While in physical therapy last year being treated for jumper’s knee and plantar fasciitis, the most soothing part of my sessions was the massage at the beginning, which seemed to instantly make all of the pain in my lower extremities disappear. This relief led me to seek out ways to get the same result at home. I quickly found that a foot and calf massager did just that.
To learn more about why this type of massage can help relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions, I reached out to Gretchen Hawley, a Buffalo, New York-based physical therapist and multiple sclerosis specialist, who began by explaining how plantar fasciitis develops in the first place.
“Plantar fasciitis happens when the tissue — also known as fascia — on the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed, causing pain,” she said. “The tissue can become inflamed when walking or running and often occurs when there has been an overuse of your feet.”
Being on your feet for long periods of time leads to tightened muscles in your feet and calves, but when you release the tightness, you may find relief, which is where using a foot and calf massager comes in. Although it may not be a substitute for professional treatment if you need it, it can definitely mitigate aches and pains.
“One great way to release muscle tightness and tension is through massage,” Hawley said. “The foot and calf massager is a great way to massage out the tension while also improving circulation, which is great for healing injured tissue or fascia.”
After using a massager to soothe my own achy muscles, I’d be remiss to not share the wealth and let other relief-seekers know which ones are worth buying. Below, we rounded up the best foot and calf massagers that reviewers swear by for finding plantar fasciitis relief.
BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. All products were independently selected by our editors, and the prices were accurate and items in stock at the time of publication.