Foot Reflexology Can Relieve Plantar Fasciitis Pain
a Natural Awakenings article from October, 2017
Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot connecting the heel to the toes. This fascia can get stretched and injured by overuse, such as running or walking on hard surfaces, climbing ladders or standing for long hours. There are many causes, but wearing poorly fitting shoes or being overweight can also strain the fascia and lead to plantar fasciitis.
The pain is usually in the arch of the foot, near the heel, and is worst when the person just starts to walk after sitting or resting. If not taken care of, it may get worse over time and cause the person to curtail favorite sports or daily living activities.
Plantar fasciitis treatments are numerous. Standard therapies include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, new supportive shoes, orthotics, calf and other stretches, night splints for the foot and physical therapy. The best results tend to come from consistent adherence to the treatment regimen and patience. This condition may take several months to heal.
One therapy for plantar fasciitis is foot reflexology. When added to the prescribed treatments, it can provide much-needed relief of pain. Foot reflexology, or therapeutic foot massage, targets specific areas on the feet known as reflex zones, corresponding to organs and glands in the body. Massaging a reflex zone helps the corresponding body part to function better by increasing blood flow and nerve conduction to the area. Thus, for instance, massaging nervous system reflex zones can decrease pain; massaging lymph system and endocrine (e.g. adrenal) zones can decrease swelling and inflammation.
In addition to enhancing function of organs and glands, foot reflexology massage is soothing to the foot tissue and it can help regain flexibility in the feet. This makes foot reflexology a good addition to the treatment plan for plantar fasciitis. Once the fasciitis has improved, reflexology on a regular basis can keep the feet in good shape.