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Can Massage Guns Help with Plantar Fasciitis?

relaxing inside in a hammock with a dog

 

By now, you have probably heard of massage guns.  Also known as percussive therapy devices, these handheld devices use rapid pulses of pressure to massage sore muscles and promote healing. They've become pretty popular lately for relieving muscle soreness and tension, and some people think they might even help with plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

If you're not familiar with plantar fasciitis, it's a common condition that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. It's usually caused by overuse, improper footwear, or structural abnormalities in the foot. Symptoms include heel pain, especially when you first stand up in the morning or after periods of rest, and pain when walking or standing for long periods of time.

Is There Evidence to Support the Use of Massage Guns for Plantar Fasciitis?

So, back to the massage guns – there is some evidence to suggest they might be helpful for treating plantar fasciitis. One study found that massage gun therapy, when combined with other treatments, reduced pain and improved function in people with plantar fasciitis. Another study found similar results.

Now, it's important to note that these studies are small and more research is needed to fully understand how effective massage guns are for plantar fasciitis. And it's also important to be careful when using massage guns – there's a risk of overuse or injury if you don't use them properly.

Physical therapy on hand

How Might Massage Guns Help with Plantar Fasciitis?

There are a few ways massage guns might help with plantar fasciitis. For one, they can reduce muscle tension and soreness, which can contribute to plantar fasciitis pain. By massaging the muscles in the foot and lower leg, the massage gun can help alleviate muscle soreness and improve flexibility, which can in turn reduce strain on the plantar fascia and reduce pain.

Second, massage guns may also improve blood flow to the affected area, which can reduce inflammation and promote healing. By increasing blood flow, the massage gun may be able to reduce inflammation and swelling in the plantar fascia, which can help with pain and improve function.

It's important to keep in mind that not all massage guns are created equal when it comes to helping with plantar fasciitis. To get the most benefit, it's best to look for a massage gun with a high RPM output, ergonomic design for easy use, plenty of power, and a relatively quiet operation.  We strongly recommend trying our best-selling Ekrin B37 Percussion Massager for your treatment.

It's important to remember that massage guns should be used as part of a larger treatment plan for plantar fasciitis, not as a standalone treatment. They should be used with other treatments like stretching and strengthening exercises, proper footwear, and rest. And again, be sure to use them with caution to avoid overuse or injury.

Conclusion: Are Massage Guns Helpful for Plantar Fasciitis?

In summary, massage guns may be helpful for treating plantar fasciitis when used as part of a larger treatment plan. But more research is needed to fully understand their effectiveness. If you're considering using a massage gun for plantar fasciitis, it's a good idea to talk to a healthcare provider to figure out the best treatment plan for you.

Sources:

Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy: "The Effects of Massage Gun on Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial" (https://www.jospt.org/doi/10.2519/jospt.2021.9261)

Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery: "The Effect of Massage Gun on Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial" (https://www.jfas.org/article/S1067-2516(21)00022-8/fulltext)

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