FAQ: Can Massage Help my Foot Pain?

The average person takes 7,000 steps per day.  The average New Yorker takes about 13,000 steps per day -- on concrete (sometimes even in stilettos...)  The result is achy, tired feet that become more prone to painful foot blisters, bunions, corns and calluses. Even though they do get a little support from the hip and knee joints, your feet remarkably support almost ALL of your body's weight.  Taking care of your feet is possibly the best thing that you can do for yourself, so say thank you to your feet by giving them a special massage! Each of your feet has 28 bones. Each of these bones are connected by precious yet vulnerable ligaments and tendons.  When we wear tight shoes and socks we compress these bones and ligaments together.  This results is limited range of motion, shortening of the plantar fascia (the meaty connective tissue found on the bottoms of your feet) and even improper circulation! Try taking your shoes off as often as you can, and wiggle your toes and ankles around (this is especially helpful for you heel wearers!)  Mention to your therapist that you'd like to have work done on your feet and they'll take care of 'em!  Expect lots of joint mobilizations and foot relaxation techniques present in this sort of a massage.

Massage can also benefit many foot pathologies.  Plantar fasciitis, morton's neuroma, and achilles tendinitis are the most common presented within our office.  It is important to let your therapist know that your have either of these conditions. Although it can be beneficial, working with these sorts of pathologies can be somewhat painful.  Expect lots of longitudinal strokes, deep pressure and stretches in this kind of work.

Try working on your feet at home.  This can be supportive throughout the healing process in addition to regular massages.  Try making your own foot spa/soak.  All you'll need is a deep basin or bucket, epsom salts and hot water.  Add essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint, or rosemary if you'd like a more invigorating soak.  Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes and you'll feel awesome afterward!

Use a foam roller or a reflexology massaging-map to stimulate your tired feet.

Also, try this nifty trick -- freeze a bottle of water and roll your feet over it.  This presents relief for acute, inflamed feet as well as an easy massage!

As always, please consult with your doctor or podiatrist before trying any of these helpful hints.  Enjoy!