Plantar fasciitis is one of common musculoskeletal disorder treated by podiatrists. This is an inflammatory reaction along with degeneration of the plantar fascia that is a lengthy ligament like structure which spans across the mid-foot (arch) of the feet. The common signs and symptoms are discomfort underneath the heel bone and more intense pain on standing up from rest, mainly in the early morning following a night’s sleep. Most things that raises the force on the arch of the foot is most likely to overload the plantar fascia. This includes being overweight, being active, standing on your feet for hours on end and structural problems that affect the posture of the feet. There are several treatment options that are appropriate for this condition, with the more effective ones being the ones that minimize the force added to the long plantar ligament.

There’s been plenty of interest on the use of foam rollers to relieve musculoskeletal problems recently, and the question gets asked frequently as to if we may use a foam roller for plantar fasciitis?

It’s quite common to look at advice provided to move the foot backwards and forwards over a tennis ball on the floor and that this will assist the this condition. This could have the same affect to what a foam roller may have. No studies have shown that this can be useful, though a number of people make use of the roller. Having said that, there is certainly many health care professionals that will certainly advise against using the foam rollers. It is not necessarily detrimental, but they think it just doesn’t do a great deal of good as compared to the anything else that can be used and are possibly more beneficial. One point to think about is that once we hurt ourselves, massaging the area of the soreness always generally seems to feel much better. That does not mean the massaging really repairs the problem, it simply makes it feel somewhat better. This is maybe exactly why a lot of health professionals are cynical about advocating self-massage or foam rolling for the plantar fasciitis.

Some new research was not too long ago released on the use of a foam roller for plantar fasciitis. This was a randomized controlled research looking at the use of a foam roller to stretching. In general in clinical practice it isn’t a matter of selecting to use one solution or some other like in this medical study. Several treatment methods are often used alongside one another in combination, and so the clinical study is sort of artificial. While acknowledging that, the research did reveal that both helped equally or the foam roller may be a slightly bit better, so utilizing the foam roller to massage the arch area of the feet in individuals with this condition surely helps.

Based on the above in all probability it is a good idea to use something like the foam roller. There are particular solutions, much like the Pediroller, which are made to roll on the arch of the foot. The PediRoller is a quite popular option. Pedirollers might not solve heel pain, but based on the stories and this one study, it’s going to definitely make it feel good at the minimum. This can be more than enough justification to be able to give it a try.


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Craig Payne Author
University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger, dad.