Plantar fasciitis is a painful overuse injury and stress of the plantar (sole) fascia. It is like carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow: a kinda-sorta tendinitis, an inflammatory thickening (1) and/or degeneration of the plantar fascia. Most people will recover from plantar fasciitis with rest, arch support (shoe inserts or more comfortable shoes), and stretching, but not everyone. This condition can be very stubborn and severe chronic cases may make it difficult to walk, reduce your fitness level and general health, and drag on for years.
How can massage help with this condition? Massage therapy for this condition is an all-natural pain relief remedy that can help without any negative side effects associated with over the counter pain relievers, or prescription pain medicines. Deep tissue massage is very beneficial for plantar fasciitis. This technique loosens tendons, ligaments, and fascia that have become tight over time. Working in the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) and bottom of the foot with light stretching can be effective in controlling pain and breaking down scar tissue. Hydrotherapy such as icing and moist heat can also be utilized (2).
Whether it is a mild case of foot soreness from a long hike or years of painful plantar fasciitis, massage can help you get ‘back on your feet’ and being a better you!
1. Karabay N, Toros T, Hurel C. Ultrasonographic evaluation in plantar fasciitis. J Foot Ankle Surg. 2007; 46(6): 442–446.