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:
- 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;
- 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.