- What is plantar fasciitis and what are the causes of this ailment on the soles of the feet?
- Types of massage balls: Which are the best for relieving plantar fasciitis pain?
- How to relieve plantar fasciitis using myofascial massage balls?
- What alternatives to myofascial balls are there to relieve plantar fasciitis pain?
Massage balls have multiple uses as long as they are related to myofascial treatment. In the feet there is the plantar fascia which is important for maintaining a good plantar arch and is susceptible to injury in athletes in some disciplines.
Part of the reason for this ailment is due to a bad habit, but it is a condition that can be treated early with the use of this myofascial massage product that reduces some of its symptoms.
What is plantar fasciitis and what are the causes of this ailment on the soles of the feet?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia that runs from the calcaneal bone at the heel of the foot to the metatarsals. When the condition is advanced, people wake up with a sharp pain in the sole of the foot, which becomes less intense when the body is activated.
These are some of the causes of this condition, which affects at least 10% of the world’s population:
- Incorrect way of stepping: outside the sports area, there are people with congenital foot malformations that generate a constant stretching overload on the fascia until they irritate and break it. In these cases, the only possible solution is surgery.
- Excessive sports practice: among the most affected athletes are footballers, runners, cyclists and players who have to chase a ball. People who play amateur sports on hard surfaces are more likely to suffer from this injury.
- Inadequate footwear: one of the most important recommendations in sport is to select the best footwear, according to the discipline and the structure of the foot, in order to avoid overworking the plantar arch and the toes, which are also connected to this resistant tissue.
- Pes cavus: this is when the plantar arch is more pronounced than usual, so much so that it affects the entire musculature of the foot and causes all the tissues to be overstressed. Therapy is a possible solution to this problem without the need for surgery.
Types of massage balls: Which are the best for relieving plantar fasciitis pain?
There are different types of massage balls and balls on the market to help you find relief for your feet when the fascia is overstretched. You should always massage at the slightest plantar discomfort to avoid complications.
Check out this list of the best massage balls to relieve pain in the sole of the foot:
- Lacrosse type balls: These are spheres that come in different sizes, have a smooth texture and various kinds of resistance to offer superficial or deep massages, depending on the needs of the person. The recommendation of physiotherapists is to start with the softer balls.
- Balls with spikes: With them you achieve a deeper massage without damaging the tissues, most of the balls are soft, but with us you have models between soft and hard so that you can start the massage safely, while your body gets used to the spikes of these myofascial massage balls.
- Peanut-shaped balls: These are specially designed to offer a bilateral back massage, from the lumbar to the cervical area, because their shape prevents people from touching the vertebrae. Remember that the bones should not be stimulated by this type of body passage.
- Striated balls: These balls are similar to Lacrosse balls, but have shapes that resemble the silhouette of the fingers and palms of the hands, so the person has the sensation of receiving a professional massage from a physiotherapist.
How to relieve plantar fasciitis using myofascial massage balls?
The use of foot massage balls is very simple, without any complications or risks for people unless the pain is very acute and you should have the guidance of a doctor.
- The first thing to do is to perform articulating movements before using this type of product.
- Make yourself comfortable in a chair.
- Start by stepping on the product gently at first.
- Make forward and backward gliding movements.
- Remember to massage for two to three minutes if the ball is soft.
- When stimulating trigger points with hard balls, try not to exceed 90 seconds.
- You may feel discomfort, but there should be no pain.
- Stop the massage if you feel mild, moderate or severe pain.
What alternatives to myofascial balls are there to relieve plantar fasciitis pain?
In addition to massage balls, there are several other products you can use to help reduce plantar fasciitis pain.
Foot massage roller
This is also known as a massage roller and, although it is not a ball itself, it also offers a powerful myofascial massage that relieves tension in the sole of the foot. Just place your foot on this product and apply pressure or glide it over it to get it to work. There are also models that vibrate and are easier to use because you can choose to turn on the device, place it under your foot and start enjoying an immediate muscle relaxation process.
This product uses percussion massage to inhibit the signals emitted by pain receptors in the body, including the sole of the foot. The recommendation is to use the rounder, softer heads at the beginning because the plantar arch is a very sensitive area.
The application of the gun should be done to reduce the pain and continue with the person’s activities, but it is a temporary feeling of relief, while a drug treatment is resorted to or as a complement to a more complete therapy.
The advantage of these products is that you can completely regulate the pressure and gliding with your hands, so you can increase the pressure gradually while you get used to the stimulation with these massagers. There are multiple models available on the market, but all of them should stimulate superficial and deep myofascial tissue, supported by a minimum of knowledge and awareness of your body.
Electric foot massager
These massagers are great for providing relief to myofascial tissue without the need for body movements, because the vibration system does it all for you. They also regulate body temperature better, which brings more blood to the body and facilitates recovery from injuries such as sprains and minor strains.
Electric vibrating massage ball
Its use is more domestic, because people only have to hold the balls with one or two hands and place them on the skin or on the muscle groups where relaxation is desired. It is important that people have a minimum of knowledge of how to treat trigger points, so that there will be better and longer lasting relief of the plantar arch.