Massage for Plantar Fasciitis

Definition: inflammation of the plantar fascia of the foot, heel pain

Causes: unbalanced gait with more stress placed on the injured area usually due to
postural deviations such as scoliosis.   Condition may be aggravated by excess weight, overexertion, overuse, using before strong enough, bad shoes, flat feet, pronated feet, tight calf muscles, tight hip muscles and Tensor fascia late.

Signs/Symptoms:  pain in heel at bottom of the foot, usually worse after a period of sitting or inactivity or worse with first step out of bed in the morning.


  • Postural rebalancing and realigning is necessary to take the stress off the area. 
  • Lengthening the calf muscles, hip flexors, hip rotators, TFL’s, psoas, usually helps.  
  • Put shoes by the side of the bed so that you step into them first thing when you get out of bed to stop reinjuring the fascia.
  • Roll a tennis ball or golf ball under your foot to massage the bottom of your foot.
  • Strengthening the calf muscle is key to resolving this problem.
  • Freeze a water bottle and roll it under your foot often.
  • lose weight

Foot technique:

  1. Client supine, practitioner at foot of table facing bottom of foot
  2. Grasp client toes and ball of foot with one hand and dorsiflex foot, stretching plantar fascia
  3. With other hand use knuckle to strip plantar fascia from top to bottom covering all surface area.  Always move top (ball of foot) to bottom (heel).  Repeat everyday until healed.  Icing afterward will usually speed healing process.  Apply as much pressure as client can stand.  This is usually very painful. 

Web resources:

Fixing Achy Hips – Eric Dalton – anatomy –stretches

Understanding Overpronation  By Whitney Lowe, LMT, NCTMB – Comprehensive Guide to plantar fasciitis by Paul Ingram

Pain Under the Medial Arch of the Foot By Ben Benjamin, PhD Massage Today
Deep Tissue massage helps Plantar fasciitis – Massage Today.
Reclaiming Functional Feet: The Janda Short Foot Exercise By Nicole Nelson, Massage Today

Google book excerpts:

Massage for Orthopedic Conditions Thomas Hendrickson

Heel Pain By Ben Benjamin, PhD


Save Yourself from Plantar Fasciitis by Paul Ingram.
What works for plantar fasciitis? What doesn’t? And why?

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