Should You Massage Your Plantar Fasciitis?
Massage therapy for plantar fasciitis is an effective method for relieving discomfort and reducing inflammation in the plantar fascia. This technique has been proven to provide pain relief and can be utilized as a preventive measure to mitigate the chances of developing this condition.
There are a couple of ways to approach this task – either on your own or with the assistance of a professional. The key factor, regardless of which route you choose, is to take it slow and listen to your body. It’s vital to pause or modify the activity if you experience significant pain or discomfort.
1. It relieves pain
Plantar fasciitis is a prevalent and distressing ailment. It occurs when the band of tissue, known as the fascia, connecting the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed. This condition is primarily observed in individuals who engage in activities requiring extensive running or standing. However, it is important to note that plantar fasciitis can affect anyone, regardless of their level of physical activity.
Massage is an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis because it relieves pain. It also improves circulation, breaks up scar tissue, and relaxes the muscles.
Deep tissue massage helps to loosen tight tendons, ligaments and fascia. It can also be combined with hydrotherapy such as icing and moist heat.
It is important to use only moderate pressure when massaging the foot. If you don’t, you may inflame the fascia and cause additional pain.
2. It improves circulation
Massage can improve circulation, which means it can help move stagnant blood out of congested areas and replace it with oxygen-rich blood. This is important because it’s a major factor in pain relief and repair.
It can also prevent the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, which can cause cramps and soreness. This happens when you’re stressed out or your body isn’t getting enough oxygen.
When you massage your foot, it will increase blood flow to the area and send nutrients and oxygen to your muscles, so you can recover faster. And it can also help break up scar tissue that builds up in the plantar fascia ligament.
3. It breaks up scar tissue
If you’ve had any kind of surgery or injury, you know that scars can be painful and uncomfortable. They’re also common causes of adhesions and reduced range of motion, even years after they’ve healed.
Fortunately, there are manual therapy techniques that can help break up scar tissue. One type of massage called cross friction can promote remodeling and keep collagen fibers properly aligned, so that the scar can heal and turn into healthy tissue.
Physical therapists often use scar tissue massage in combination with stretching after surgeries or injuries. Massaging the scar can potentially promote the remodeling process, which can reduce pain and improve range of motion over time.
If you’re struggling with plantar fasciitis, consider incorporating regular scar tissue massage into your rehabilitation routine. It may also be helpful to learn some simple stretches for your foot. The therapist you choose will be able to tell you what’s appropriate for your case. Don’t hesitate to ask!
4. It relaxes the muscles
Massage can relax the muscles through both physical and chemical mechanisms. It increases blood flow, which brings fresh nutrients to the muscle tissue and removes stagnant fluid.
This is especially important for plantar fasciitis because the plantar fascia has become stiff and tight over time. By increasing circulation and breaking up scar tissue, massage helps to soften and loosen the plantar fascia.
Alternatively, you can perform a self-massage with your hands or a foot massager. Using medium-to-firm pressure, start at the heel and work up to the toes. Do this a few times to begin relaxing the tissue, and then do it several times more to stretch the plantar fascia.
This can also help to increase the mobility of your plantar fascia and reduce pain, but it should be used in conjunction with other treatment options for this condition. Some of these include calf muscle stretching and plantar fascia-specific stretching.
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