Best Foot Massagers for Plantar Fasciitis

foot massager for plantar fasciitis

Massaging your feet is a great way to relieve tension and pain from Plantar Fasciitis. However, it can be difficult to find the right foot massager for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of 5 high-quality foot massagers that are perfect for Plantar Fasciitis sufferers! Read on to learn about our top picks and see how they compare with each other in terms of their features, price range, and reviews.

As a former nurse who encountered it on a regular basis, I know how uncomfortable plantar fasciitis can be. The fact that it’s a common foot disorder is just one proof that our feet are the most overused parts of our body, yet often taken for granted. one survey showed that nearly 20% of people said they have had this foot disorder at some point during their lives.

For starters, the plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that goes from the heel to the ball of the feet. It passes through the arch, giving it its unique curved shape with the help of other supporting structures such as ligaments and muscles.

This is also the reason why the arch doesn’t easily collapse despite our body weight pushing it downward.

However, when these supporting structures suffer from fatigue, the plantar fascia carries the burden and degenerates as a result. The inflammation, commonly known as plantar fasciitis, causes pain in the heel and foot arch.

If not treated, plantar fasciitis can affect the way you walk and render you too weak to do the activities you once enjoyed. But there’s hope….

What Is Plantar Fasciitis? – Symptoms And Causes.

Plantar fasciitis (plan-ter fash-ee-eye-tiss) is an overuse injury.

It happens when the muscles supporting the foot arch suffer from fatigue, leaving the plantar fascia–a band of tissue that isn’t supposed to carry our body weight–burdened beyond its capacity.

It’s also called jogger’s heel because it commonly affects runners, especially those who increase the intensity of their workout too fast. Approximately 30-70% of runners are injured every year, 10% of which are plantar fasciitis cases.

Also at great risk are people or professionals who are always on their feet like cashiers, teachers, nurses, and hikers. Your likelihood of suffering from this strain injury also increases if you’re overweight, female and menopause, have flat feet, very high arches, and tight calf muscles.
Anatomy of plantar fascia
According to Jon Clemens, a San Diego-based coach with master’s in exercise physiology, another common yet overlooked cause of plantar fasciitis is the muscular imbalance in the hips. This condition results in an imbalance walk that puts more stress on one leg as well as the plantar fascia connected to it.

Notable symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel or arch pain when you try to stand up in the morning or after sitting for a while. For others, the pain usually subsides after they take a rest or do some stretching.

Most, however, may suffer from chronic pain and therefore need serious medical attention.

How To Treat Plantar Fasciitis

In most cases, plantar fasciitis lasts up to 6 months, during which the doctor uses a more conservative approach to address the symptoms.

Using simple physical examination to diagnose the disease, the doctor will then suggest simple stretching exercises (see illustration below), use of splint or over-the-counter arch supports and shock wave therapy, among others.

Your doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to alleviate the pain. When all else fails, doctors usually resort to more radical options like cortisone injection and surgery, both of which entail risks.

Surgery, if done less meticulously, may result to nerve damage, flat feet and pain that would require more follow-up surgeries. In addition to that, surgery like this can cost up to $10,000 (or more if it’s not covered by your insurance).

Stretching exercise for plantar fasciitis

Source: American Orthopaedic Foot And Ankle Society.

Consider all your options first before resorting to surgery. Spend the first 6 to 12 months talking to specialists and trying all non-surgical treatments for plantar fasciitis.

The good news is there are, indeed, a lot of ways to lessen the pain even without the use of medications.

One of these is what they call ice massage. Using a frozen water bottle or golf ball, you can apply pressure on the arch and other affected areas of the feet. This is a good way to stretch tight tissues and self-massage your feet without spending a dime on a therapist.

If you have money to spare, however, you can either pay a massage therapist or buy the less expensive foot massagers.

A massage therapist can use different techniques and even add hydrotherapy to decrease inflammation on your feet. The foot massagers, meanwhile, have heat and kneading functions that are proven to lessen pain and relieve muscle tension.

Take note, however, that these methods are only temporary relief to plantar fasciitis and don’t effectively address the root cause. Hence, massage should always work in conjunction with other traditional treatments to achieve the best results.

How To Choose The Best Foot Massager for Plantar Fasciitis

There are a number of different types of foot massagers out there, but it is all dependent on you as the user to determine which one best suits your needs. However, there are few more factors you have to consider when buying specifically to manage plantar fasciitis.

Most foot massagers are designed for the general population, so you should ask the following questions to ensure you end up buying something that will properly address your needs:

What areas of the feet does it massage?

Since plantar fasciitis affect the heel and arch of the foot, you should look for a massager that effectively hit these areas.

Some shiatsu foot massagers like Belmint’s promise to massage all of the foot, but barely touch the arch and heel in reality.

Choose products that offer powerful kneading massage to the target areas. Read verified customer reviews on Amazon to ensure that the product delivers its promise and doesn’t look good only on paper.

There are also more expensive foot massagers–like the Medi-Rub 2000 Plusthat are equipped with an “arch bar” where you can curl your toes or foot arch and apply pressure on them.

Plantar fasciitis is sometimes caused by tight calf muscles so a product that massages both the feet and legs can be a better choice. The MedMassager MMF06 11, for instance, offers oscillation that reaches up to your knees, making it an ideal choice for people suffering from plantar fasciitis as well as neuropathy.

What is the intensity of the massage?

“Intense” is subjective; what is intense to you may be mild for somebody else. For this reason, it’s safer to choose a foot massager that has different intensity levels you can choose from.

Take note that there are foot massagers that can be too intense even at the lowest setting. If you have overly sensitive feet or suffering from severe arthritis, stay away from electric foot massagers and choose those wooden rollers like Theraflow’s instead.

How long is the massage?

The root cause of plantar fasciitis is fatigue or overuse of the feet muscles. Therefore, regardless if you’re doing self-massage or using a foot massager, it is best to limit the time to 15 minutes.

There are electric foot massagers with built-in timers, which means the device automatically shuts off after a period of time, say 15 minutes.

It can be a bit annoying especially if you want a longer session, but this is a safety feature that not only protects your feet but also prevents the machine from overheating.

Best Foot Massager for Plantar Fasciitis – Our Top Picks.

Moji Foot PRO Massager
best foot massager for plantar fasciitis

A cheap way to cope with plantar fasciitis is by using a soda can or tennis ball. Simply put them in the fridge, wait for a few minutes and voilà–you now have an instant chilled massager to roll your feet on.

It may work for some, but these improvised massagers can be messy and unstable. Fortunately, a US-based company founded in 2007 by athlete and entrepreneur Victor Viner, came up with an idea: The Moji Foot PRO Massager.

More durable than your ordinary wooden rollers, this foot massager is specifically designed for people with plantar fasciitis. It also works for anyone who is always on the go and wanted a quick relief for their sore feet.

Is Moji Foot PRO Massager the real deal? Let’s find out.

Who is it for?

If you want full control and find most electric foot massagers too intense, this unique device may be the one you’re looking for.

You can press any area of your feet against the stainless steel spheres, making it an ideal portable massager for those suffering from persistent heel and arch pain.

Aside from plantar fasciitis, it can also work on feet with neuropathy, as long as you don’t use it chilled as the cold sensation may worsen the pain.

Again, this isn’t powered by electricity. It’s just a slightly upgraded version of your good ‘ol wooden massage roller. Therefore, expect that you will do all the work; how intense the massage is completely up to you.

Features

  • Stainless steel spheres that rotate 360 degrees. Press your feet downward for a deeper massage that will relieve pain, break up scar tissue and reduce inflammation. Best used when chilled, especially if you have plantar fasciitis.
  • Slip-resistant base so it stays in place while in use.
  • One of the very few foot massagers that are made in the USA and backed up by US-based customer support.
  • Easily cleaned with an alcohol wipe. Wear socks before using it to cushion your feet and prevent contamination.
  • Patent-pending technology that addresses foot pain related to plantar fasciitis and other similar conditions.
  • 1-year product warranty and 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 4 inches | Weight: 1.25 pounds

Pros

  • Offers 30-day money back guarantee, in addition to the 1-year warranty. You can return the product as long as it’s inside the original packaging and still in “new” condition.
  • Unlike electric foot massagers, this one allows you to massage your heels, arch and most areas of the feet as deep and intense as you like. Chill it for a few minutes (15-20) and you have an instant ice massage. Perfect relief from plantar fasciitis.
  • One of the most versatile foot massagers. In addition to feet, you can also use it on other areas of your body like your neck, shoulders and lower back.
  • Although it’s a bit on the heavy side (1.25 lbs), this foot massager is small and compact so you can put it in your bag and travel with it.
  • The bottom is rubberized so it doesn’t slip even if you massage the edge of your heel.
  • A better, more reliable alternative to a frozen bottle of water or tennis ball. You can have chilled massage without wetting the floor surface.

Cons

  • Since it’s more like a do-it-yourself foot massager, you won’t experience the same benefits you’d usually get from electric foot massagers. These include getting your toes and top of the foot squeezed. Heat function isn’t available as well.

The Moji Foot PRO Massager is one of those rare types of foot massagers that have more pros than cons. Although it’s designed for people afflicted with plantar fasciitis, it’s also a perfect home or office companion for anyone with tired, sore feet.

Easy to clean, easy to use, and easy to carry, this device has all the things we’re looking for in a portable foot massager. It may not have the advanced features of the more expensive electric massager, but Moji’s the best gift for people who prefer more control over the intensity of the massage.

Sometimes, it only takes simplicity to make a product stand out. The Moji Foot PRO Massager is a fine example.

TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller
best foot massager for plantar fasciitis 2021
Known as the dual foot massager roller, it is reminiscent of your good ‘ol wooden rollers, but designed with greater care and precision. It’s more stable than makeshift massage rollers so you can use it on the carpet or any dry surface without the risk of accidents/injuries.

Who is it for?

TheraFlow dual foot massager roller is designed to help relieve foot pain related to neuropathy, gout, and plantar fasciitis as well as pregnancy-related foot swelling.

By using this one-of-a-kind foot massager, you can improve blood circulation and experience reflexology massage on both feet. And with its small size and lightweight design, you can easily carry it anywhere–whether in your office or in the comfort of your own home.

However, it’s very simplistic design and features may leave some users asking for more. If you’re not looking for an expensive electric device with advanced features such as heat and automatic massage, this can be good enough for you.

It’s also a perfect choice for those without enough money to spare and still saving up for the more pricey foot massage machine.

Features

  • With 10 independent rollers (5 for each foot). The first four rollers have ridges while the last one has prominent nubs. You can press the feet down on these rollers for 2-3 seconds (Acupressure Mode) if you want to stimulate specific parts of your feet. Alternatively, you can roll your feet on the massager in opposite directions (Kneading Mode) to improve blood circulation.
  • Designed to suit feet of all sizes. It’s also lightweight (weighs 1.6 lbs.) so you can carry it in your bag and bring it anywhere you go.
  • Sturdy and stable solid construction. The product description says it’s made of high-quality and polished Theaceae wood. A quick Google search suggests “Theaceae” is a tea family composed of trees and shrubs, one of which is Gordonia lasianthus, an evergreen tree indigenous to Florida where its wood is used for cabinetry.
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 11.2 x 2.2 inches | Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds.
Pros
  • Information about product warranty is prominently displayed on its Amazon page. The manufacturer even provides a contact page for buyers who’d like to get a refund or replacement for defective products.
  • Very stable and doesn’t easily slide out of position, provided that you use it in a dry solid surface.
  • Unlike electric foot massagers, this roller allows you to control how much pressure to apply on your feet. It’s best used in a sitting position, while you’re working on your computer or watching TV.
  • It effectively massages all areas of the feet, including the heel. This is an ideal companion for people suffering from plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain.
  • No outlet or electricity needed so you can save money and time when using it.
  • Perfect even for people with feet as large as size 12.
  • The ridges and nubs are sharp enough to hit the pressure points of your feet, yet not pointy enough so you won’t feel like you’re walking on a bed of nails.

Cons

  • Although it’s true that the rollers don’t squeak loudly, this foot massager tends to create a little bit of noise, especially after repeated use. This can be a problem if you’re going to use it in a quiet environment like your office. In fairness to TheraFlow, they recognize this as a common issue with the product and even recommends the use of a specific lubricant to resolve the problem.
  • Not the best massager for people with a higher arch. The device is designed for people with average arches, so you’d need to put your feet on the edge of the rollers if you have a high arch. A minor design flaw, but something the manufacturer might consider to further improve their product.

It’s rare to find a product like TheraFlow dual foot massager roller that looks and works exactly as advertised. In addition to the clear and reliable warranty, the company behind it also offers excellent customer service as attested by numerous positive reviews on Amazon.

More importantly, however, is the quality of “massage” it provides. TheraFlow stands out in its niche for allowing the user to choose how intense the reflexology massage can be without the use of electricity.

Notwithstanding its minor construction flaws, this is the best foot massager under $50–a perfect choice for budget buyers who aren’t looking for more advanced features.

Moji Foot PRO Massager
Human Touch Reflex SOL Foot and Calf Massager
best foot massager and calf massager
Choose Reflex SOL if you’re looking for an adjustable tilt base so you can rest your calves without worrying about having bad posture; a higher calf massager to accommodate your long legs, and a shiatsu massager similar to the likes of Belmint’s and Homedics.’

As with earlier model, this newer model is an ideal equipment to rejuvenate every morning and soothe your aching muscles after a whole day of walking or standing on your feet.

Not only does it provide a quick relief for sore feet, ankles, and feet but also alleviate pain associated with fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, varicose veins, diabetic neuropathy, and stress, among others.

This is not the right massager if you’re not comfortable with massaging your calves or if shiatsu is too strong for your overly sensitive feet.

Features

Patented figure-eight technology.
Unlike other foot and calf massagers that tend to push the blood downwards to the foot where they accumulate, Reflex has a mechanism to do the opposite.

The leg massager has an “upward, rolling or wave-like motion” that helps the blood return to the heart. The feet and calves, meanwhile, are rejuvenated with fresh, nutrient-rich blood, boosting the healing process.

CirQlation technology
Another patented technology from Human Touch, CirQlation is simply a mechanism that uses an advanced 3D robotic system to simulate a real-life human therapist’s massage. Although no massager has accurately imitated human massage, this technology attempts to make it as close to reality as possible.

Easy Sleeves®
If one or more people in your family will repeatedly use the massager, don’t fret. Reflex has fabric liners called Easy Sleeves that are both removable and washable.

Reflexology foot massage rollers
Let your feet enjoy the relaxing benefits of a reflexology-style foot massage. It might not be the same reflexology like the one given by a trained professional, but it’s therapeutic enough especially for your tired sole and heel.

Reflex SOL also comes with 3 3 auto-massages with 2 speed options, Warm-Air Technology, and Vibration settings.

Extended height
Critics pointed out that Reflex2 has a calf massager that obviously favors people with shorter legs. Human Touch listened, and added more height to Reflex4 for more massage coverage and to accommodate those with longer legs.

Adjustable tilt
Another weak point of Reflex2 was the fixed tilt angle which can potentially cause bad posture for some people. Human Touch took this into consideration and finally released Reflex4 with an adjustable tilt base to match the body’s ergonomics.

Built-in handle and non-skid floor protectors.
Just like the previous model, Reflex4 also comes with non-skid floor protectors to minimize the noise when moving or using it. It also has a built-in handle to make the device portable despite its weight.

Pros

  • Comes with a 1-year limited warranty, functional website, and a California-based customer support team. Note that this is only available in the US and Canada.
  • Compared with Reflex2, this upgraded foot and calf massager has obviously more features like the adjustable tilt base and the extended height to increase massage coverage on the calves.
  • Massage has a 15-minute time limit to ensure the safety of both the device and the person using it.

Cons

  • Quite heavier and bulkier than Reflex2 and other foot massagers. Even with an easy-carry, built-in handle, this device remains too bulky and therefore not the most portable massager you can carry in your travels.
  • Vigorous massage that may turn off people who are not used with deep tissue massage. The massage sequence could have been modified to include phases of more gentle yet rejuvenating massage.
uComfy Shiatsu Foot Massager
uComfy Shiatsu Foot Massager for plantar fasciitis
At first glance, the Ucomfy shiatsu foot massager seems to be an exact replica of another popular product: Belmint’s shiatsu foot massager with switchable heat.

But aside from the price (Ucomfy’s has a lower price tag), the two also differ in terms of features and the benefits they promise to the user.

Who is it for?

This uComfy foot massager brings together the relaxing effects of heat, vibration and kneading massage to significantly improve blood flow.

By improving blood circulation, it can provide relief to almost debilitating foot pain related to diabetic neuropathy. This can be achieved as long as the foot massager is used in conjunction with doctor-prescribed medications.

Since it effectively massages the foot arch, this product can also be used to cope with plantar fasciitis. However, be careful when using it on sensitive feet or feet suffering from arthritis. This foot massager has 5 levels of intensity, and level 3 is the default setting when you turn it on.

To avoid discomfort, turn on the device and start with the lowest level of intensity before placing your feet inside. Once you get comfortable, you can easily adjust the machine to your preferred setting.

Features

  • Kneading, vibration and heat features which you can turn on/off.
  • Comes with 5 massage modes and intensity controls. You can choose among 5 different levels of massage intensity, with P1 being the mildest and P5 the most aggressive.
  • The cloth that lines the interior has zippers which can be easily unzipped if you want to remove and wash them.
  • Portable and lightweight. The device can be carried even with one hand.
  • Available in 2 sizes (oval and round) and colors (silver and red).
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 15 x 18.1 inches | Weight: 12 pounds

Pros

  • Massage can be a little intense but in a good way. This is because the air pressure pushes the feet downward, further increasing the intensity of the foot massage. You can also get a deeper massage by tilting your feet downward. If you have sensitive feet, I suggest that you start with the lowest intensity.
  • Offers the right level of heat–not too hot but warm enough to relax your feet.
  • Very quiet and only makes a low rumbling sound when the motors are at work and when the air pressure is released. It can be used at home or office settings without fear of disturbing other people.
  • Unlike other cheaper foot massagers, this uComfy machine squeezes the entire foot, including the top where airbags inflate and deflate to give it a nice feel.
  • With a 15-minute timer that lets you know the remaining minutes left. It stops the massage after this period without releasing an annoying beep sound.

Cons

  • Just like other foot massagers, this one also lacks an option to adjust the heat. It only comes with a simple on/off button.
  • Although you can adjust the intensity of the massage, there’s no way for the user to choose what type of massage he’ll receive during the entire 15 minutes. This is quite annoying especially if you prefer full pressure/kneading right off the bat, but you still have to wait because the device isn’t programmed that way.
  • Not best for traveling considering its large size that won’t fit in most suitcases.
  • Does not work on the sides of the feet. It also focuses more on the front half the foot and barely touches the heels.
  • Not perfect for people with feet bigger than size 12.

uComfy is one of the good shiatsu foot massagers on the market, but certain flaws keep it from being the best. Compared to Belmint’s, however, this product offers more features that give the best value for your money.

It hugs the top of your foot with air pressure, giving a complete foot massage experience. Well, almost.

Other imperfections we’ve found in other foot massagers are also evident in uComfy’s. These include the lack of options to adjust the heat and massage style. It also barely touches the sides and heels of the feet, which will make anyone think twice why it’s a bit more expensive than Belmint’s.

SPT AB-762R Reflexology Foot Massager
SPT AB-762R Reflexology Foot Massager
Made by the California-based Sunpentown International, Inc., the SPT AB 762R Reflexology Foot Massager isn’t exactly what you think it is. And this is also true for other products who are branded as reflexology foot massage machine.

Who is it for?

The SPT AB 762R Reflexology Foot Massager is for people who are looking for a foot massager that offers more than simple vibration. This foot reflexology massage machine works through a combination of vibration, kneading massage and heat.

Thanks to this 3D-massage, it helps relieve foot pain and increase circulation. Hence, this reflexology massage machine is a great option for those suffering from plantar fasciitis and peripheral neuropathy.

For safety reasons, however, ensure that you consult with your doctor before buying this product.

The kneading massage can be a bit too intense at first, so wear thick socks when using it. And although the massage is a winner, its heat function is a bit on the weak side. If you prefer foot massagers with top-notch built-in heat feature, this is not the best choice for you. Instead, you might want to consider other heated foot massagers like the Belmint Shiatsu Foot Massager With Switchable Heat.

Lastly, don’t buy this product if you imagine a foot massager that can accurately hit different reflexology points on your feet. For the record, this is no different from other foot massagers that don’t have “reflexology” on their names. You will be the one adjusting your feet to hit the target spots and with the help of a reflexology foot chart.

In other words, a machine like this is just an alternative to self-reflexology but definitely not a replacement for trained and experienced reflexologists.

Features

  • Provides 3-dimensional massage: infrared heat for the entire foot; kneading massage on the sides; and vibrating percussion that hits different acupoints on the soles of the foot.
  • Vibrating plates stimulate reflexology points on the feet. Choose from two vibrating modes: High and Low.
  • Heat feature increases blood circulation and reduces muscle tension. Infrared light treatment has two settings–High or Low.
  • With three kneading massage modes: I = staggered; II = with pause; and III = smooth.
  • Elegant and ergonomic design.
  • Detachable fabric covering for easy cleaning.
  • Comes with auto timer. Operation automatically stops after 15 minutes, which is the safe and recommended duration of massage.
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 17 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 21 pounds

Pros

  • With 1-year limited product warranty. Only available for US residents.
  • Effectively massages all areas of the feet, except the top.
  • Although it’s not designed to massage the ankles, you can put your feet a little further inside the device to give your ankles some love. Works best for smaller feet.
  • Design looks sharp and expensive. It looks like the “Ferrari” of foot massagers.
  • Creates some humming sounds, but not too noisy or distracting. You can still sleep or watch TV while using it.
  • No remote control, but the controls are very easy to understand and operate.

Cons

  • The bumps or plates on the bottom only vibrate and don’t move at all. It could have been more effective if these things rotate, providing a more relaxing massage.
  • The plates on the foot bed are also made of hard plastic that make them too uncomfortable for people with sensitive feet. They could have made it out of rubber to improve the user experience. However, you can easily fix this issue by wearing thick socks.
  • Heat is its greatest weakness. Even if you set the infrared on the highest setting, the warmth it provides is still not enough. Definitely not the best-heated foot massager.
  • Not large enough to accommodate foot sizes as big as 12.5 to 13.
  • Very large and bulky. Not recommended for travelers looking for a portable and lightweight foot massager.

The SPT AB 762R Reflexology Foot Massager is a decent product with few areas of improvement. Its heat feature is certainly not the best, and the manufacturer can benefit a lot by coming up with something that offers a stronger infrared heat.

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