We will all experience foot pain in our lifetime. When that happens it can be infuriating and painful. The good news is there are several ways to relieve foot pain. One of the easiest ways to relieve pain from swollen feet is to use a massage gun.
A massage gun is also known as a percussion massager, which provides deep tissue massage to reduce muscle soreness. These handheld massagers are most of the time cordless and use a rechargeable battery. They also have interchangeable massage head attachments to target different muscle groups.
Massage Guns for Foot Pain Relief
There are many reasons why people suffer from foot pain. Age, certain activities, injuries, and certain health conditions may contribute to aches and pains in the feet and legs. Another common reason is due to plantar fasciitis, which is common for people who are in their 40s. This can be triggered by performing some activities such as dancing, playing tennis, and long-distance running. When triggered, it may cause shooting pain in the foot that may immobilise you for a little while.
It may cause panic, especially if it’s the first time you experience it. However, there’s no need to see a doctor immediately; sometimes all you need is a good foot massager. When done correctly, percussion massagers may offer quick relief for your feet.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation in the tissues that connect the heel and toes. It’s a painful condition that is commonly experienced at the foot’s bottom in the middle of the heel bone. Those suffering from this condition have reported that it can get worse in the morning upon waking up and taking the first step out of the bed.
When you visit a medical professional, they can easily identify the reason for your aching foot. They will examine your feet and search for any tender areas. Most of the time an X-ray may not be required unless they suspect that it could be caused by a compressed nerve or a fracture on the bone.
Most of the time, plantar fasciitis goes away without any treatment. Just OTC medications to reduce the pain and prevent inflammation would do. Massaging and simple stretching can also help.
How to Safely Use A Massage Gun For Plantar Fasciitis
- Turn on your massage device first before placing it directly on the affected area, in this case, the sole of your foot. Lightly hover the foot massager on your sole in a circular motion. Do this for about 30 seconds. This will help relax the plantar fascia.
- Next, move on to the ball of your foot then slowly go up to your heel. Then with an up-and-down motion, massage the soles for 30 seconds.
- Let’s move on to the heel of your foot. Find the area on your heel where you feel the most pain. Just let the massager float gently along this area. Never press it onto the skin as this may only make things worse. Let the massager do the work for you. The massage gun should be moving in a circular motion. Wait for 30 seconds before moving on to the next part.
- Next is the calf muscles. Hover the massage gun over your calf muscles, beginning at the ankles and going up to the leg. Do this for 30 seconds in an up and down motion.
- Repeat the same process on your other foot and leg. You can do this foot massage twice a day for better results and faster recovery from plantar fasciitis.
Key Points to Remember
- Always start with the lowest intensity level. You can always gradually increase it to your preferred level.
- Use the right massage gun attachment for feet. If unsure, you can always use the ball attachment head as it is safe to use on any part of the body.
- Never go beyond the required time limit on each part of the foot. Don’t overdo it. Most percussion massagers have instructions or guidelines on how long you should use them on each part of the body and which massage gun attachment for feet to use.
- Give your body some time to rest between massage routines.
- Never use the massage gun on areas that have open wounds or bruises. It may do more harm than good.
- Don’t use the massage gun on severe foot pain or if your foot has a fracture. Even if you are using the correct massage gun attachment for feet, it may worsen your foot’s condition.
- Avoid using the massage device on bony areas.
- Always ask your doctor first if it is safe for you to use a massage gun if you are suffering from any health condition.
How To Use A Percussion Massager To Relieve Aches and Pains On The Foot
Standing for a long time or walking for long periods can easily cause pain in the foot. While you may want to soak your feet for a while and get a good foot massage, it’s not always possible due to busy schedules or if you are on a tight budget. However, you don’t need a professional to do the massaging for you, all you need is a nice massage gun to feel better.
A massage gun has several massage gun heads that can be used to pinpoint muscle treatment. The most effective massage gun attachment for feet would be the bullet head and the standard ball attachment.
Bullet Head Attachment
Among the massage gun attachments, the bullet and cone head attachments are my go-to attachments when I want to massage on small trigger points on my feet to get deep pressure. This type of attachment head looks like a bullet or drill. To use it, simply glide the percussion massager on the bottom of your foot. Start from the ball of the foot going to your heels.
Make sure your foot is positioned properly. For a comfortable position, place one foot on top of the opposite knee. Start with a low setting then gradually increase as you get used to it. This will massage the tight muscles and connective tissues. It can also help improve poor circulation of the blood.
Ball Attachment Head
I like to use the ball attachment head when I need a simple foot massage. I usually like giving my feet a good massage after playing sports or a long day at work. The ball attachment head can be used on other parts of the body, too. It’s easy to use and it can easily find the tender spots on the feet. When using the ball attachment, feel free to increase the intensity levels until you find what’s comfortable for you.
Fork Attachment Head
This head attachment looks like a fork hence the name. The fork head is perfect for massaging the ankles. Those suffering from plantar fasciitis may find relief massaging the back of the heel. It’s great to use to relieve pressure and tension. It can help repair the connective tissue in the heels and help improve blood flow to the feet.
Other Ways To Use Percussion Massager
As mentioned earlier, massage guns are designed not only as foot massagers but also for other parts of the body. Here are some other ways to use massage guns.
Reduce Sore Muscles and Muscle Tension
It is common to experience sore muscles after workouts. To prevent this from happening, many people use massage guns before their workout. Instead of stretching exercises, they use massage guns to activate their muscles before performing their usual workout routine. Many athletes also like to use massage guns after training as part of their sports recovery. This helps reduce muscle tension and speed up muscle recovery.
For Massaging Large Muscle Groups
Most massage guns come with several massage gun heads to be used on different muscle groups. The standard ball head attachment is perfect for massaging large muscle groups such as upper traps and quads. Massaging this group will help increase blood flow, ease muscle pain temporarily, loosen up tight muscles, reduce soreness and relieve tension. You only need a few minutes to massage larger muscle groups and you’ll feel much better in an instant.
Relieve Tension on Neck and Shoulders
You can also use massage guns to relieve tension on the neck and shoulders. However, be careful when massaging these areas. It is not advisable to use the massager on the side and front part of the neck since the nerves on those parts are very delicate. Bony areas such as the centre of the spine, tips of the shoulders, and shoulder blades should also be avoided. Instead, just focus on the shoulders and base of the neck to be safe.
For Tired Muscles
After a stressful day, our muscles get tired as well and we may experience some muscle aches on different parts of our body. Percussion therapy may be all you need to relax your muscles after a long day. You can easily perform a full-body massage at home with a good massage gun.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the attachments for my massage gun?
Most massage guns come with 5 different attachments. These are the bullet, fork, ball, flat head, and soft padded heads. Each has its own purpose. The fork and bullet attachments are best used for large, tight muscles. The fork attachment is also used as a glider for parts of the body that are unevenly shaped such as the muscles from the neck to the shoulder. The flat head is perfect for medium to large muscles and great for body relaxation. The ball head is used for sensitive muscle groups and the padded attachment is good for bony parts of your body.
Which Theragun attachment is best for feet?
The best Theragun attachment for feet is the standard ball. Apply your Theragun massager around the heel, ball, and arch of your foot. After that, stretch your foot and all the muscles you have treated. Using the ball attachment will help alleviate any soreness you feel on your feet. You can also use the cone attachment for a more intense treatment massage. Cone attachment is used for pinpoint or targeted muscle treatment including the feet and hands. Remember that each person has different preferences and needs so it is better if you explore different attachments that will best suit you.
Is a massage gun good for sore feet?
Yes, a massage gun is good for treating sore feet. It can help reduce soreness and help treat plantar fasciitis pain. It can break up inflammation in the tissue and help in reducing tension or tightness to the plantar fascia muscle. Using a massage gun can give instant relief to any sore feet. Some studies show that using a massage gun is even more effective than the actual deep tissue massages in alleviating inflamed fascia and does not cause any side effects. It not only eases tight and inflamed plantar fascia but can also help in correcting fascial structure.
When using a massage gun to relieve foot pain, it is important to use the correct massage gun heads for better results. Massaging the legs down to your feet will help reduce swollen feet and pain whether it’s caused by plantar fasciitis, excessive walking, or after a workout. Just be sure to consult your doctor first for severe pain and use it only for a short period.