One of the most frequent foot issues is plantar fasciitis, which can cause discomfort while walking, running, or standing for extended periods. This condition typically starts in either the heel or the ball of the foot.
If you’re looking to speed up your healing process and reduce the appearance of scar tissue, massage can be a helpful solution. Not only does massage break up scar tissue, but it also has the added benefit of releasing tension and stress in your body. This can lead to a reduction in cortisol production, the hormone responsible for stress. So, if you’re eager to promote healing and enjoy a sense of relaxation, incorporating massage into your routine can be beneficial.
Using a tennis ball or rolling pin
For individuals suffering from plantar fasciitis, a plantar fasciitis massage can provide rapid and efficient pain relief while also helping to impede the progression of the condition. Performing a plantar fasciitis massage can be easily done in the comfort of your home, office, or any convenient location where you can find a comfortable seat.
You can use a tennis ball or rolling pin to massage the feet and calves. Using these tools can be helpful because they target areas that are too hard to reach with your hands, or when you don’t have a foam roller handy.
To start, sit in a chair and place the ball under your foot. Then, slowly and gently roll the ball up and down along the length of your foot. This massage will help loosen your fascia and improve circulation to the area. You can do this exercise while seated or standing, and increase pressure as needed.
Plantar fasciitis is a common heel pain condition that often responds well to massage. It stimulates blood flow, improves circulation, breaks down adhesions and scar tissue, temporarily diminishes pain signals from nerve endings, and helps stretch and loosen tight muscles and tendons that contribute to the injury.
Cross-friction massage (CFM) is an advanced technique that has been used for over 100 years to treat musculoskeletal injuries and pain syndromes. This deep connective tissue massage breaks down scar tissue and remodels it into more flexible, pliable, and functional, healthy soft tissue.
It is performed by a doctor or therapist by applying the fingers directly over the tissue at fault. This requires a good understanding of anatomy because the provider must single out the tissue and perform the massage perpendicular to its fibers.
This is a gentle, short-term, and very effective technique that should be done one to two times daily and preferably after exercise. Be careful not to overdo it, however — too much pressure can make the injury worse and inhibit the healing process.
Ice or heat therapy
Ice can help to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. It also numbs the affected area. Apply ice to the injury for up to 20 minutes per day.
For plantar fasciitis, ice can be applied by applying an ice pack to the injured area or using a frozen water bottle as an ice massage. Make sure to keep the ice in place and cover it with a towel or cloth barrier to protect your skin.
Heat therapy can also be used for plantar fasciitis to increase blood flow and bring more oxygen to the affected area. However, be careful not to overheat the injury, as this can cause edema and fluid buildup.
Warm therapy, on the other hand, increases circulation and expands the blood vessels, thereby increasing healing and relieving pain. To maximize benefits, elevate the foot above or close to heart level by placing a couple of pillows or a leg rest pillow.
Stretching is a very important part of any physical therapy program. It helps your body release stress and tension held in your muscles.
It can also help relieve plantar fasciitis. In fact, a small 2018 study showed that stretching the Achilles tendon as well as the plantar fascia for four weeks reduced pain in people with plantar fasciitis.
The best stretches for plantar fasciitis involve using your own body weight. For example, sitting on a chair with the affected foot crossed over the unaffected one and gently pulling your big toe back towards you away from the ground. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat on the other foot.
Another easy stretch for plantar fasciitis involves looping a towel or rope around the ball of your foot and gently pulling it backwards. This will give your calf and Achilles tendons a great warm-up.
You might also like to read: