How to Manage Plantar Fasciitis With Massage Therapy

Have you ever sat up in bed in the morning, placed your feet on the ground, and winced in pain as you took your first few steps to the bathroom? Or maybe you’ve spent a long day sitting at your desk or in your vehicle and felt this pain in your feet as you stood up to walk somewhere. This discomfort is strongest at your heels but can radiate across the soles of your feet and even up your leg. That pain and discomfort is characteristic of plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fasciitis, how does it develop, and what can be done to treat it? That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Your feet have tissues that connect your heel bone to your toes. This connective tissue is the plantar fascia, and when it becomes inflamed, it causes sharp pain in your feet. The pain may be mild or severe enough to radiate up your ankles and legs. This painful condition is called plantar fasciitis. When you have it, you’ll know it because your natural walking and running motions trigger the pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

The general causes of plantar fasciitis are time (as we age, our risk for plantar fasciitis increases) and overuse (due to sports activities or standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces in inadequate shoes).

To summarize, the primary factors that lead to plantar fasciitis are as follows:

  • Type of footwear
  • Flooring material
  • Foot structure
  • Overuse
  • Age
  • Medical conditions (lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

The pain you feel in your feet is the main symptom of plantar fasciitis. You may also feel tension along the bottom of your foot whenever you place weight on it. Because the natural movement of running and walking stretches the fascia, it’s also the trigger of the pain and a common cause of the condition.

Effective Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

There are a variety of treatments that offer relief from the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis. With regular treatments and at-home activities, you can work to restore your feet to normal. The treatment time for plantar fasciitis varies, depending on the presence and severity of the pain. Athletes who put a lot of pressure and strain on their feet, such as marathon runners, may need longer treatments to alleviate their discomfort.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is ideal for treating chronic pain and sports injuries because your deep tissues hold a lot of tension. Your practitioner will use medium to strong pressure to massage along your plantar fascia in each foot and leg. Reaching the deep tissues helps provide long-lasting relief.

Manual Osteopathy

Manual osteopathy is another ideal treatment for plantar fasciitis. Your practitioner will use a range of techniques to reduce your pain and bring your body back into alignment. This hands-on therapy targets your joints and muscles to strengthen and reduce discomfort in your feet. We recommend pairing manual osteopathy treatment with other massage therapies to help restore function in your feet and body.

Change Your Shoes

One cause of plantar fasciitis is poor footwear. Purchasing new athletic shoes or work shoes can give your feet extra support and can help relieve the pressure on your plantar fascia. You might also want to consider switching your sports routine from running to swimming and cycling.

Try Reflexology or Acupuncture

Reflexology treatment targets the pressure points in your feet to apply pressure and stretch your inflamed fascia. This stretching helps reduce discomfort and tension in the fascia and promotes healing.

Acupuncture is another treatment that can help alleviate discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis. The acupuncturist uses fine needles to target trigger points that can link to the tension in your feet.

Stretching and Physical Therapy

Seeing a physical therapist is another way to seek treatment for plantar fasciitis. A physical therapist will show you different stretches that focus on the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. You may also be advised to build strength in your ankles, which can also give your feet some relief.

How to Relieve Symptoms at Home

In addition to seeking professional treatments for plantar fasciitis, there are at-home strategies to follow for additional relief. You can apply ice and stretch your plantar fascia by stretching the soles of your feet. This can help alleviate the tension and pain in between massage, manual osteopathy, or other treatments.

How to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

When you’re a passionate athlete or work in an environment that has you standing for long periods of time, there are some strategies you can follow to avoid getting plantar fasciitis. Each individual is different, which means not all cases can be avoided completely, but these tips will help you stay comfortable on your feet for longer.

Wear supportive shoes – having shoes that give your feet support during a long shift at work, especially if you’re standing on hard concrete, will help alleviate pressure on your plantar fasciitis.

Replace your athletic shoes – if you’re an avid athlete and haven’t replaced your shoes in a year, it’s time to consider purchasing a new pair. Athletic shoes need replacing sooner than other shoes due to the wear and tear your activities place on them.

Wear orthotic shoe inserts – another way to make your shoes more comfortable is to wear an orthotic insole. We recommend getting a custom fit orthotic from a podiatrist to best support your individual needs.

Wear a night splint – wearing a night splint can help take the pressure off the soles of your feet at night, giving your feet time to recover and relax as you sleep.

Book regular treatments – book regular treatments, whether that includes massage therapy, manual osteopathy, acupuncture, physical therapy, reflexology, or other treatments. Routine attention to your feet and overall health can help prevent and treat plantar fasciitis.

Foot Massage for Plantar Fasciitis in St. Albert

If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain in your feet from plantar fasciitis, our Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) and practitioners are here to help you find relief. Book an appointment at our St. Albert massage clinic for your plantar fasciitis today. 

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