If you’ve ever woken up in the morning and experienced a stabbing pain and stiffness on your heel on your first few steps out of bed, chances are you’re one of the millions of people that suffer from plantar fasciitis. It’s a common condition that arises from the inflammation of the thin web-like tissue band called the plantar fascia that runs through the bottom of each foot and links the heel bones to the toes. A vital ligament, it serves as the arch support of the foot that helps you walk.
Pain from plantar fasciitis can vary from mild discomfort to telltale pain. Sensation usually decreases as you move throughout the day. However, it may return after an extended period of standing or when getting up after sitting. Many treatment options are available including stretching and physical therapy, icing, resting, medication, or in severe cases, steroid injections and gastrocnemius recession.
Another excellent alternative would be getting a foot massage. It boasts incredible benefits in helping the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, making the condition less agonizing and rather more manageable. So, continue reading below as we’ll discover more about foot massage and plantar fasciitis.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Prior to learning about how foot massage helps plantar fasciitis, let’s first see what are the common roots and risk factors of the condition:
- Wearing footwear with inadequate foot support
- Being obese or overweight
- Late in pregnancy (due to weight gain)
- Menopausal stage causes less collagen synthesis and affects the elasticity of ligaments
- Increase in activity levels including lots of walking, running, and jumping
- Having a lifestyle or occupation that involves lots of standing
- Uneven shape or structure of the foot
- Less commonly develops from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
Using shoes with proper foot arch support, keeping a healthy weight, and stretching before engaging in any intense physical activity are excellent ways to decrease the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Benefits of Foot Massage for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Soothes Pain
As massage is known to reduce pain levels in different parts of the body, one of the main benefits you can get from a foot massage is relief from the pain plantar fasciitis caused in your feet and heels. A gentle massage with ample kneading pressure across your foot arch can aid in addressing the painful sensation of the condition. Combined with proper stretching and occasional deep foot massage are thought to provide you with even more effective pain-relieving benefits.
2. Encourage Muscle Relaxation
Another advantage of having a foot massage is that it promotes muscle relaxation. A deep physical manipulation in the plantar fascia can target the direct source of pain, eliminating stiffness and inflammation. Thus, allowing utmost relaxation. With the affected site receiving a boost in activity, it also increases flexibility, encourages oxygen and nutrient uptake, and stimulates the release of pain-killing hormones that all help in pain relief and healing.
3. Improves Circulation
A foot massage is also known to induce better blood circulation in the feet. Different massage techniques and types of pressure are applied to promote the circulation of blood through the congested and damaged areas of the foot. Moreover, they also aid in improving the flow of lymph fluid, which acts as a filter that removes toxins, microbes, and metabolic wastes. With that, having a foot massage can significantly help transport a rich blood supply to encourage healing in your feet.
4. Relieves Stress
Suffering from staggering pain from plantar fasciitis from a long day on your feet can be very stressful. Whenever you’re stressed out, the body releases high levels of cortisol, which then can contribute to rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, sleeplessness, headaches, and digestive issues, adding up to the pain and discomfort you’re already experiencing from plantar fasciitis.
Luckily, a foot massage also serves as a perfect solution to that ordeal. It is known to lower cortisol levels, triggering feelings of pleasure and relaxation, inducing pain relief, and allowing the body to enter recovery mode for quicker healing.
Foot Massage Options for Plantar Fasciitis
With such amazing benefits, it’s enticing to go ahead and try a foot massage to relieve any pain you’re experiencing from plantar fasciitis. What’s great is that you don’t even have to go out and break the bank to do so. There are various easy-to-do self-massage techniques that you can do at home to reap all the advantages of a foot massage.
- Fist/Knuckle Foot Massage: Sit down comfortably and cross one leg on top of your opposite thigh. Through that, you can reach and massage your foot with better ease. Once you’re set, use your fist and knuckle to lightly knead the bottom of your feet.
- Arch Rub: Using the same position, massage your foot’s arch’s entire length in circular motions. Make use of your thumb and do it from your heel towards underneath your toes.
- Ball Massage: If your hands are tired or simply don’t want to wear them out, you can get a golf ball or tennis ball instead. Place it on the floor and roll your foot’s arch back and forth across it. Do it on each foot for several minutes at a time.
You can use oils or lotion while massaging so that your hands could glide smoothly along your skin and enable you to better work on the affected sites. Experts also suggest using generous pressure for the fleshy areas of the feet, while a gentler force on areas close to the bone to avoid incurring injury.
If you’re not confident about massaging yourself but are in dire need of one and have some extra money to spend, you can always pay and avail the services of professional foot massage therapists. However, be mindful that the cost can range between $50 to $90 per session.
An economical alternative would be investing in the best plantar fasciitis massager. These tools are specifically designed to alleviate heel pain, without having to use your hands or a ball, or make an expensive weekly visit to a spa. By spending on such a device, you can enjoy a good foot massage anytime you need to, even multiple times a day.
Note that while a foot massage provides many benefits, a foot massage is meant to be a cure-all for the condition. Always seek out help from your doctor before trying it out and see how a foot massage can be a helpful and soothing complement to any treatments you’re undertaking for plantar fasciitis.