.
Risks and Precautions
The great thing about massage therapy is that there are very few risks and precautions. Here are a few things to consider:
- Avoid deep tissue massages if you have open wounds on your feet, osteoporosis or known blood clots.
- Avoid cross fiber massages if you have inflamed tissue, hematomas, vascular issues or trauma in the area.
- Avoid hot stone massages if you have open wounds, recently had surgery or have an acute injury.
In general, it’s best to err on the side of caution and perform gentle massages.
How To Do A Plantar Fasciitis Relief Massage At Home
You don’t have to spend a fortune on professional massage therapy to get relief from plantar fasciitis. We’re going to share some tips and techniques for foot pain massages that anyone can do at home.
A push massage is a simple technique that you can use to alleviate tension in your feet.
- Find a comfortable place to sit down.
- Cross one leg over the other.
- Gently use your thumbs to push along the sole of your foot. Push forward from your heel to your toes, and then move back down again.
- Repeat this movement for about 2-5 minutes.
- Repeat on the other foot.
If you want a more intense massage, apply more pressure with your thumbs. Don’t overdo it, especially if the tissue is inflamed.
A pull massage is similar to a push massage, but you’re moving outward instead of up and down.
- Sit down on the edge of the bed or on a chair.
- Cross one leg over the other.
- Place both thumbs at the center of your foot.
- Pull one thumb towards the left side of your foot and at the same time, use your other thumb to pull towards the right side of your foot.
- Repeat for 2-5 minutes, moving along the entire surface of the foot.
Start out with gentle pressure and increase the intensity gradually if you need greater relief.
Use a ball massager, dryer ball or a tennis ball for this technique. It’s a simple practice, but it’s surprisingly effective.
- Sit down on a chair or the edge of a bed.
- Place a ball under the arch of your foot.
- Use your bodyweight to put some pressure on the ball.
- Slowly, roll the ball down and up the foot, and then side to side.
- Continue rolling for as long as you like, and repeat on the other foot.
Start with gentle pressure and increase the intensity gradually. Stop if the massage becomes painful.
Human Touch Massage Chairs
At-home massages are simple enough, but what if you want a hands-off, immersive experience? A Human Touch massage chair will deliver a professional-level massage right from the comfort of home. Here are some of our top options for foot massages.
The Certus massage chair delivers a full-body massage – and that includes the calves and feet. For plantar fasciitis pain and discomfort, the Certus uses:
- Outer orbital massage to target tension in the calves and feet
- Underfoot rollers for reflexology
- Heating to soothe pain
To optimize your massage, the footrest automatically adjusts to your height.
Of course, the Certus massages more than just your calves and feet.
- S- and L-track massage extends your massage from your shoulders to the back of the thighs.
- Lumbar heat to help ease tension
- Zero Gravity seating to take the pressure off your spine
- 11 built-in wellness programs for quick and easy relief
The Super Novo massage chair delivers a 3D massage and a truly immersive experience. The extended calf and foot massager can help bring relief from plantar fasciitis through:
- Foot rollers with adjustable intensity
- Heat to melt away tension
- Automatic height adjustment to target the right areas
While you’re enjoying your foot massage, you’ll also experience:
- S- and L-track massage that extends from the shoulders to the thighs
- 3D and 4D massage programs (38 in total)
- Built-in premium sound system
The Super Novo will put your entire body in a truly relaxed state.
The Reflex5s is an excellent foot massager for plantar fasciitis and is designed to mimic the motions of a professional massage. As an added benefit, it also targets the calves and feet to alleviate tension and pain.
CirQlation® and Figure-Eight technology massages the calves in an upward, rolling motion to help improve circulation. We use 3D robotic technology to deliver a massage experience that’s as close to a massage therapist as you can get.
Our Reflex5s also incorporates reflexology into the mix to help alleviate stress and further help with plantar fasciitis pain.
If you’re looking for a massager that only targets the calves and feet, the Reflex5s is an excellent choice.
Plantar fasciitis can be painful, but massage can help. Use the tips above and consider investing in a quality massage chair to not only help with pain but to support your overall wellness.