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Plantar Fasciitis: What It Is and How Massage Can Help

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain. It’s the inflammation of a thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to the base of your toes.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include sharp, stabbing pains in the bottom of your foot near your heel, generally worse right when you wake up or stand after sitting for a long period. Most patients also complain of stiffness and tenderness throughout the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is considered a repetitive strain injury caused by excessive running or walking, inadequate foot wear, or an injury from jumping and landing. It also seems to coincide with other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, sprains, etc. While your doctor may want to run some tests such as x-rays to rule out other problems, a simple physical exam is all that’s needed to diagnose the condition.

Once you get the diagnosis, there are several treatment options that your doctor may suggest. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, shoe inserts, physical therapy, massage therapy, and even surgery. While all the other treatment options have their place, physical therapy and massage therapy are two of the least invasive and effective treatments. You’ll notice that much of your therapy will include work not just on the sole of the foot, but from your toes up to your knees. It’s important that we address the cause of the condition, and that means focusing on the musculature and connective tissues of the entire lower leg and foot. The more we loosen the muscles and fascial restrictions, the less pain you should feel.

You can also attempt to manage a flair up of plantar fasciitis by using self-care tools at home.

Best Self-Care Products for Plantar Fasciitis

There are many tools that can be used at home for self-care of plantar fasciitis. We carry a wide variety of products in our wellness store at Proactive M&B. Here is a list of our favorites you can purchase online from the comfort of home:

Silicone Cups

One of my favorite cupping treatments for plantar fasciitis is simply to apply Lure Edge cups to the sole of the foot, directly over the plantar fasciitis where most of the damage is located. The cups are best left on the foot for approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Gentle movement of the foot and ankle can be performed to help further assist with muscle stretching and flexibility while the cups are on. The same cups can be applied to the tops and sides of the foot as well at the calf to help reduce muscle tightness.  Additionally, the cups can be moved in small circles, zig zags and straight-line patterns for deeper manipulation of very tight muscles. This helps unstick the tissues and lubricate them with fresh, healthy, blood which speeds healing and recovery. Once the “tissue issues” are resolved, pain, inflammation and impaired postures will also resolve. Combined with massage, cupping helps reduce pain and restore function better than typical conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis.


Topical Analgesics

Cupping can be used with additional accompaniments such as cold therapy. Our favorite is the #1 Clinically Recommended Biofreeze Professional. Trusted by pharmacists, physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, podiatrists, and athletic trainers. Biofreeze Professional's unique cooling menthol formula is optimized for professional usage on patients with sore muscles, backaches, sore joints, and arthritis. It penetrates quickly to provide relief to body parts such as back, neck, shoulder, knee, hand, wrist, elbow, foot, and ankle.


Foot Roller

Stretching and strengthening to not only resolve symptoms but prevent them from occurring in the future. It is definitely a super star in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Thera-Band's Foot Roller can massage, lengthen and stretch the muscles and fascia in the foot, toes and arches to prevent and deliver relief from sore or tired feet, heel pain and plantar fasciitis. This is a simple solution for runners, walkers, cyclists and many other athletes to maintain conditioning in the foot to support better athletic performance and decreased pain during exercise, Trusted by some of the world's best athletes and athletic trainers.


Myofascial Release

If your daily life is crippled by muscle pain, poor mobility or aching limbs, then myofascial release massage is ideal to soothe away your pains and effectively improve your performance. Sporty Healthy Habit Massage Balls allow you to take charge of your own muscle health in the most convenient way, so you can get back to your routine in short time. With the benefit of being able to control where and how much pressure you apply, Sporty Healthy Habit Massage Balls are perfect for deep tissue treatment, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release.

Massage Sets Include:

1 x Foam Roller Ball

1 x Firm Spiky Ball

1 x Firm Smooth rubber ball

1 x Carrying Bag - perfect for taking to the gym as part of your warm up and cool down routine

1 x User Guide (download) - achieve the best results from your set by following our comprehensive guide.

1 x Exercise Guide Video



Covering the ankle and entire foot, the Elasto-Gel Hot/Cold Therapy Foot & Ankle Wrap extends from above the ankle to the toes in an “L” shape. Convenient enough for everyday use as well as sturdy enough for occupational, physical or sports therapy. The wrap can be arranged in a number of positions. To reduce acute pain like sprains, strains or bruises, the Elasto-Gel Hot/Cold Therapy Foot & Ankle Wrap can be utilized as a cold therapy product. By applying the cold wrap to the foot/ankle, the wrap is able to reduce swelling and inflammation. The wrap is able to stay cold for 20-40 minutes after a 2 hour freezing period. To reduce soreness, reoccurring pain or injuries, use the Elasto-Gel Hot/Cold Therapy Foot & Ankle Wrap as a hot therapy product. The warmth melts away soreness, relaxes muscles and helps with stiffness by increasing circulation and blood-flow.


While in a flare up of PF, you may need to stick to consistent appointments in order to get it under control. Once you’re symptom free, we can work up a maintenance schedule and preventative measures you can take at home to keep feeling great. Once you develop the condition, it’s easy to return, so don’t skip this part!

If you’re battling plantar fasciitis, give us a call at 804-559-7990 and let’s discuss how massage therapy may be the answer you’ve been looking for.


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