Anyone Can Do This! Foot Massage with a Ball

Foot massage with a ball

The internet is littered with written descriptions and videos that demonstrate plantar fascia foot massage with a ball. Rolling your foot over an object to detect and release sore spots in your plantar fascia can serve as an alternative to self-massage treatments or trigger point hand massage techniques.

The Beat Goes On and On and On

Your feet get beat up each and every day. They support you when you walk or run, when you stand, they even absorb pressure when you sit in a chair.

Feet really take a beating when you play sports, go hiking or running for a distance, when you dance, take part in martial arts, or do any of the other special activities you participate in. Your entire weight is absorbed by your feet.

Fortunately, rewarding your feet with a bit of love is as simple as standing on or rolling a ball under your feet.

How These Plantar Fascia Exercises Can Help

First, they are convenient self-massage activities that can relieve tension in the plantar fascia.

Second, they will help break up scar tissue resulting from adhesions that have built up over time due to strain or tightness in the fascia.

Third, they will also help increase the flow of blood to affected areas, which will help speed up the healing process.

The fantastic thing about these exercises is that the cost is minimal and they can be performed just about anywhere. You only need a place where you can safely (and socially) remove your shoes.

Key Steps and Cautions

In general, the key steps to this type of exercise are:Shoes off sign

  • Remove your shoes and place the rolling device on the ground.
  • While standing or sitting, place one foot on top of the device.
  • Apply moderate pressure on the device, rolling it forward and back along the entire bottom of your foot from heel to ball of the foot.
  • Roll the sides of bottom of your feet over the device in a similar manner.
  • If using a ball as your device, roll it slowly side to side both at the point of insertion of the fascia tissue to the heel and at the ball of your foot.
  • Stop and hold tender areas (trigger points) for about 30 seconds or until discomfort decreases by 50-75% as you perform the exercise.

Recognize that it is not abnormal to feel mild discomfort when you are performing this type of exercise. If you feel too much discomfort, release some of the pressure you are putting on the device you are using.

Several of the following videos note that these exercises will not necessarily cure plantar fasciitis. If you have consistent and acute or severe pain, the reason must be addressed. Please be sure to consult your doctor.

Also, one important word of caution: If you have a currently known injury to your foot, it may be best to avoid this type of exercise.

Foot Massage with Ball Exercise Video

Our feet are, literally, our body’s foundation. This first exercise video, developed by Built for Motion, notes that whatever happens to our feet or ankles will affect the rest of our body. Due to the connections in our body, issues in our feet could migrate to our knees, hips, spine, and neck.

A custom-made ball is used to demonstrate the massage technique in this three-minute video.

Heel/Plantar Fascia Self Massage Exercise Video

In this next brief video you will see demonstrations of both heel and mid-plantar fascia massage. Take note of the two common mistakes involved with fascia massage techniques. As you massage, try to avoid these mistakes.

The two-minute video was produced by Sports Web PT. It shows the use of a baseball, golf ball, tennis ball, and water bottle as the rolling device.

More Exercise Videos

In all honesty, just about any object that rolls in some fashion could be utilized for this type of exercise. In fact, if you search the internet and YouTube, you’ll find information and demonstrations of this exercise using a variety of devices including:

  • Tennis ball;
  • Golf ball;
  • Lacrosse ball;
  • Baseball;
  • Therapy ball;
  • Glass bottle;
  • Soda can;
  • PVC pipe;
  • Small dumbbell;
  • Massage rollers.

These next two videos, described in the following paragraphs, are listed here because they point out additional information that can help you better understand the techniques involved in fascia massage

Pain in Arch of Foot: Plantar Fasciitis Treatment – Tennis Ball Massage, a two minute video, was created by footpainteam. It emphasizes the importance of focusing on the tender and tight areas you encounter. To do so, simply hold your position on the ball or device for 10 seconds or so to help release the restriction in your plantar fascia.

Plantar Fascia Massage was developed by Activ Chiropractic. It utilizes both a lacrosse ball and a glass water bottle in the demonstration. Similar to the other massages in this set, it will help increase stability and foot health for your knees and feet. Three key locations on the fascia are discussed. The massage uses both cross-frictional and longitudinal massage for plantar fascia release. At four and a half minutes in length, it is a little lengthier than the previous videos.

Feedback and Questions

If you have used any of these rolling exercises as a plantar fascia treatment, I would enjoy hearing from you. What device have you used? Was the massage effective in helping to reduce or relieve your pain? If not, what other option(s) have you pursued?

Any thoughts or comments you want to contribute will be appreciated. Add your feedback in the comment box below.


Allyn Beekman has worked in the computer industry and higher education. At a point of semi-retirement, he struggles with plantar fasciitis. His goal is to share all avenues of treatment and exercise that will help eliminate heel pain.

View all posts by

10 thoughts on “Anyone Can Do This! Foot Massage with a Ball

  1. I have to admit I’ve never heard of this kind of foot massage. Just so happened that there was a tennis ball sitting right near my foot at the time – what a pleasant coincidence! So I watched the short video and got rolling. I learnt how to do foot massage with a ball today. Awesome and so easy. Great article – you’ve done well if you kept my attention to the end.

    1. It is an interesting and simple exercise! Not always comfortable if you have sore spots in your feet, though. I’m glad you had an opportunity to try it out. Keep doing it and your feet will be happy.

  2. Awesome! This is a nice and fun way to foot massage with a ball.
    I don’t usually do it, but will try and see how it feels.
    Thanks for sharing your insight here Allyn!


    1. It is a fun way to massage your feet, Edy. The nice thing is you can do it sitting down while watching tv or at your desk. Give it a try. If you don’t like the feel of a ball, try a water bottle instead. And, if you want to ice your foot at the same time, freeze the water bottle first.

  3. I will definitely be trying this. In the first video he mentioned that it will help to warm up your feet. I am diabetic and I find in the winter especially my feet get cold. Not only will this help warm them up but it will help with circulation.

    1. Absolutely, Maureen! The warmed up bottle came help with those cold feet. My wife isn’t diabetic but her feet are always cold due to blood thinners. The “better circulation” result is a big plus also. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are very welcome, James. I’ve used this method a lot and it has really helped eliminate the stiffness and soreness that I encounter just from wearing shoes every day. The best thing is that it is very convenient, easily done when sitting at a desk. Another similar process, but not quite so inconspicuous, is to use a plastic bottle filled with water.

    1. Hello Tanmay. Thanks for your comment. I’m very happy to hear that this simple method helped reduce or, even hopefully, eliminate your foot pain. I’ve used the tennis ball technique more than any other method because it’s so inexpensive and easy to do. In fact, now that I’m sitting her writing back to you, I realize I could use a little bottom-of-the-foot stimulation. I’ve just come back from a trip to Alaska and we walked a lot more than normal. When I’ve been stretching my feet and ankles I’ve noticed more cramping and pain in my fascia. It’s time I take my own advice! Hope this continues to work for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *