Foot Pain

( (foot painFoot pain can make your whole body ache and soft tissue can be the cause of this constant pain. Orthotics in your shoes help but can become a crutch while never really addressing the cause of your pain. Does it feel like you are stepping on a stone but there is nothing underfoot? This is actually the indication for a specific muscle. Pain on the inside of your knee and in the arch of your foot? This indicates a nerve impingement located in your ankle. Pain on the outside edge of your foot may be caused by the misplacement of a bone in your foot. Pain in the arch of your foot is most likely caused when rolling too far onto your arch repetitively. This collapsing motion can be the cause of pain in your hip, low back, shoulder, and neck, usually all on the same side of your body. If you truly have plantar fasciitis you will feel it on the back 1/3rd of you heal. The cause of this pain is a tendon strain (yellow lines on image) brought on from muscular contraction of two leg muscles, the gastrocnemius (red lines in image to the right) and soleus (blue lines in image to the right). For all these reasons foot pain can be misdiagnosed rendering treatments ineffective.

I had a client referred to me by a therapeutic massage therapist. This client’s chief complaint was foot pain and they had sought treatment from Chiropractors, Podiatrists, Surgical Foot Specialists, and a brief stent with a Physical Therapists . When she came to see me she had been experiencing “plantar fasciitis” for a number of years without relief despite countless hours of strength training, rolling her foot on all manner of items including frozen water bottles, sleeping with special footwear, orthotics, and of course, no barefoot walking or standing. After our initial assessment it was clear that she did not actually present with plantar fasciitis symptoms outside of the pain in her foot. 


My client’s problem was a nerve impingement at the ankle which was the result of rolling too far onto her arch when she walked. This repetitive motion caused a key bone in her ankle to slide out of place and put pressure on her tibial nerve. Once her talus bone was back in place and the tibial nerve pathway released, she was 90% pain free and able to walk barefoot without the terrible pain she had been experiencing over the past 5 years. 

All of the above examples of foot pain can make diagnosing plantar fasciitis very difficult. Working with trained professionals who can assess the cause of your pain is the key to a successful treatment. Soft tissue experts such as clinical/medical massage therapists can be a step in the right direction, but not all Massage Therapists practice a modality that can help you with your situation. The world of massage is vast and the number of different ways to give a massage is limitless. 

So how do you know who to see for what?  If the left side of your body wants the same attention as the right side, and your focus is on stress relief, look for a good Therapeutic, Relaxation, or Spa Therapist. If you are having specific issues and want targeted work, looking for someone who specializes in Neuromuscular, Orthopedic, Clinical, or Medical work is best. Mixing both types of massage in one session is not recommended. Each style must work with your nervous system in different ways and are working towards different outcomes. If you are still uncertain what type of practitioner to follow up with you can take the quiz and we can help you determine the best type of massage for you.

We at Body Innervation Massage focus on a variety of Medical Massage techniques including Precision Neuromuscular Therapy, Orthopedic Massage, Visceral Massage, Medical Cupping, Scar release, and Nerve entrapment release work. If you want to try Medical Massage we are offering a $45 initial treatment


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Tel: (920) 750-8544


1500 N Casaloma Dr., Suite 412, Appleton WI 54913

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