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Hiker Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

By Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl, Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassadors

A common hiking affliction is Plantar fasciitis, heel pain that can be difficult to remedy. For some people, it takes months of therapy to get rid of Plantar fasciitis, and one can miss out on a lot of hiking in the meantime. My wife, who is an Occupational Therapist, recently helped me overcome Plantar fasciitis in my left foot in an amazingly short period of time.

According to Janet, the trigger points for Plantar fasciitis can be in your foot or your calf (she learned the latter from a triathlete friend). I found the latter hard to understand since it’s away from my foot, but that turned out to be exactly the case for me. I searched for a “knot” (sore spot), in my calf, and lo and behold I had a good one in both calves which I didn’t know I had.

Plantar fasciitis

Use a rolling muscle massager, like the Tiger Tail shown, on trigger points in the foot or calf to relieve Plantar fasciitis.

Use a rolling muscle massager, like the Tiger Tail shown, on trigger points in the foot or calf to relieve Plantar fasciitis.

The therapy is to roll the spot every day with any type of roller – a foot roller, a muscle massager as shown above, or a rolling pin. Yes it hurts, but the goal is to roll the spot to work the knot out. Let the pain be your guide to how hard to roll it; you want to be at the threshold of too much pain. For me, the knot (and the Plantar fasciitis) disappeared in only a week. Massaging out the “knot” relieved the pain.

This treatment may not work for everyone, but it worked for me, and there’s no harm in trying it.

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4 Responses to Hiker Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

  1. JJ Mathes February 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Will- this is interesting and glad to hear your pain is gone. I was experiencing early stages of PF in my right foot, last July I started wearing minimalist footwear, after a couple of weeks I noticed the pain was completely gone.

  2. Damien Tougas February 25, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    I was just going to say… one other solution is to migrate to more minimalist footwear, but JJ Mathes beat me to it 😉

  3. bill bathurst March 7, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    walking bare foot on the beach every morning has cured my PF..if you have such an option try it..

  4. Roger Alexander October 26, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    I once had a severe Plantar Fasciitis problem that I remedied with a tennis ball. While sitting at work or home, I rolled a tennis ball back and forth with my shoe-less foot. I can highly recommend this technique. It is really the same principle as the muscle massager but. I actually would prefer a tennis ball though. I think it would do a better job of massaging the foot. Maybe a combination of both would be good therapy.

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