Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries runners get. And, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, every year a whopping two million people are treated for it.
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 running, walking or even standing for long periods of time. In addition to being super painful, plantar fasciitis can become chronic if left untreated.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis pain, you’re probably already aware of several treatment options, including wearing podiatrist-recommended shoes, adding insoles to your shoes, sleeping with a night splint, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. But if you want to get instant relief after a long day on your feet, giving yourself a foot massage is another simple and non-invasive way to treat plantar fasciitis pain. Jacqueline Sutera, D.P.M., a podiatric surgeon at City Podiatry in New York City, suggests a technique known as a cross-fiber massage to help treat plantar fasciitis. It’s actually easy to do and is very effective in treating pain.
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How to do a foot massage for plantar fasciitis pain
Sutera says that the ideal time do a foot massage is after a bath, shower, or foot soak because the foot tissues are already warmed up.
- First, apply a little bit of moisturizer or oil to your hands.
- Think of your foot as a tic-tac-toe board. Using medium-to-firm pressure, massage your foot along the full length of the arch from heel to toes.
- Then, go across the entire width of the arch. Massage each foot for about two minutes.
“Doing this provides fascial release, increasing circulation and reducing tension as well as tightness to the plantar fascia,” Sutera explains. After you’re done massaging each foot, apply ice to the area for about 15 minutes.