Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that affects the heel area. While it commonly occurs in middle-aged people, younger people also experience this foot problem. The pain is caused by an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament that connects your heel bone to the base of your toes. This condition can occur in one or both feet, along with swelling in severe conditions. Without proper treatment, heel pain may get worse.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
A host of therapies and treatments exist to help turn the tide against the pain of plantar fasciitis. Reducing pain and inflammation is a top priority using ice, compression, rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Taping the foot can relieve the pain under the heel. Proper shoes are extremely important. Orthotics, steroid injections and surgery are more costly options for extreme cases.
Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. Exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and calf muscles are a priority. Calf muscle stretches should be done three to five times a day, holding the stretches for up to 30 seconds at a time. The plantar fascia stretch is done by pulling the foot and toes upwards aiming to feel a stretch in the arch of the foot and back of the calves. Rolling the foot over a ball can also help stretch underneath the foot.
Massage Therapy to Stretch, Relieve, Restore
Massage therapy not only deals with the symptoms but treats the root of the problem. Deep tissue massage works to loosen muscle tissue, remove toxins and increase circulation of blood and oxygen to the area. Deep tissue massage works because it physically breaks down the adhesions caused by overexertion or strain. A trained massage therapist can work the foot and heel so the ligaments and muscles start to relax, which promotes healing and diminishes chances of reoccurrence. As a result, pain decreases and there is increased ease when walking, standing and participating in daily activities.
Additionally, individuals dealing with the pain of plantar fasciitis frequently adapt the way they walk to try and avoid the pain. Doing so can cause issues with other parts of the body, such as the hips, feet, ankles, knees, low back and joints, which eventually causes strained muscles and sore joints.
Although lasting treatment takes time, most people report feeling partial to full relief from the pain of plantar fasciitis after a series of massage sessions.
Daily at-home massage can be done through the use a rubber ball or a circular object like a water bottle to roll across the bottom of the foot while sitting in a chair with enough pressure to be effective without causing too much pain.