Though he works on all sorts of aches and pains, Muscle and Movement’s Massage Therapist Peter Rogers hadn’t actually thought about a treatment plan for plantar fasciitis until a very important person in his life encountered it: His mom.
“My mom would buy all sorts of really cheap flip-flops in the summer – different colors to match different outfits — and I kept telling her not to do it because they don’t offer any support and they’re not good for your feet,” he says. “But she still did because they were ‘cute.’”
And then it happened: She started to feel that telltale pain in her heels.
“I knew it would happen,” he says. “I didn’t like to see my mom in pain, so I tried doing some massage therapy on her feet.”
Peter actually was on to something. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes. It also creates the arch in your foot. Straining your plantar fascia can happen by wearing flip flops, but it also occurs in athletes or just in general for people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Individuals who pronate (walk with their feet rolling inward), who are overweight or who have high arches or flat feet can also develop plantar fasciitis.
The end result is irritation, often swelling and pain, which is often at its worse in the mornings after staying off your feet while sleeping. As the day wears on, the pain can slowly return. Pain may also occur on steps.
“I really worked on my mom’s feet to break up that tissue,” says Peter. “It’s not a pain free massage by any means; it’s an uncomfortable massage on top of existing foot pain. But it really has been effective for a number of people.”
Peter says that sometimes clients will come to him with such acute plantar fasciitis that he can feel ridges in the fascia itself on the bottoms of their feet.
“Even after a treatment or two, I can feel that changing,” he said.
Peter’s approach includes five massages treatments over the course of two weeks. Each massage lasts about 20 minutes. Clients are also given stretches to do as well as heat/cold therapy in between massages.
“I’ve had a really strong success rate in helping people with plantar fasciitis,” says Peter. “But it is important that they also do the ‘homework,’ which helps with the healing process.”
To find out more about MMT’s plantar fasciitis treatment plan, message us or give us a call.