If you suffer from plantar fasciitis pain, chances are you’ve already tried a variety of techniques, from self-massage to custom insoles. Whether you’re a professional athlete or simply incredibly active throughout the day, finding a repeatable solution for relief can seem like a never-ending quest.
Fortunately, scraping is one of the most effective ways to help with plantar fasciitis pain both in the short and long term. But what exactly is scraping? What is its role in plantar fasciitis relief? And how does it help?
If you’re on the fence about whether you should incorporate scraping in your recovery routine, this article will explore what scraping is and why it can help manage plantar fasciitis pain. We’ll also look at the proper technique for plantar fasciitis scraping and guide you through the process.
Does scraping work for plantar fasciitis?
The short answer: yes, scraping can be incredibly helpful at providing relief if you have plantar fasciitis.
How? Scraping relies on the age-old practice of gua sha used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to help combat inflammation, pain, and more. Scraping allows you to take the benefits of gua sha to the next level.
As we’ve shared before here on the Sidekick blog:
Muscle scraping can increase blood flow, which could support nutrient uptake and promote muscle repair. Gua sha has also been shown to be effective for increasing range of motion and alleviating pain.
The answer to how gua sha induces inflammation but reduces pain may lie, in part, in its effects on the nervous system. The microtrauma created by the minor superficial irritation associated with gua sha activates particular pain fibers belonging to a nerve relay known as the spino-thalamo-cortical pathway… Gua sha has also been shown to be effective for increasing range of motion and alleviating pain.
In fact, we have hundreds of customers who have found success using their Eclipse specifically for plantar fasciitis relief.
Keys to relief through plantar fasciitis scraping
The effectiveness of scraping for plantar fasciitis comes down to a few things.
Tip #1: Don’t limit your scraping to the plantar fascia
“The best way to approach scraping for plantar fasciitis is to target the arch of the foot and the calf muscles.
Calf muscle tightness is a common contributor to plantar fascia pain, and combining scraping with targeted flexibility and strengthening exercises helps build a well-rounded approach for recovery,”– our friends at Empower Your Wellness.
Tip #2: Scrape in flexion and extension
Additionally, try scraping with your muscles in flexion and extension. As an example, when scraping your calves, do it with your toes pointed away from you, and your toes pulled towards you. Your calf muscle is shortened and lengthened in each of these positions. Try scraping your calf in each of these positions and feel the difference. To see this in action, check out Sidekick University within the Sidekick App.
Tip #3: More pain doesn’t lead to more gain!
Athletes often times follow the mantra no pain, no gain. We share that same philosophy when it comes to training. For Plantar Fasciitis relief however, severe pain should be avoided. It’s likely you’ll feel small amounts of discomfort, depending on how severe and sensitive your plantar fascia is, however keep it within a tolerable range to avoid further damage. The pressure is all in your control!
Can you use butter knives and lacrosse balls for scraping?
While we’re a big fan of using a variety of tools for your recovery and relief, when it comes to plantar fasciitis, the recovery tools you choose are important.
Although using a butter knife may be tempting, the reality is, it’s not built specifically for pain relief and isn’t optimal to use long term. Let’s not forget about the obvious as well – the sharp edges may leave lasting damage.
Likewise, a lacrosse ball can also be a great tool to start with, but it has its limitations as well. Lacrosse balls often can’t provide the targeted relief that a scraping tool such as the Eclipse can.
When designing the Eclipse, we worked hard to ensure the contours of our tools conform to your body for more effective and efficient scraping. The Eclipse’s refined edges create localized pressure, signaling to your body to increase blood flow to that area.
Does scraping hurt?
While scraping your feet may be a little intimidating at first, if you’re looking for plantar fasciitis relief, it’s one of the best ways to reduce pain and help you get through your day and only takes a few minutes of your day.
For general muscle relief, we don’t recommend scraping to the point of pain. With Plantar Fasciitis, depending on the severity and sensitivity of the area, you may feel small amounts of discomfort. That’s ok, as long as it stays within a tolerable range. If you can’t have a conversation with somebody while scraping, you’re going too hard.
We recommend starting with a light amount of pressure and working your way up to a comfortable cadence. Less really is more when you start out. As you continue to use scraping in your plantar fasciitis routine, you’ll likely increase pressure as you go.
Using scraping for plantar fasciitis in 3 easy steps
The first step to getting the most from scraping is to commit. It may take some time to get into a routine, but the benefits will add up over time.
Here’s the simple process for scraping using the Eclipse.
Apply Oasis Roller Gel (included in your purchase) to your feet.
Starting with moderate pressure, take the Eclipse and begin scraping it along the foot for 20 seconds in each area. Remember, it shouldn’t hurt!
Repeat on muscles surrounding the plantar fascia including the calves.
That’s it! You can repeat this process daily or as you see fit. If any muscle feels tender from scraping, or you see petechiae (bright red spots), wait 48 hours for it to subside before going at the spot again.
If you’re looking for additional step by step scraping instructions, visit our How to Scrape page and select FEET in the dropdown menu.
Want to follow along our instructors? Our Sidekick Recovery App offers custom personalized mobility programs where you can find exactly the routine you need for your recovery efforts. You can choose to follow along with your Sidekick scraper, or choose bodyweight routines as well. Download here.
Here’s what one Eclipse user said about their experience using scraping to help with their plantar fasciitis.
I am truly impressed by this tool. I spent 2020 on chemo and radiation to battle breast cancer. Those powerful drugs and treatments really affected my muscles. Although I walked everyday to keep active it seemed like my muscles didn’t want to work well anymore. I ended up with plantar fasciitis and painful knee issues. My return to running was slow and painful. After reading lots of reviews I decided to invest in this Sidekick tool. It has helped so much! The sore lumps are slowly going away.
If you’re looking for plantar fasciitis relief, we recommend giving the Eclipse a try. We promise you’ll notice the difference quickly.
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