Few injury types are more frustrating than those that impact the feet, and one of the most notable such examples is plantar fasciitis. This is a tricky injury that can make every step the sufferer takes painful, but it's also one where the right kinds of techniques may help you overcome the problem -- and massage therapy is definitely one of these quality options.
We've assisted numerous clients with specific injuries at REMassage, and we're happy to do the same for you if you're suffering from plantar fasciitis. Let's look at how this form of foot pain forms, which also serves as some excellent insight into how massage therapy may limit pain and even help overcome this condition entirely.
How Plantar Fasciitis Forms
For those unaware, plantar fasciitis refers to pain in a specific central point of the foot. This pain is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. The plantar fascia helps support your step and also plays an important role in how your arch forms -- when it's healthy, that is.
So, what causes this condition? Most cases of plantar fasciitis are the result of repetitive stress, especially if that stress is placed on an area where the plantar fascia is already weak. This might be from something like an abnormal gait, tight calf muscles, or even excessively high heels. When this repetitive stress occurs, small tears can form in the tissue, leading to inflammation and, eventually, pain. In other cases, plantar fasciitis can be caused faster by a single injury -- with similar symptoms, typically.
So how does massage therapy help address some of these underlying plantar fasciitis causes? Our next sections will dive into this.
At the core of most plantar fasciitis pain is tension and inflammation in the plantar fascia itself, which can be exacerbated by the fact that the plantar fascia are connected to several different muscles in the foot. When these muscles are tight, they can pull on the plantar fascia and cause even further inflammation.
One of the benefits of massage therapy is that it can help to relax these muscles, which in turn helps to take tension off of the plantar fascia. This is a critical part of helping this condition heal over time.
In addition, massage therapy can help to increase circulation in the foot. This is beneficial for several reasons. First, when circulation is increased, more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood can flow to the plantar fascia, which helps it to heal faster.
In addition, though, increased circulation also helps to reduce inflammation. This is because when inflammation occurs, the body's natural response is to restrict blood flow to the area in order to limit tissue damage. However, this restriction can also lead to further inflammation, creating a cycle. Massage helps to break this cycle by increasing circulation and reducing inflammation.
For more on how massage therapy may benefit your plantar fasciitis and other foot issues, speak to our team at REMassage today.