Sports Massage for the Foot

Basic sports massage techniques for the foot.

Sports Massage

The following is for information purposes only. We recommend seeking professional advice.

Sports massage for the foot is good for relaxing the body in general. Massage can increase circulation and aid recovery as well as help prevent injuries such as plantar fasciitis. Excessive standing puts great strain on the plantar aponeurosis (fascia under the foot). It can be come strained in sports involving lots of jumping or hard landing. Excessive pronation can also add increased strain.

Technique 1: Light stroking to the top of the foot

  • Light stroking movements to the top of the foot.
  • The sole of the foot rests on the therapists hand with the thumb and fingers of the other applying light pressure from the toes up to the ankle.

Technique 2: Spreading the metatarsals.

  • Place the thumbs on top of the metatarsal area and the fingers firmly under the ball of the foot.
  • Grasp the foot and work the thumbs outwards aiming to spread the metatarsal bones.
  • Apply this technique 5 to 10 times.
  • Light stroking as above can be mixed in every two or three times to break up the technique.

Technique 3: Petrissage sole of the foot.

  • With the thumbs apply cross frictions from the heel, gradually working up to the ball of the foot.
  • Then apply firm pressure down the sole of the foot (plantar fascia or oponeurosis) to the heel.
  • Repeat this technique 10 to 15 times.
  • Do not rush but apply firm, smooth techniques.

Technique 4: Deep pressure with the heel of the hand.

  • Using the heel of the hand apply deep, sustained pressure from the ball of the foot to the heel.
  • This technique may be mildly uncomfortable but not so much as it causes pain or causes the athlete to tighten up.
  • This sports massage techniques is excellent for releasing tension in the plantar fascia.

Technique 5: Circular frictions

  • Using the thumb apply small circular frictions to any tight knots or lumps in the plantar fascia.
  • Pressure should be deep but not so much that the athlete tightens up with pain.