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Can Massage Help My Plantar Fasciitis

Let's start with what is Plantar Fasciitis? It is most commonly known for a stabbing pain in your heel. The Plantar Aponeurosis, is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the Calcaneus (heel bone) and extending along the sole of the foot and blends with the ligaments attached to the toes. Plantar Fasciitis is irritation and swelling of this thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. The pain is often the worst in the morning when first standing. Common risk factors include running, being overweight, and improper foot support. Some common ways to reduce pain from plantar fasciitis are: inserts for better shoe support, putting shoes on as soon as you wake up, icing the area to reduce inflammation, and stretching.

It is common that most people don't think to get a massage for this condition. However, massage can be of great help. A recent study found that massage to the calf muscles combined with both passive stretches and at home stretches for the client reduced morning pain from a 10 to a 6.8 on average. Tenderness at the heel usually is apparent on palpation and is increased with passive Dorsi-Flexion(pointing toes toward head) of the toes. When the fascia is overstretched or overused, it can become inflamed. When the fascia is inflamed, it can be painful and make walking more difficult. A combination of calf and foot massage with some active and passive stretches are most common protocol for this condition.

Treatment can be effective but is often painful so good communication between the therapist and the client is essential during treatment to ensure tolerable pressure.

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