Deep tissue sports massage can help as part of treatment for plantar fasciitis by stretching the plantar fascia. The following guidelines for plantar Fasciitis massage are for information purposes only. We recommend seeking professional advice before attempting any self-treatment.
What equipment is required?
A lubricant is needed to allow the hands to glide smoothly. A number of massage oils are available to buy. A cheap but effective alternative is simple baby oil. Do not use too much oil. Enough to allow for smooth, controlled movement is required but too much will mean a lack of control. A firm, flat surface to lie on in order to apply pressure.
Sports massage techniques
Technique 1: Light stroking to the top of the foot
Light stroking movements to the top of the foot. The sole of the foot rests on the therapist's hand with the thumb and fingers of the other applying light pressure from the toes up to the ankle.
Technique 2: Spreading the metatarsals.
Place the thumbs on top of the metatarsal area and the fingers firmly under the ball of the foot. Grasp the foot and work the thumbs outwards aiming to spread the metatarsal bones. Apply this technique 5 to 10 times. Light stroking as above can be mixed in every two or three times to break up the technique.
Technique 3: Petrissage sole of the foot.
With the thumbs apply cross frictions from the heel, gradually working up to the ball of the foot. Then apply firm pressure down the sole of the foot (plantar fascia or aponeurosis) to the heel. Repeat this technique 10 to 15 times. Do not rush but apply firm, smooth techniques.
Technique 4: Deep pressure with the heel of the hand.
Using the heel of the hand apply deep, sustained pressure from the ball of the foot to the heel. This technique may be mildly uncomfortable but not so much as it causes pain or causes the athlete to tighten up. This sports massage technique is excellent for releasing tension in the plantar fascia.
Technique 5: Circular frictions
Using the thumb apply small circular frictions to any tight knots or lumps in the plantar fascia. Pressure should be deep but not so much that the athlete tightens up with pain.
Calf massage techniques
In addition to the above techniques, plantar fasciitis may benefit from massage to the calf muscles.