Plantar fasciitis is synonymous with mild to severe pain in the centre of the heel - especially first thing in the morning. This common foot ailment also affects millions of people across the world. Whether via injuries or stress, Plantar fasciitisis caused by a myriad of issues. This includes standing for extended periods of time, along with limited ankle motion range. While heel pain mainly affects athletes and workers who are on their feet all day, it does impact people of all ages and “walks” of life, in particular the over 50's. While some are able to alleviate the pain via medicine and cortisone shots, others have to undergo extensive surgical procedures. As mentioned in earlier posts, shockwave therapy is another treatment option designed to effectively tackle pain associated with heel pain. In recent years, however, podiatrists and foot experts have even recommended trigger point massage as a viable alternative, in combination with orthotic therapy.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massages are mainly done by professional therapists. There are, however, DIY techniques that can be administered at home or the office. Trigger points are small conclaves of muscular fibers that create tight contractions. These tense muscle knots result from overexertion, stress, injuries, and other factors. Depending on the level of intensity, however, most muscle knots transfer pain into the planter fascia. This results in varying degrees of paint that affect the PF and adjacent muscles and joints. With trigger point massage, you can effectively eliminate and eradicate the pain. You can also improve blood flow and circulatory performance in the feet. To find the trigger spots on the feet, simply poke at different areas with the index finger or thumb. If a certain spot makes you jump or wither in pain, that is the trigger point.
Press Release Technique
Whether via professional massage therapists or at home, the press release technique plays a pivotal role in alleviating foot tension and pain. After pinpointing the triggers on the foot, the idea is to release them. In order to this, you have to be seated on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. The knee should then be bent on the injured side, while resting the ankle on the other thigh. The ankle should then be rotated inward so the bottom of the foot faces upright. Press your thumb on the trigger point and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this step 3-5 times on each trigger point. While you will initially feel some pain, it will decrease as the pressure increases. While this is for home foot massages, most experts utilize similar techniques on their tables.
Passive Stretch Release Technique
The passive stretch release technique is mainly for home massaging needs. This technique also falls under the trigger point massage umbrella. For those suffering from PF and other foot related problems, simply sit in a chair. Next, place the ankle on the injured foot on the other thigh. Use one hand on the ankle to secure the joint, while using the other hand to stretch the toes back towards the shin. Hold the toes in this position for 30 seconds then release. Repeat this step for another 30 seconds then release. To secure optimal and maximum results, this technique should be repeated 3-5 times.
Assisted Release Technique
At times, the pressure applied from the fingers is simply not enough to alleviate the tension. In these instances, you can use an object to help release your trigger points. This includes golf balls, tennis balls, or even a rolling pin under the injured foot. Simply add a small amount of pressure as your roll the object under the foot. Once the object comes in contact with the trigger point, apply at least 10 seconds of pressure before moving on to the next point. Repeat this process 3-5 times for optimal comfort and pain remediation.