Millions of individuals around the globe are affected by plantar fasciitis, a condition that can have a dramatic effect on their day-to-day life. Fortunately, massage therapy and other techniques can be an effective treatment option for those seeking relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of connective tissue, becomes strained or overused. This leads to small tears, inflammation, and pain. The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is often characterized by pain in the heel or arch of the foot and sometimes it causes heel spurs. This pain is usually sharp and stabbing. It is usually worse in the morning or after standing or walking for long periods.

The discomfort may intensify after a period of inactivity, like sitting or lying down, and may be accompanied by tightness, tenderness, and inflammation in the area that is affected. In some cases, the pain may be so severe that it prevents walking or performing other activities normally.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Several factors can cause plantar fasciitis, and it is important to understand these risk factors.

These risk factors include overuse or repetitive strain on the foot, tight calf muscles, high arches or flat feet, obesity or weight gain, and wearing shoes with poor arch support. This can happen as a result of an intense marathon training schedule, or other high mileage activities; so if you are athletic and put in the mileage then make sure you get a massage therapy session for your feet around every four weeks or to give your feet a tune up and reduce your likelihood for getting Plantar Fasciitis. 

If you're not sure if this is what is causing your foot pain, the have your doctor diagnose plantar fasciitis

How to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common overuse injury that can lead to heel pain. The plantar fascia, a ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, absorbs shock with every step taken. If too much pressure is put on the foot, the ligament can become overstretched, inflamed, and even torn. This can lead to the development of plantar fasciitis and cause significant pain.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent this condition. Protecting your mobility is key, and addressing any tight muscles in your calves, flat feet, or untreated ankle injury is essential. This can prevent excess pressure from being placed on your feet, which can cause the ligament to become inflamed.

Try foam rolling, stretching, getting a sports massage and wearing orthotics made for Plantar Fasciitis. These are tried-and-true remedies for managing the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. This may seem straightforward, but these are some of the best ways to prevent plantar fasciitis.

Try them before considering more invasive treatments like injections or surgery.

It's crucial to take a day off between workouts to give your plantar fascia time to recover. Orthotics can help with prevention of plantar fasciitis. They provide support in areas where the body needs it most.

Finally, regular stretching can help keep your plantar fascia loose and limber, which can prevent this overuse injury. Also you can wear night splints to help reduce the tension in your soft tissues. With these preventive measures in place, you can avoid plantar fasciitis and enjoy pain-free movement.

What not to do with Plantar Fasciitis 

It is essential to understand what not to do when dealing with Plantar Fasciitis. This will help promote healing and avoid any additional complications.

A common mistake is to continue running and not giving yourself appropriate rest time. It's important to take breaks from running on a regular basis. Give your feet a chance to rest with one or two extra rest days weekly to help provide relief.

Now what this means is to temporarily lay off the running. This does not mean you shouldn’t walk and just ride around in a scooter or wheelchair you just need to cut back on the mileage. When you run you create more force impact on your feet which can cause more damage. This is what is known as “Ground Reaction Force.” 

According to PubMed and University of Oklahoma, when you walk or stand, the force is equal to your body weight. However, when you run the Ground Reaction Force is three to five times your body weight. This can cause more damage to your feet, worsening plantar fasciitis.  So just cut down on your mileage and taking some extra rest days when you have a plantar fasciitis flare up. 

Finally, it's important not to delay treatment of Plantar Fasciitis. To prevent this, it is recommended to seek treatments, such as therapeutic massage, shoe inserts and stretching, as soon as possible. This can help avoid the need for more extreme, expensive medical therapies.

If you suspect that the arch of your foot may be damaged, take corrective action quickly. Otherwise, it could spread and affect other areas, such as your heel bone.

How Massage Therapy Can Help with Plantar Fasciitis

Massage therapy helps to reduce pain and discomfort, decrease inflammation, loosen tight muscles, release the plantar fascia, improve circulation, and increase range of motion. Massage therapy may be beneficial for people with plantar fasciitis. Strategies such as deep tissue manipulation, trigger point treatment, and myofascial release can be used.

These techniques can help people with Plantar Fasciitis. They can reduce tension, ease pain, and increase mobility. Doing them alongside physical therapy is even more effective.  

Massage Techniques for Plantar Fasciitis

Therapeutic massage can be used to alleviate plantar fasciitis. Techniques used include deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release.

Deep tissue massage applies slow, deep pressure to the deeper muscle and tissue layers in the foot. This technique is effective at reducing tension, pain, and discomfort.

Trigger point therapy uses pressure on particular points in the foot to reduce tension and ease discomfort.

Myofascial release, on the other hand, uses sustained pressure on the fascia to release tension and increase mobility.

Elite Healers Sports Massage offers massage therapy for plantar fasciitis. Trained massage therapists are available if you choose to make an appointment with us.

If you're suffering from plantar fasciitis, it's important to seek the advice of a medical professional before beginning any treatment. With the right care and treatment, you can overcome plantar fasciitis and return to a pain-free life.