As a massage therapist, every summer, I see an increase in the number of clients with a condition called plantar fasciitis. This is medical term for an inflammation of the tendons and ligaments at the bottom of your foot, characterized by a sharp pain at the front of the heel that usually feels worse in the morning getting out of bed.
The reason why I see this more in the summer is because of the change in footwear - more flip flops and sandals, less structured shoes. However, this condition can be caused by anything that puts strain on your feet at any time, including athletics (especially runners), ill-fitting shoes or worn soles, pregnancy, or even being overweight. Prevent pain with proper footwear, making sure you have arch support and a heel between 3/4" and 1 1/2".
Medical treatment options include NSAIDS to reduce inflammation and decrease pain; specific stretches and massage; shoe inserts (orthotics); and in severe cases, night splints, casts or surgery.
The One Hour Classic Massage can help; I will use techniques to relax and lengthen your calf muscles, the tendon from your heel to the calf, and the muscles and connective tissue at the bottom of the foot, as well as muscles in the hips and thighs, which get tight from long hours of sitting at the computer or driving. These deep tissue massage techniques help to create better posture, which affects movement, to put less strain on the feet. Many clients see improvement in 3 to 4 weekly one hour massage sessions.
Here's some things to try at home;
1. Calf stretch - Sit with one foot placed over the opposite knee. Flex your ankle, then use your hand to pull your toes gently toward the shin to increase the stretch of the calf. Repeat several times slowly until you feel the calf relaxing.
2. Self massage of bottom of foot - roll your foot over a golf ball or similarly sized ball.
3. RICE - A sports injury term used in massage therapy that stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate. You can use ice to massage the painful area of the foot. Fill several paper cups with water and freeze. When frozen, peel back the paper and massage the bottom of the foot with the ice.
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