Self-Myofascial Release for the Feet
By Sean O’Neill with
Portland Personal Training
…..Do you have foot pain? Plantar fasciitis? Neuropathy? Super tight hamstrings or hips? Tight Achilles?Are your feet limiting how long you can stand, walk, or exercise? Are you trying to lose weight and be more fit but cannot exercise as much or as hard as you would like? We know from our Personal Training experience that everything is harder if your feet always hurt and if you get a foot injury then you really cannot exercise much at all. If this is you, or you simply want your feet to hold up over the years, this video blog may help.
The fascia, or myofascia, is a dense sheath of tissue that covers the majority of your body’s muscles and bones. Self-myofascial release (SMR) can help improve circulation and flexibility to areas that feel tense, sore, or are indirectly causing pain throughout the kinetic chain (human movement system). SMR is accomplished by applying and maintaining pressure to a part of the body. Often times the area in your body where you feel pain or discomfort is not the source of the pain and discomfort. It would be great to have a personal massage therapist or reflexologist to always help, but who can afford that!
~The good news is that you can do lots of things at home by yourself FOR FREE that will greatly improve your health and fitness!
SMR helps many areas of the body but can be particularly useful when applied to the feet. Osteopathic medicine, acupuncture, personal trainers, and Chinese medicine consider the feet to be highly relevant to the overall kinetic chain; and, furthermore, in regulating the immune system and your health in general. More simply put, if you have tension in your feet, it may be causing many other problems further on down the line.
To try SMR on your feet, you will need a lacrosse ball (my personal preference), tennis ball, golf ball, or a similar sort of ball or small roller (a rolling pin would even work). Place the sole of your foot onto the ball and gradually apply some pressure. Sensitivity will vary, so sit down or stand next to a chair or wall to stabilize yourself as not to apply too much pressure too quickly. Slowly roll around the sole of your foot – very slowly. Once you find a location of particular sensitivity, stay there. Maintain tolerable pressure for 30 seconds – no less, otherwise, you may create more tension. After 30 seconds, move to another point of sensitivity on the foot. Try this once or twice a day for a week and see how it goes. Many clients have found great relief from SMR. The key is to practice. No solution is generally found immediately. This will be especially beneficial if you suffer from neuropathy or other foot ailments. The process of being in tune with your feet will reap benefits you may not even realize.
You may find applying SMR to the feet is be helpful for pain in the feet, toes, heels, knees, achilles, calves, hamstrings, back, neck, and more. For men and women with highly sensitive feet, a tennis ball may be most appropriate. Additionally, although it may be uncomfortable at first, those same individuals may benefit the most from SMR on their feet. Give it a try! And, as always, let us know if we can help you in any way. We always offer a FREE SESSION PERSONAL TRAINING in the Portland Oregon area and will always answer any questions you post in the comment section.