Anyone who has ever dealt with Plantar Fasciitis knows just how detrimental this condition can be not only to an exercise routine, but to simple day to day task. The classic symptom of Plantar Fasciitis, intense pain in front of the heel when stepping on the ground after sleeping or long periods of rest, can make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Though the pain will often subside after the tissue has a chance to warm up, it may slowly get worse throughout the day, making it difficult to do anything that involves being on your feet all day.
The pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis is caused by either inflammation or damage to the Plantar Fascia; this is a band of connective tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and helps to support the arch of the foot. Any damage to this structure can lead to Plantar Fasciitis, but risk factors such as tight calf muscles, tight Achilles Tendons, high arches, or flat feet, can make someone more susceptible to the condition.
But, there's good news! Massage can and often is able to help you prevent or alleviate the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis.
As with most sports injuries, prevention is key. Adding therapeutic massage to a fitness routine can help keep the calf muscles and achilles tendon loose and supple, which is key for prevention of plantar fasciitis. Working with the plantar fascia itself can alleviate existing pain and give relief to the area. Massage reduces inflammation and promotes healing in the fascia and associated structures. Don't expect a quick and final cure overnight.
A lot of healing requires taking the behaviors away that caused the pain in the first place. Talk with your doctor and you massage therapist for ideas on how you can adjust your routine to get out of the cycle. Add some massage to the mix and you should be on the road to recovery!