One of the more common issues I have found people coming to Massage Therapists for is Plantar Fasciitis. It is a pretty good indicator that this is the problem if there is pain along the bottom (plantar) surface of the foot, especially at the heel when they are putting weight on the foot. The pain subsides when weight is lifted off and is resting. Typical causes of Plantar Fasciitis involve walking, running, things that put repeated stress on the fascia. Also, having high arches predisposes people to this condition.
Massage Therapy is GREAT for relieving the symptoms while rest is the best cure. Ice Therapycan be used in conjunction with massage to relieve symptoms as well. In the acute stage, ice applications and keeping weight off of the foot are important to reduce inflammation and avoid reinjuring the fascia. Once the inflammation has decreased, cross-fiber friction of the plantar surface of the heel can help reduce the possibility of adhesion formation. As long as it causes no significant pain and the acute inflammation is resolved, passive movement of the foot will have a similar effect and can help increase range of motion. If there is any swelling of the ankle and leg due to inactivity, deep effleurage and lymphatic massage techniques can be used to move the collected fluids away from the foot. Any muscular spasms and myofascial trigger pointswill benefit from deep effleurage, petrissage and static compression in the muscles. These may especially be found in the tibialis anterior and posterior and peroneus longus muscles, all of which insert onto the plantar surface of the foot. Movement therapy, especially passive stretching and isometric exercise, can help these muscles retain their normal tone during the period of rest required in the treatment of plantar faciitis.