The Best Plantar Fasciitis Massage Tools For Maximum Relief

Kaitlyn Feldvari

Image of someone using the Eclipse

When it comes to treating your plantar fasciitis with massage, using the right tools matter. Overly expensive and gimmicky solutions that promise the world and aren’t very effective and can often hurt more than just your wallet. 

Not only do the right tools help improve the effectiveness of alleviating your pain, but they are critical in building a consistent massage routine on the road or at home. 

As massage has been proven to help relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis, we put together a list of the best tools to help ease plantar fasciitis pain. Regardless of your budget or specific situation, you can’t go wrong with adding one or two of these tools to your massage regimen. 

Vibration foam roller 

If you’ve ever used a foam roller to relieve nagging muscle tension, you know that it can often feel like magic when used correctly. But, what you may not know, is that foam rollers with added vibration can be even more magical and effective for relief. 

As Jordan Metzl, a leading sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, told Men’s Journal, “[vibration rollers] seem to be more effective than the classic styles at penetrating deep into muscles and activating that tissue.

What’s great about foam rollers with vibration, or rollers such as the Flare that also include heat, is their versatility. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found, “Foam rolling with vibration was more effective in increasing range of motion than foam rolling without vibration without a resultant increase in measured or perceived pain.”  

In addition to using foam rollers directly on your feet to relieve pain, they are excellent at loosening up your calves as well, essentially giving you the option to kill two birds with one stone. As Paul Ingraham writes on PainScience, ” People with plantar fasciitis do have tighter calves — a lot more so than people with happy feet, and also more so than people with other foot and ankle conditions.”  

Not just a powerful tool for helping relieve plantar fasciitis pain, you can’t go wrong investing in a premium foam roller with vibration and heat. 

  • Cost: * * * 
  • Portability: * * 
  • Use cases: Calves, back, legs, feet. 

Massage gun 

If you’ve found foam rollers to be helpful in your recovery efforts, massage guns can be a great addition to offer precision targeted relief for your plantar fasciitis pain.

As Dr. James Ting Hoag Orthopedic Institute’s sports medicine physician explained, “Foam rollers rely on body weight and manual rolling of typically larger muscle groups and areas, whereas a Theragun utilizes powered percussion massage therapy for more directed treatment of pinpoint areas and muscle groups…. Cost may also be a factor in choosing one over the other, as a Theragun is significantly more expensive than a foam roller.” 

Theragun has an excellent video showing you exactly how to use your massage fun for plantar fasciitis relief. As they share in the video, “The idea is to warm up the tissue. Then move to the bottom of the foot for another 30 seconds treating all three arches. Around the heel around the ball of the foot.

While massage guns can provide plantar fasciitis relief when used regularly, some may find the pressure of the gun to be too strong, even with various power settings. Additionally, for a premium massage gun, you’ll need to be prepared to invest heavily. 

  • Cost:
  • Portability: * * 
  • Use cases: Massage guns offer great targeted relief, but can be on the more expensive side depending on the quality of the gun. 

Calf stretching tool 

For those with plantar fasciitis, stretching in addition to massage can help further decrease plantar fasciitis pain, particularly in the short term. Which makes the calf stretching tool extra handy. Something you can easily keep around in your office, or put in your bag, the calf stretching tool can help loosen your calf muscles throughout the day.

NIH research found that, “the addition of TrP manual therapies to a self-stretching protocol resulted in superior short-term outcomes as compared to a self-stretching program alone in the treatment of patients with plantar heel pain.” 

Adding a 5 minute daily calf stretch to your plantar fasciitis massage can help accelerate your relief and is a cost effective option to help take your care to the next level. 

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  • Portability * * * * 
  • Use cases: Calf 

Lacrosse ball 


Offering similar massage benefits to that of a spiky ball, lacrosse balls are incredibly cost-effective and easy to take with you on the go. While spiky balls are better when targeting highly specific areas of your body and feet, lacrosse balls can be used on multiple muscle groups and easily fit into a backpack or purse. 

In general, lacrosse balls are great if your feet are a little more sensitive. Roll your feet while at home in the office, or spend a few minutes each morning with the lacrosse ball to loosen your feet up for the day. 

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  • Portability: * * * * 
  • Use cases: calves, feet, and shoulders. 

Spiky ball 

Spiky balls offer similar relief to lacrosse balls but provide a little extra oomph due to the targeted pressure of the spikes. They are great for providing relief for specific areas rather than muscle groups as a whole. Like lacrosse balls, they are portable and relatively inexpensive to add to your massage tools arsenal. 

Massaging your feet with the spiky ball encourages blood flow to the area, which in turn breaks down painful adhesions (tears) in the plantar fasciitis and helps to speed up the healing process… Remember, self-massage with a spiky ball isn’t a permanent pain relief solution but rather an effective temporary solution,” says podiatrist John D. Hollander.

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  • Use cases: Portable and effective, the spiky ball is a must have for your massage regimen. 

The Eclipse Scraper 

Eclipse muscle scraper.

If you’re looking for an all in one solution that is perfect for plantar fasciitis massage, the Eclipse has you covered. The Eclipse muscle scraper gives you more leverage while preventing hand fatigue during and was built with concave edge for large, sweeping strokes, and the sharper convex edge for honing in on tight knots on the bottom of your feet.  

Designed to be a true extension of your hand, the Eclipse is a favorite not just for treating plantar fasciitis but relieving muscle pain in other areas of your body including your calves and thighs. Be sure to always use your muscle scraper with a high quality emollient such as Revive Emollient Spray. This will help to reduce friction, and decrease the spread of bacteria and germs, reducing the chance of inflammation and infection.”

Here’s how Sidekick helped Faith Pirie with her plantar fasciitis. 
  • Cost: * * * 
  • Portability: * * * * 
  • Use cases: Perfect all in one solution for plantar fasciitis relief and other full-body muscle groups. 

Dual foot massager 

While not as portable as other massage tools, a dual foot massager can be used to bring you relief throughout the day. Keeping one at your home office or next to your favorite chair can be an easy way to massage your feet regularly.

Here’s what one believer of dual foot massagers said in their review, “I have plantar fasciitis, and have been looking for ways to help relieve the discomfort in my feet. Thi product has been AMAZING. I keep it at the side of my bed, so I can use it every night before bed and each morning when I wake up.

The one downside of dual foot massagers is that the quality of the materials can be inconsistent depending on where you purchase from. 

  • Cost: * * * 
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  • Use case: Offers quick relief for plantar fasciitis pain but is not as portable or effective as other massage tools. 

Conclusion 

While finding the right massage tools for plantar fasciitis relief can take some trial and error, often the best massage regime uses a variety of tools for optimal results. Ultimately, testing the tools above can help you determine what works best for you. 

We designed the Eclipse Muscle Scraper to relieve any foot and leg tension effectively, and it has become a go-to recovery tool for many professional athletes and other active individuals. If your plantar fasciitis pain is keeping you from reaching your goals and being active throughout the day, give these massage tools a try, your feet and body will thank you. 

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Kaitlyn Feldvari

Kaitlyn Feldvari is a huge fitness enthusiast, former volleyball athlete and holds a BSc in Kinesiology. She is also the Product Manager at Sidekick.

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