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Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Should Include Massage – With a Sports Massage in Everett, Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Lake Stevens, Snohomish

May 31, 2011  

Sports Massage

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, including a deep tissue sports massage as part of your treatment regimen can speed up your healing time. Especially prevalent in persons with:

  • Flat feet
  • High arches
  • Low arches

Oft times, one of the primary symptoms is severe pain when you take the first few steps in the morning. Continued trauma to the bottom (plantar) surface of the foot is thought to be the primary cause of plantar fasciitis; some examples of repeated trauma:

  • Running
  • Sitting for prolonged periods with heel elevated
  • Spending long periods of time on your feet

These types of ‘trauma’ place the fascia under stress and cause the collagen in the ligament to degenerate. Previously believed to be an inflammation process, plantar fasciitis is actually  repeated micro-tears in the plantar fascia that “overcome the body’s ability to repair itself.” (American Association of Family Physicians)

Other anatomical indicators that can make a person prone to plantar fasciitis:

  • Overpronation – feet roll inward
  • Tight/short calf muscles
  • Legs of differing length
  • Extreme lateral tibial torsion – ‘in-toeing’ or ‘out-toeing’
  • Femoral anteversion – inward twisting of thigh bone
  • Obesity
  • Elderly patients that have lost the ability to heal properly or quickly

MEDICAL TREATMENT

There is no quick fix for plantar fasciitis; as the primary cause of the problem is from repeated trauma, it is often difficult to conform to your doctor’s recommendations. After all, if you work on your feet all day, and the advised course of action is to stay off your feet until the pain resolves  – chances are you will continue injuring yourself more out of need than desire. The same situation follows for athletes that suffer from this painful condition. In addition to resting the feet:

  • Plantar Fascia Taping Technique – by supporting the fascia with strips of tape, stress is reduced to the plantar fascia and the area is able to rest
  • Cold Therapy – ice can be applied for 20 minute intervals to help reduce inflammation and to reduce painful symptoms
  • Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint – placed on the foot (feet) at bedtime, the night splint gently stretches the calf muscle and fascia to avoid the areas tightening up over night
  • Stretch Therapies – gentle, continued stretching exercises are necessary to provide long term recovery and reduce incidence of  recurrence

SPORTS MASSAGE FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS

As the main cause of pain with plantar fasciitis is the inability of the foot fascia to relax, a sports massage by a certified technician in Everett, Lynwood, Mukilteo, Lake Stevens and Snohomish is highly recommended. Be certain to indicate your diagnosis of plantar fasciitis to your massage therapist – there is a definitive plan of action to help re-stretch the fascia:

  1. With patient laying face down on massage table, bend the knee such that the bottom of the injured foot is facing the ceiling
  2. To stretch the fascia, gently bend all 5 toes toward the massage table while simultaneously kneading the sole of the foot with the thumb of your other hand – in a stroking motion from the heel to the ball of the foot. Note: never hold stretch more than 2 seconds!
  3. After stretching both effected feet, have patient perform a series of 10 dorsiflexions – holding each for no more than 2 seconds. This motion – flexing the toes to reduce the angle between the top of the foot and the shin – stretches the interior calf muscle (Flexor digitorum longus). As the client is dorsiflexing, the therapist  should apply pressure along the flexor digitorum longus to break up any adhesions or scar tissue formed from prolonged muscle tension.
  4. After allowing the patient to rest for a short while, complete treatment with 3-5 minutes of gentle massage to the foot and lower leg.

It has been shown that receiving a professional sports massage for plantar fasciitis at least once a week is extremely beneficial to the healing process. Twice a week is strongly advised for patients that can endure the treatment. While the massage process can be painful – the resultant eventual pain relief is well worth the process!