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Massage and Heel Pain

Heel Pain or Plantar Fasciitis is caused by tendonitis of the plantar fascia - the covering of the muscles on the bottom of the foot. It can become inflamed from overuse or misalignment of the body. Tightness in the hip and Iliotibial band can cause a misalignment in gait which places more stress on the bottom of the foot.

Plantar Fasciitis can be very difficult to get rid of as everytime you take a step you are further injuring the fascia. One of the easiest things to do for yourself is to put shoes by the side of the bed and put the shoes on before getting up and walking. It is usually that first step out of bed when the muscles of the foot are cold that the most stress occurs.

Stretching the calf muscles and the hip muscles before and after a workout can also help alleviate the problem.

Rolling a golf ball on the bottom of the foot can also help as does rolling the foot on a frozen plastic bottle (or icing in another way).

Getting regular massage can help treat and prevent foot pain caused my misalignment of the body and tension in the leg muscles.

Strengthening the calf and foot muscles is also needed. The inflammation is usually a result of too much stress on the fascia meaning it is not strong enough to do the work you are asking it to do.

Other simple things you can do is to get a heel cup support or other heel insert for your shoes to alleviate the stress on the heel. The most important point is to step into a pair of shoes when you immediately get out of bed first thing in the morning (or in the middle of the night). That first step is usually painful and is reinjuring the heel. Stretching the ankle and foot before getting up can also be helpful.

I also have heard that wearing shoes such as Dansko Clogs that are stiff can help alleviate the pain as the shoes do not allow the ankle to bend as much again taking the pressure off of the foot.

Taking a small water bottle and placing it in the freezer and using it to do ice massage on the bottom of the heel can also be helpful.

Heel pain is really hard to get rid of if it goes too far. It is important to keep up regular treatment of this until it is resolved. Massage can assist in the process of healing by helping to eliminate the stress on the heel.

For more information on Heel pain visit these resources:

Heelspurs.com -this site shows some great diagrams and pictures of what the bottom of the foot looks like.