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Can deep tissue massage help plantar fasciitis?

Why do I have plantar fasciitis?

In order to understand the best treatments for plantar fasciitis, it helps to know why you might have gotten it in the first place. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury in which the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, gets overstretched, resulting in tiny tears or inflammation.

This condition is often caused by wearing footwear that lacks support, wearing high heels for long periods of time, and sometimes from having very flat or high arches that tend to get overstretched and strained with normal activity. Being overweight can make the problem worse, as excess weight puts additional pressure on the foot’s ligaments. In severe cases, you can rupture the ligament, which is extremely painful and requires immediate medical care.

Getting relief with massage

Now that you know some of the causes, you can better understand why we recommend certain treatments for this condition. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and applying ice can help treat inflammation. These treatments are often the first line of defense, in addition to wearing footwear with proper arch support and stretching the calves gently.

Massage techniques, including rolling a ball under your foot or massaging your feet and calves, can be beneficial and provide you with much needed relief if pain is mild to moderate. Your podiatrist can talk with you about this. Try it out, but stop if you notice discomfort. Massage shouldn’t feel painful.

Deep tissue massage, a different type of massage that requires stronger, more forceful manipulation of the muscles, should only be done under the advisement of your podiatrist and a certified massage therapist trained in plantar fasciitis and foot injuries. Although deep tissue massage is certainly relaxing and beneficial for certain types of problems, these problems can worsen if massage is too deep, causing further injuries to the ligaments.

Bottom line: Massage therapy can be an effective way to relax and relieve sore muscles. But, in the case of foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis, don’t try anything too aggressive until you’ve spoken with your podiatrist.

Are you experiencing heel pain? Contact Kansas City Foot Specialists so you can find ways to get relief!