It's astounding to think that a whopping 2 million people are treated for the painful heel condition known as plantar fasciitis, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The pain is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia - the thick band of tissue that supports the arch and joins the toes to the heel bone. The condition can be triggered by a number of activities including running, walking or standing for long periods of time. In addition to being very painful, plantar fasciitis can become chronic if left untreated.
If you do suffer from plantar fasciitis pain, then you may already be aware of a number of treatment options. Some of which include wearing podiatrist-recommended shoes, adding insoles to your shoes, sleeping with a night splint, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
But should you want to get instant relief after a long day on your feet, giving yourself a quick and easy foot massage is one simple, and non-invasive way to treat plantar fasciitis pain. In fact, Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a podiatric surgeon at City Podiatry in New York City, recommends a technique known as a cross-fiber massage to help treat heel pain. It's very easy to do and is very effective in treating pain.
What to do:
1. The ideal time to perform a foot massage is after a bath, shower, or a foot soak, because the foot tissues are already warmed up.
2. To complete the massage think of your foot as a tic-tac-toe board. Use medium-to-firm pressure and massage your foot along the full length of the arch, from the heel to the toes.
3. Then, go across the entire width of the arch, massaging each foot for two minutes.
“Doing this provides fascial release, increasing circulation and reducing tension as well as tightness to the plantar fascia,” Dr. Sutera explains. After you're done massaging each foot, apply ice to the area for about 15 minutes.