Whether it's a hard workout at the gym or a long day with the kids, sore feet can be experienced from a wide variety of sources. The heel of the foot can often be the most susceptible part to pain, and one of the most common causes of discomfort within the heel is plantar fasciitis. The American Chiropractic Association reports that more than 2 million people in the U.S. are affected by plantar fasciitis every year, and the condition arises when the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes, becomes inflamed and produces pain.
The Mayo Clinic states that plantar fasciitis is relatively common with runners, and other types of risk factors for the ailment stem from strenuous pressure placed upon the feet from physical activity, from inadequate shoe support to being overweight. Treatment for plantar fasciitis can range from everything to medication to physical therapy to even surgery in some severe cases. However, there has been plenty of research devoted to linking treating plantar fasciitis with massage therapy. Check out how a foot massage may provide relief to symptoms of plantar fasciitis, as well as the specific techniques to apply to your foot when faced with this condition:
Reducing pain levels
In a case study published in the Journal of the Australian Association of Massage Therapists, massage therapy was analyzed to see whether it could be considered a sufficient treatment option for chronic plantar fasciitis. The examination was performed upon a subject who was a dancer suffering from chronic plantar fasciitis. The participant would stay enrolled in the dance classes, while also receiving two 30-minute massage therapy sessions every week for four weeks. During the massage therapy meetings, the therapist would apply deep moist heat to the site of where the heel pain was occurring, while also providing Swedish massage techniques to the upper and lower leg. The session would then conclude with Swedish massage being applied to the entire foot, and the subject was then asked to provide a pain level score between zero and 10 (zero being no pain, 10 being the worst pain).
Two months prior to receiving the massage therapy sessions, the participant reported pain level scores of eight to the researchers. Mid-way through the study, the subject reported a score of four, and by the end of the examination, a two was reported. The researchers also noted that the physical amount of dancing the client could perform continued to increase throughout the study, allowing the study authors to conclude that massage may be a beneficial resource for comforting plantar fasciitis pain.
Ice massage and plantar fasciitis
Inflammation is one of the most noted symptoms of plantar fasciitis, which is why some researchers believe that implementing ice massage tactics could be an effective source for alleviating heel discomfort. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommended trying out an ice massage to relieve plantar fasciitis, and also provides specific instructions to this process. First, take a small paper cup filled with water and freeze it. Once frozen, apply the ice over the area of discomfort, rubbing in a circular motion while applying gentle pressure for between 10-15 minutes. This strategy can help treat any inflammation occurring at the heel, and can also be performed after finishing a workout or enduring a long day on your feet.
"A personal massager can help reduce inflammation in your feet."
Self foot massage
Another way you can potentially alleviate stress and tension caused by plantar fasciitis is by providing yourself with a foot massage. The Moji Foot PRO is an easy-to-use and portable personal massager that has been found to be an excellent source for addressing this nagging condition. Simply sitting down and rubbing your toes and feet upon the stainless steel massage spheres can help out with everything from reducing inflammation to stretching out the fascia (bottom) of your foot as well as increasing circulation into the foot. You can even place the Moji Foot PRO in the freezer, to chill the spheres for your own personal ice foot massage.
In addition to a foot massage, there are a few other things you can do to address symptoms of plantar fasciitis. For starters, if pain is significantly severe, you should cease physical activity until you notice the pain is decreasing. Hydration is also extremely important during this recovery process, because it can help flush out toxins within the body. Even taking a few over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can help provide some relief to your feet, in addition to massage.