Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia in the bottom of your foot. It’s a common condition that usually develops gradually, typically caused by overexertion of the plantar fascia combined with poor foot posture and unbalanced muscle strength. And as you can probably imagine, there are lots of different ways to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis (PF).
But one in particular that we came across recently is calf massage for plantar fasciitis. Does it actually help? We take a look at how you can use this simple technique to get fast relief from plantar fasciitis pain…
Calf Massage for Plantar Fasciitis
For those who aren’t familiar with it, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot and ankle injuries. It occurs when the tissue on the bottom of your foot — the plantar fascia — becomes inflamed and can’t function properly. Calf massage is a form of self-massage that involves massaging your calves to relieve muscle tension, break up lactic acid, and stretch the muscles that run from the back of your knee to your toes.
Calf massage is thought to help with foot pain because it targets the muscles in the back of your lower leg (the calves). The calf muscles are connected to your heel bone, which is also the bone at the bottom of your foot. And the plantar fascia, the tissue that’s inflamed in people with plantar fasciitis.
The calf muscles are actually one of the most common areas for trigger points (also known as knots) and other forms of muscle pain in the lower leg and foot. And this makes sense when we consider that the calf muscles are responsible for powering the pull-through action of the plantar fascia.
The plantar fascia is the thick, fibrous tissue that runs from the base of the heel to the balls of the feet. It’s responsible for supporting the arch of the foot and helping us to walk, run, and stand without collapsing or bending inwards. In turn, the calf muscles are responsible for contracting and pulling the plantar fascia taut, which helps to maintain the arch of the foot and keeps the foot from collapsing under the weight of the body.
How Does Calf Massage Help Plantar Fasciitis?
Studies have shown that calf massage can reduce pain and improve overall foot health in those with plantar fasciitis. Calf massage is believed to help with plantar fasciitis because it stretches the plantar fascia and the muscles in the calf and foot. This allows the plantar fascia to relax, decreases the amount of pressure being placed on your heel, and alleviates pain. Calf massage may also help relieve pain related to plantar fasciitis because it can release lactic acid within the muscles. This is important because the lactic acid buildup is associated with muscle pain and fatigue.
Because the calf muscles and plantar fascia are so closely linked, it’s not surprising that calf massage can help reduce the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Calf massage for plantar fasciitis increases blood flow to the calf muscles, helping to warm and ease the strain in the area. It also helps to break up and release the lactic acid and CO2 that build up in the calves when you overuse them—particularly if you have weak calf muscles that don’t function properly.
These two factors help to ease the pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis as they help to improve circulation in the calf muscles, break down build-up, and reduce inflammation in the area.
Is There Scientific Evidence That Calf Massage Works?
Yes, there is plenty of scientific evidence that shows that calf massage is a good treatment for plantar fasciitis. Calf massage for plantar fasciitis reduces the pain associated with plantar fasciitis by increasing blood flow to the calf muscles and helping to break down CO2 and lactic acid build-up that can occur when you overuse the calves. Studies have shown that regular massage can reduce the level of pain and improve function in people who suffer from chronic pain in the lower limbs.
Studies have shown that calf massage can help reduce foot pain associated with plantar fasciitis, including pain while walking and pain in the morning. Indeed, a recent study found that calf massage was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory medication for people with plantar fasciitis. Calf massage for plantar fasciitis may be particularly effective because it targets both the plantar fascia and the muscles that are causing the pain. Calf massage can be done either as a standalone treatment or as part of a wider treatment plan that includes stretching and strengthening exercises.
Are There Any Dangers of Massaging Your Calves for Plantar Fasciitis?
There are no major dangers associated with calf massage for plantar fasciitis. However, it’s important to remember that everyone’s bodies are different, so what works for one person may not work for another. Calf massage for plantar fasciitis is most effective when it’s done consistently. So make sure you’re consistent with your self-massage schedule and you’ll likely see positive results.
As long as you use gentle and sustained pressure to massage your calves, there shouldn’t be any dangers associated with calf massage. A lot of people who suffer from plantar fasciitis have a lot of chronic pain in the lower limbs. So if you have weak calf muscles, massaging them can help to break down the lactic acid and CO2 build-up in the muscles. And by increasing the blood flow to the muscles, massage can help to ease the pain. However, if you have very weak calf muscles, it’s possible that you might make the pain worse by massaging them.
Does Calf Massage Help Plantar Fasciitis?
Yes, there is plenty of evidence that shows that calf massage is a good treatment for plantar fasciitis. Studies have shown that calf massage can reduce foot pain associated with plantar fasciitis, including pain while walking and pain in the morning.
Indeed, a recent study found that calf massage was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory medication for people with plantar fasciitis. Calf massage for plantar fasciitis may be particularly effective because it targets both the plantar fascia and the muscles that are causing the pain. Calf massage can be done either as a standalone treatment or as part of a wider treatment plan that includes stretching and strengthening exercises.
How to Perform a Calf Massage for Plantar Fasciitis?
The best time to do a calf massage is at the end of the day when your feet have been up for a while and you have time to sit down. Here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Start by sitting with your legs out in front of you, and then lean forward and place the palms of your hands underneath the balls of your feet. If you have a firm massage mat or a pillow that you can place underneath your feet, this will make the massage a lot more comfortable.
- Gently press your hands into the balls of your feet, and then massage your calves as if you’re kneading dough. Use firm sustained pressure and focus on the lower half of your calves, working from the knee towards the ankle.
- Spend about 3 minutes massaging each calf, and then complete the second round of massage for added benefit.
Before you start your calf massage for plantar fasciitis, you should always follow a few basic rules. Firstly, make sure you are in a comfortable position, such as sitting or lying down. You don’t want to be standing or kneeling, as this could increase your risk of injury. You also want to make sure you have your hands, knees, and elbows free of any jewelry. And if you are pregnant, you should definitely avoid self-massaging your calves, as it could have a negative impact on your overall health.
The Calf Massage Technique For Plantar Fasciitis
There are many different ways to perform calf massage for plantar fasciitis, but one of the most effective methods is a simple self-massage technique that you can do right at home. Here’s how it works…
1. Place your foot on a chair or stool with your knee bent at 90 degrees and your heel hanging off the edge. This will stretch out your calf muscles so they’re relaxed while you perform the massage.
2. Then use both hands to firmly massage the entire calf muscle from top to bottom in small circular motions (you can use also a massage gun).
Other Ways to Manage Your Plantar Fasciitis With Mobility Exercises and Stretching
If you want to get the most out of your calf massage for plantar fasciitis, you should combine it with other treatments. Calf massage for plantar fasciitis can be done both regularly and as part of a wider plantar fasciitis treatment plan that also includes mobility exercises and stretching. These exercises can help strengthen the muscles in your foot and ankle, which can in turn reduce the amount of strain being placed on your plantar fascia. Stretching exercises will also help improve the flexibility of your muscles and improve your overall range of movement. This can help reduce any joint pain that’s occurring as a result of your plantar fasciitis.
If your plantar fasciitis is caused by weak or imbalanced muscles, then you can use mobility exercises and stretches to help manage or even heal the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. For example, if you have weak calf muscles that cause you to overwork the plantar fascia, you can try doing wall calf raises. These are simple exercises that you can do anywhere to help strengthen your calves. You can also try moving your feet and toes in various directions in order to stretch out the muscles in your feet and legs, and improve your overall foot mobility.
Ways to Manage Your Plantar Fasciitis With Foot Supports and Insoles
If you’ve tried everything and your plantar fasciitis is still bothering you, you can use foot supports and insoles to help manage the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis. Foot supports are specially-designed shoes or insoles that help to support your arch and reduce the strain on your plantar fascia. If your plantar fasciitis isn’t caused by an imbalance between your calves and feet muscles, wearing foot supports can help you to walk more comfortably, reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis, and prevent the condition from getting worse.
If you’re serious about managing your plantar fasciitis and preventing it from coming back, you should consider investing in a pair of supportive footwear. Sturdy, well-cushioned shoes with an appropriate level of arch support can really help relieve the pain and pressure caused by plantar fasciitis. And if your budget allows, you may also want to consider investing in a pair of plantar fasciitis insoles. Foot inserts are specially designed to support your arch and reduce the amount of strain on your feet. This can be particularly helpful if you have sensitive feet that are extra prone to pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
Tips for a Successful Calf Massage for Plantar Fasciitis
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your calf massage for plantar fasciitis:
1. Use a foam roller. You can also use a foam roller for plantar fasciitis. If you don’t have access to a massage therapist, you can try doing self-massage with a foam roller.
2. Make sure you’re using the proper technique. You’ll want to make sure you’re using the correct technique when you massage your calves. You can learn how to do so by reading articles on the subject, watching YouTube videos, or reading books on the topic.
3. Perform your calf massage in the morning and at night. Make it a daily practice to massage your calves as soon as you wake up and before you go to bed.
4. Increase the intensity of your massage over time. As your calf massage technique improves, you can gradually increase the intensity of your massage.
5. Be patient and consistent. You won’t see results overnight, so be patient and consistent with your calf massage routine.
6. Don’t massage too hard. You don’t want to massage so hard that you cause more pain or damage to your calves.
7. Take breaks and switch up your massage routine. If you notice your calves getting too tired, take a break and switch up your massage routine. You may also want to massage your calves in different ways throughout the week to give them a break from the regular massage.
8. Use a plantar fasciitis foot stretch. You can also try using a plantar fasciitis foot stretch to help with your calf massage.
9. Be cautious if you have diabetes or poor blood flow. If you have diabetes or poor blood flow, you may want to be cautious with massage therapy, as it can cause your blood vessels to become more relaxed and dilated, which would allow more blood flow to your lower legs.
For many people, massage is a must-do when it comes to managing pain. Calf massage can help get the blood flowing to the muscles in your calves and can help relieve pain from plantar fasciitis. Calf massage can be an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you can relieve your foot pain and promote healing by regularly massaging your calves.
Calf massage can be done while watching TV, and you can use a variety of tools to massage your calves, including a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, and percussion massage gun for plantar fasciitis. You can also stretch your calves and engage in other mobility exercises as part of your self-care routine.