What Are the Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage for Plantar Fasciitis?
How Massage Helps with Heel Pain due to Plantar Fasciitis
Is there anything better at the end of the day than relaxing on the couch and putting your feet up? We spend a significant portion of our day on our feet, and individuals who stand in their work spend even more time on their feet. It’s no wonder they get sore and achy by the time we’re ready to sleep. Mild muscle pain is a common experience that can be relieved with a bath or a relaxing massage. However, if you’ve been experiencing pain or discomfort on the bottom of your foot while walking or running, you could be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
If your heel pain is severe enough to affect your daily routine, you should consult with a medical professional to diagnose your plantar fasciitis. Your physician will discuss a treatment plan with you, which will likely include a deep tissue massage to aid in relieving tension.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The term plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is an important ligament at the bottom of your foot that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot.
Think of plantar fascia like an elastic band, or a long, lean trampoline, that essentially acts as a shock absorber for your heel bone while you move. This fascia supports your arches by relieving some of the pressure you put on your feet while walking and running. When there is too much pressure for the foot to handle, this normally cushion-like band of tissue can become inflamed and stiffen up.
If you have flat feet or high arches, you might be more likely to experience plantar fasciitis due to the structure of your feet, which can be exasperated depending on the type of shoes you wear from day to day.
What Are the Signs and Causes of Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis typically starts with noticeable heel pain that gets progressively worse over time depending on your routine, footwear, and foot structure. You will likely notice a burning sensation or ache through the sole of the foot once you sit down to rest after a walk, run or other activity.
Typical signs of plantar fasciitis include:
- Heel pain (burning or aching sensation around the heel bone and on your arches)
- Redness and/or swelling at the bottom of the foot or around the heel bone
- Heel stiffness
- Irritation and inflammation that worsens with extended physical activity
Plantar fasciitis is common in active individuals as the fascia can often become inflamed due to overstretching or overuse of the ligament without proper rehabilitation or orthopedic support. Pregnant women and folks living with obesity are often at a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis as well due to increased pressure on the heel bone and ligament while carrying extra weight. Structural issues like high arches, flat feet, and tight Achilles tendons can also contribute to plantar fascia inflammation.
Some common causes of plantar fasciitis include:
- Overstretching or overuse of the plantar fascia
- The foot’s structure (flat feet or high arches)
- Spending long periods of time in improper footwear like high heeled shoes or flat sneakers
- Sudden weight gain that puts increased pressure on the feet
- Tight Achilles tendons (tendons that connect the calf muscles to the heels)
If you are living with an inflamed plantar fascia, whether it be due to your foot’s structure, your exercise routine, or any other factor, treatment for plantar fasciitis pain is available, including deep tissue massage.
How Does Deep Tissue Massage Heal the Body?
Deep tissue massage is one of our most common massage techniques used to treat sore muscles and inflamed fascia. Applying slow, firm pressure on your body’s pain points is how your massage therapist can effectively break up knots and smooth out connective tissue.
There are many healing benefits of deep tissue massage, including:
- Treating chronic pain so you can actually enjoy your life
- Healing sports injuries so you can get back out there with confidence next year
- Relieving tension and anxiety so you can relax
Giving your registered massage therapist time to get to know your muscle structure, determine which areas require the most attention, and how much pressure is required to reach the deep, soft tissues will help you feel relief sooner. You might feel sore a day or two after your massage, but your pain will soon be replaced by long-term relief.
If you don’t have time or the budget to visit a massage therapy clinic regularly, you can also use a foam roller to relieve pressure on your plantar fascia while giving yourself an at-home foot massage.
Additional Tips to Help Treat Plantar Fasciitis
At Urban Massage, we recommend booking a massage therapy appointment with one of our highly skilled massage therapists every two weeks to give your muscles and fascia enough healing time between visits. If you experience pain or discomfort between visits to treat your plantar fasciitis, here are some proactive ways to address inflamed plantar fascia:
- Elevate and ice the bottom of your feet to reduce inflammation around the heel bone
- Wear supportive shoes that support your arches, whether they are high or flat
- Stretch your arches (but not too much)
- Stay active to boost blood flow and circulation through the body
- Adjust your activities to limit long periods of physical exertion on the feet
Plantar fasciitis can be debilitating if not treated properly, so it is important to get ahead of a diagnosis like this so you can use deep tissue massage and other healing techniques to soften up inflamed plantar fascia before your condition gets too severe.
If plantar fasciitis is affecting your day-to-day quality of life, you should talk to a medical professional and find out what treatment plan will work best for your lifestyle.
Deep Tissue Massage Therapists in St. Albert
Anyone experiencing unrelenting heel pain, sore arches or tight Achilles tendons, might have plantar fasciitis and be in need of a deep tissue massage to help ease the inflammation.
At Urban Massage, we pride ourselves on being St. Albert’s go-to clinic for various massage techniques and wellness therapies. Once you have talked to your doctor and have received an official plantar fasciitis diagnosis, we encourage you to book a deep tissue massage at Urban Massage at your convenience so you can walk, run, and move freely in no time.