The 4 Best Foot Massagers For Plantar Fasciitis
While in-office visits are certainly nice, the best foot massagers for plantar fasciitis let you enjoy some of the same benefits in the comfort of your home and on your own time. Especially when paired with dynamic stretching of the feet and the calves, massage is a powerful tool to help with plantar fasciitis symptoms. When choosing the best massager for your needs, there are two main types to consider:
- Manual massagers such as foot rollers and massage balls are easy to use and convenient to tote. Best yet, this type of massage is commonly recommended by physical therapists. You have a lot of control over the strength of the massage and don't have to worry about being close to an outlet. These also tend to be significantly less expensive.
- Electric massagers provide things like heat and automatic kneading that a manual massager just won't, but they are also significantly more expensive. Electric models are also bigger and typically need to be plugged in. It's important to check that the model you get will fit your feet size, too.
To get more insight, Bustle reached out to Michelle Hittner, LMT and owner of Austin Massage Company. She noted that the benefits of massage for your plantar fasciitis, don't stop at the feet. "While massaging the actual foot feels great and you do feel some relief when only concentrating on the foot, you are treating the symptom mostly and not the cause," Hittner explained. "Stretching the various muscles in the lower leg will give more relief and more prolonged relief as you are addressing more of the root of the pain, not just where the pain is presenting." Preliminary research suggests that massaging the calves can be especially helpful, which is why I included an electric foot and calf massager in this roundup.
Hittner also recommends speaking with an expert in anatomy and physiology on how to best combine "soft tissue work, stretching, and take-home care to treat and prevent future occurrences."
With all that in mind, you'll find the at-home manual and electric foot massagers Amazon reviewers are obsessed with below.
1. The Overall Best Manual Massager
With a 4.7-star rating after more than 3,000 reviews, this TheraFlow foot massager roller is an Amazon cult favorite. The acupressure nubs and ridges on the 10 independently moving rollers are designed to optimize their massage benefits, according to the manufacturer, and it can be used on the calves, as well. Plus, it has a comfortable curved shape. Made of wood and weighing just 1.5 pounds, this manual foot massager is easy to move to wherever you might want it. However, some reviewers highly recommend reading the directions first for the best results.
Fans say: "I was recently diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and had been experiencing a lot of pain in my arches. This massager (which was approved for use by my doctor) has been helping a lot to ease that pain. I highly recommend this product!"
2. The Best Manual Foot Roller Set For Plantar Fasciitis
For extra versatility, this set of three different massagers is a steal at less than $20. With one soft spiked ball, one firm spiked ball, and a hard foam roller, these rubber and phthalate-free PVC massagers offer a variety of benefits for the feet, calves, and even hamstrings. Massage balls with spikes are often recommended by physical therapists. With a carrying bag, it's a great pick for travel. It also comes with an instructional booklet. With a 4.6-star rating, it's Amazon reviewer-approved.
Fans say: "I’d been looking for something for my plantar fasciitis and this is the first thing that made a noticeable difference. [...] It massages the muscle in your foot in just the right place and manner to relieve some of the pain."
3. The Best Overall Foot Massage Machine
With six massage heads and 18 rotating nodes, this affordable foot massager offers awesome benefits while costing less than $60. In addition to deep kneading and Shiatsu functions, the height is adjustable and there's optional heat — with overheat protection, too. With a 4.4-star rating, it's an Amazon favorite, and because of the design, it also works for a variety of shoe sizes. "He wears a size 14 shoe and we were very surprised that his whole foot fit on the massager," one reviewer noted. However, the manufacturer does not recommend this unit for those with very high arches.
Fans say: "I've been recovering from plantar fasciitis for many months now, and I credit a lot of my recent recovery to using this twice a day. This is great, and helps work out all the knots in my feet. The heat is nice too."
4. The Best Foot & Calf Electric Massager
With patented Figure-Eight technology designed to improve circulation in the legs and feet, this calf and foot massager from Human Touch features the most bells and whistles out of the bunch, and is a great way to work the calves as well as the feet. There are multiple styles of massage to choose from and it has adjustable intensity. There's even relaxing foot vibration and a warm air feature. The tilt is adjustable for extra comfort, and it also works for a range of feet sizes. One customer noted: "IT FITS [...] Size 15 wide feet and long shanks and this thing works GREAT."
Fans say: "I have suffered from painful plantar fasciitis for about a decade. I've tried all the stretching exercises and home remedies already. [...] Then I tried this foot massager. I've only had it for a couple weeks but I have experienced significant improvement. My planter fasciitis is still there but there is a 90% improvement."
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Michelle Hittner, LMT and owner of Austin Massage Company