Foam Rolling for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a mechanical problem, so the solution to it should be mechanical (in the psychosocial context). That means the primary treatment should be aimed at reducing the load on the plantar fascia or making the plantar fascia better able to take the load. I give secondary importance to any treatment that is not directed at one or both of those objectives.

Years ago where I used to work, there was a general medical practitioner who used only one thing to treat plantar fasciitis and he swore how good it was. I was cynical and would never have used it. He used of advocate the use of rolling the arch of the foot over a tennis ball, rolling it on the ground. In the last post I did here, I talked about why people think things work in plantar fasciitis.

Having said that, I also follow the evidence. A study was just published on the use of foam rolling for plantar fasciitis. My first reaction was how does that reduce the load in the plantar fascia and how does that make the plantar fascia better able to take load? It doesn’t. But looking at that treatment arm in the study, it does appear that rubbing the foot over a roller might help with the pain. There are some issues with the study that I won’t get into. I only wanted to briefly post about it to bring it to peoples attention.

The PediRoller

At the clinic we have long had the PediRoller for this purpose and it has not been a big seller, but would have to give some more thought to its use based on that study on foam rolling for plantar fasciitis, even though it is not a strong study. The PediRoller is a small roller that the foot is rolled across rather than the large foam roller that was used in the study.

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