Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the tendon or muscle that runs along the heel. The inflammation occurs due to various injuries or irritation of the fascia. Causes of plantar fasciitis include the following:
- Excessive weight-bearing
- Prolonged standing
According to Mayo Clinic, the following is the sequence of diagnosing plantar fasciitis.
- Examine medical history and activity
- Physical examination
- Imaging, X-ray, MRI, and CT scan
Prompt treatment for plantar fasciitis is important. Treating plantar fasciitis quickly not just helps you recover the damage but also helps prevent new possible complications.
Physicians usually follow a specific sequence for treating and managing plantar fasciitis. These treatments include the following:
- Pain relief medication: naproxen and ibuprofen
- Physical therapy
- Shock wave therapy
- Ultrasonic tissue repair
If you do not handle it or leave it unattended, you might cause permanent damage to your feet. Harm to the plantar fascia rises with the weight and walking effort.
Aside from medical treatment plans, one can use various methods and lifestyle changes to reduce pain. You can lose weight, choose shoes that support your heel, avoid long hours of standing, or even change your job. You can rely on simple exercises to stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and surrounding muscles. Last but not least, you can also consider massage for plantar fasciitis to relieve pain.
Deep tissue massage is the technique of choice for foot pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Deep tissue massage is especially effective because it eases the tendons, ligaments, and fascia that have become stiff over time.
With most cases of plantar fasciitis, the fibrous bands in the feet have been extended over time to the point of cracking. Thus, it is important to strengthen the feet and lower legs. It's important to exercise the calf muscles with massage to help plantar fasciitis.
Extensive research is available on the massage therapies employed to release heel pain. A scientific study done in 2018 studied the beneficial effects of myofascial release, deep massage, and joint mobilization. The results were moderately positive in the short term.
Deep soft tissue massage has proven to be effective in treating plantar fasciitis. Some studies also found massage therapies through muscle massage guns to be superior to surgical techniques for relieving pain and reducing inflammation.
Percussion massage guns work through various methods to minimize swelling and increase blood circulation.
1. Soft pulls method
This plantar fasciitis massage includes pulling the fascia towards the left and right simultaneously. Put the massage gun in the middle of your sole and slide it left and right and continue to repeat the motion for about 2-4 minutes. Increase or decrease the pressure as required.
2. Soft pushes method
This method includes lying down in bed and using one hand to grab the affected foot and using the other hand to lightly push on your sole. One can easily give this massage to themselves once or twice a day to see great results. The motion of the massage gun should be heel to toe. Try to go over your foot multiple times to effectively reduce the tension on your fascia. You can also use your fist to knead the sole.
3. Toe flex massage
You can add a little toe flexion to your regular hand-to-heel or heel-to-toe massage. You can also use the massage gun to move the toe around in circles.
4. Ball massage
Another common method of massage for plantar fasciitis relief is the lacrosse ball method. Massage guns have a spherical attachment on the front that does the job perfectly.
For this method, you should put a ball under the arch of your foot. You use your body weight or the mechanical power of a massage gun to shift pressure on the ball. This relaxes your fascia. Start with minimal pressure and then increase pressure slowly to your comfort level.
5. Ice massage
This massage is best done twice a day. Place an ice cube under your foot. Roll the massage gun back and forth for a few minutes. This reduces inflammation and pain.
6. Kneading the calf muscles
Calf muscles connect with your ankle and foot bones to support their movement. The calf muscles are susceptible to tightness. Massaging the calf muscles can reduce foot pain by a great deal. Work your massage gun up and down your calf muscle. Your massage gun will rub your calf's gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.
In conclusion, mechanical massage therapy has been known to provide several benefits. Scientific studies have reported the benefits of massage therapy for people with plantar fasciitis. The effects are instantaneous and enhance the quality of life.
A massage gun for plantar fasciitis relieves the crippling pain and makes movement easier and more comfortable. Pressure on the fascia reduces the inflammatory factors and makes it less stiff. This is why if you are someone who is suffering from plantar fasciitis, you should try these mechanical massagers.
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