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massage calfs and fascia

Posted by lisa71 on 9/02/04 at 17:08 (159182)

When I massage the bottem of my foot it used to make my foot throb sometimes. That was about a week ago. I'm scared to try it again. I guess my question is it somewhat typical to have pain after massage. Should I just work through the pain and ice it? And how do you do a calf massage?

Re: More questions.

lisa71 on 9/02/04 at 17:22 (159184)

I guess my question is the pain caused by inflammation and if so am I reinjuring it? I have not been able to stretch for more than a few days because whenever I try to I will feel a sharp pain so I stop. Maybe this is normal and I should just stop and ice. Maybe I should give this more time. I know that this might be unanswerable but I want to make sure I understand my condition as much as possible before I go to my appointment with my doc next week so I make sure he understands my problem and I can ascertain if he is treating me correctly. Thanks alot.

Re: massage calfs and fascia

John from MN on 9/02/04 at 17:59 (159186)

You need to perform Transverse Friction Massage. Have someone who is trained in this techniques because the pain in very intense and you will not want to put yourself in that much pain. As a result of this massage you should be back in good shape without PF pain. It ussually take 14-20 treatments per foot.

Re: massage calfs and fascia ..john ..question

Linda V. on 9/02/04 at 21:30 (159194)

is that massage performed only on the BOTTOM of the feet? i had a medical massage..she trigger release me from the butt down...stripped my leg muscles (adhesions causing fascia to stick to the muscle?) ...then deeply massaged the sides of my heels where all these bumps were under the skin. said next time she will go even deeper. it WAS quite painful....not sure if it helped or not. and what is the difference between TFM and graston?

Re: For John from MN

Julie on 9/03/04 at 03:27 (159207)


Your confidence is breathtaking. You do not know what is going on with Lisa's foot, so for you to tell her 'You need to perform Transverse Frictional Massage' is not helpful. She needs a diagnosis. She doesn't know herself whether or not she has PF (that is part of her problem). For all you know, she may have nerve involvement (she has spoken of tingling) which strong massage like TFM would make worse.

This is an internet forum. It is not a substitute for medical care. People here can try to answer her questions, as I have, and help her with ideas for palliative treatments, such as taping, but to give advice such as you have given can be dangerous. I know it is the way you express yourself, but please try to remember that some people are impressionable and will 'try anything' that anyone suggests.

If you want to be helpful, please be more temperate in how you express yourself. In the past you have accused me of being negative, but I'm not. I believe, and have said several times, that TFM is a valid way to go, for some people, in some cases of PF. It obviously was for you, and it seems to have been for two others here. But it is not a miracle cure-all - nothing is - for everyone, as your TFM practitioner himself, Dr Sandle, has been careful to make clear.

Re: Thanks Julie

LARA on 9/03/04 at 07:32 (159208)

Thanks Julie. I was thinking similar things and wondering what I would do. I think TFM is a great tool, but not a miracle cure-all for everyone and know that when you (or me) are in continuing, chronic pain, it's sometimes hard to be discerning when you read things - particularly something presented with such promise - but you've said all beautifully. I'll just say Ditto

Re: For John from MN

john h on 9/03/04 at 09:58 (159220)

Julie I much agree with you. John has found something that worked for him and his enthusiasm has carried him to the point he thinks TFM is a cure all when in fact it may be dangerous for conditions like TTS. John should continue to inform the people of this procedure so they can investigate it but not pronounce it as the end all cure all for PF becuase it is not.

Re: For John from MN

John from MN on 9/03/04 at 14:17 (159240)


You are clueless.

Re: massage calfs and fascia

Buck T. on 9/03/04 at 15:32 (159244)

Hi Lisa: You didn't get an answer to your specific question. Basically, you are asking if you should massage an inflamed area if it hurts more afterwards.
I'd like to see the anwer myself because I really don't know. From my five years with pf I stop massaging if I feel I am irritating something. I wait until flar-up is over, and start massaging again. Don't know if this is medically sound. Would like to hear what your doctor says.

Sincerely, Buck

Re: For John from MN

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/04/04 at 18:39 (159340)

That is not a nice thing to say to someone in pain. Everyone has the right to come here and debate the merits of various modalities but we cannot force our ideas on others nor can we assume that because a technique worked well for oneself, that that technique will work for all others. No such technique exists in medicine. It is well recognized that plantar fasciitis may be composed of 3 components- inflammation, biomechanical issues and tissue quality issues. Massage can perhaps help with the tissue quality issues but one has to ask about how the tissue became diseased in the first place and that is through problematic biomechanics.

Re: For John from MN

Suzanne D. on 9/04/04 at 21:55 (159350)

Amen to what Julie and Dr. Ed have said on this subject. Feeling or thinking that one knows something does not give one the right to be hurtful to others. That kind of behavior only turns others away from their message.


Re: massage calfs and fascia

LARA on 9/04/04 at 22:25 (159351)

If I have pain during a massage I live through it generally (at least to the level I can tolerate). However, if the pain persists after the massage is over, I don't repeat it. You say it hurts after the massage. Does the pain stick around a long time. Do you feel better the next day?

I've tried a calf massage. I find it hard to do it to myself. Just can't get the angles right.

Good luck. I hope you can find some answers that help you.

Re: massage calfs and fascia

Rose on 9/05/04 at 17:42 (159371)

I would like to share my experience with the deep tissue massage. I had severe sciatica that hit me just before I had the release surgery for my foot over a year ago. I ended up in physical therapy for my back and ended up having several treatments of extremely painful deep tissue massage on the lower back. The therapist actually used her full weight and her elbow for added pressure. They had told me that it would hurt a lot and be sore, like a bruise for several days, but it was very healing. Well, it hurt terribly while it was being done, and I felt like my back was bruised all week. But the sciatica pain was gone. I had several more treatments and it was extremely healing to my back and the sciatica all but went away.

Some months later, I went to a chiropractor and a massage therapist for my foot that was taking a long time to heal. I told them about how healing the deep tissue massage was and asked it it could be done on my foot. They said it could and they called it stripping the foot. They would do it as hard as I wanted and I could let them know how much pain I felt. I talked to a number of others who have their feet 'stripped regualrly, which sseems to take the pain of PF away for several months on most of them. Well, it hurt very much at the time, was a little sore for a day, but then was very healing, just like the deep tissue massage had been on my back.

Then after learning about the transverse tissue massage, I spoke to them about it. They were familiar with it and said it is very painful, but also healing and is a wonderful method to do with the regular deep massage. Well I tried it. I could only take it in small doses as it was very painful, but again, it was very healing.

Now I go once a month for the foot 'stripping, which is a combination of both types of the deep tissue massage. I am told to soak my feet in epsom salt hot water when I get home, drink lots of water, and then ice my feet on frozen bottles. It works .

I wish you the best and let us know how it is going.

Re: massage calfs and fascia

Pauline on 9/05/04 at 18:47 (159374)

I believe in deep tissue massage, because my first physical therapist who was from South Africa performed it on me to treat my first case of P.F. I can't tell you how deep she went, but it was very painful and it was more
like a transverse method I think because she went across the foot.

It hurt so much I couldn't stop the tears at first, but within a months time it didn't seem to hurt as much with each additional visit.

I attribute this to curing my first case of P.F. and to be truthful I think it could be considered a forerunner to ESWT but unlike ESWT it seems to work every time and is cheaper. We've heard a lot of positive results from deep massage treatment if its done correctly.

Re: massage calfs and fascia

Dr. Z on 9/05/04 at 21:25 (159378)

ESWL is the forerunner to ESWT. Massage works all the time???. Its labor day tommorrow time to take a break.

Re: massage calfs and fascia

Julie on 9/06/04 at 02:32 (159395)

Deep tissue massage, which improves blood flow and breaks up scar tissue, is an effective therapy for various problems involving soft tissue. But in the case of plantar fasciitis, where the most common cause is something amiss with the mechanics of the foot, massage can't address that cause because it can't alter the mechanics.

I'm glad that massage has helped you, Rose, but the fact that you need to return regularly for treatment (and the fact that others whom you quote say massage 'takes away the pain for several months') suggests that the massage, however effective, hasn't taken care of the cause of the problem.

Re: massage calfs and fascia

LARA on 9/06/04 at 08:24 (159407)

PAULINE: I believe in deep tissue massage.
Could you clarify what you mean. A lot of people on these boards have lots of problems - particularly this board which isn't for a specific treatment or pathology (like ESWT or TTS board). Can you give us more information on who it might help and who it might hurt, and for whom it would just take up time?

PAULINE: We've heard a lot of positive results from deep massage treatment if its done correctly.
This sounds like something a provider would say, rather than a patient. I know you were a patient. ARe you also a provider of services now?

Re: massage calfs and fascia

Rose on 9/06/04 at 14:14 (159422)

Good point. I think it is especially helpful after surgery as it breaks down the scar tissue. I did not have it before the surgery. I tried everything else then. LIt did cure my sciatica though.