Best Foot Massager Plantar Fasciitis [For 2019] – Review Guide
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick tendon (fascia) that connects your heel to your toes. The American Podiatric Medical Association estimates 77% of Americans experience foot pain and out of that number, around 2 million suffer from plantar fasciitis. The condition is common among runners and the overweight but can be eased with massage.
What is the best foot massager for plantar fasciitis? The best massager for plantar fasciitis is electric. This means you can set it up, use it, relax, and let it do the work for you. The massager should also have heat, pressure that can be adjusted, settings. Ease of use and easy to clean. We have looked at many feet massagers and personally recommend the Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager, Belmint Foot Massager, and the Cloud Massager.
Things To Consider When Purchasing A Foot Massager For Plantar Fasciitis
Dropping a hundred dollars or more on a machine is no joke so here are some points to take note of when deciding to buy a foot massager.
A go-ahead from your doctor to use a massager. Your feet are tried but physical massage/treatments will not always be the best course of treatment. If the pain is from inflammation, a course of NSAIDs may be needed to bring down the swelling and soreness first. Direct pressure on inflamed muscles may do more harm than good.
Physical conditions of the feet. Are your feet wide or large in size? You might want to check the foot sizes that a massager may be able to accommodate. Do you have high arches? Check for massagers with varied roller sizes that can reach the highest point of your arches. Are your feet ticklish or sensitive to heat and pressure? Look for a massager with customizable pressure and heat settings.
Portability. Check the weight of the massager. Would you be able to easily lug it around or transport it? Portability also has its trade-offs. Some of the functions may be sacrificed with compact designs. You also need to consider how much storage space the unit will take up.
Features the massager offers. All massagers offer relief. How it delivers the relief is where the various brands and models differ. The ease with which you can clean the unit is a top priority for some. Detachable components are preferred for easy cleanup. This is especially crucial if the device will be shared to avoid spreading infections, veruca or plantar warts, fungal infections, etc.
Comfort should be a priority. A good value massager will have cushioned surfaces made of foam, gel, or malleable plastic. This ensures that you will not feel pain or discomfort that may add to your injury or prevent your relaxation.
Vibration, heat, and pressure are top features to check for because those are the primary treatments for the sore, tired, and achy sensations on feet. How intense it can be are also concerns for those with circulation problems and impaired sensation on their feet and legs.
Automatic settings and adjustable intensity modes to get the vibration, heat and pressure combination just right for that relaxation and relief your feet crave.
Power compatibility. How much electricity will the device use when you use it? Calculate how much the electric consumption of the massager will use and how and how much you are prepared to add to your electric bill. Check if the voltage is compatible with your power outlets. Some models are manufactured out of the United States and may need a transformer or converter before you can use it.
Motor Performance. Powerful motors sometimes equal to loud noises. It would not be a relaxing experience if the massage is accompanied by the intense whir and roar of the motor. Check how loud the motor gets and how loud you can tolerate it.
Budget considerations. How much are you willing to shell out for your personal massager? These devices have price points that cover the spectrum. From a budget-friendly $50 to upwards of $300 for the known name brands.
How Do I Know Which Massager Is Good For This Condition?
Plantar Fasciitis is treated with medication and physical therapy such as massage to strengthen and stretch the fascia.
An ideal foot massager to treat this condition would be one with Shiatsu rollers that will knead the stiffness of the fascia and alleviate pain.
Look for shiatsu nodes in varying sizes or rotate in opposite directions.
These nodes mimic the pressure that a massage therapist applies on taut and stiff muscles to ease it to a relaxed state.
A good massager would have multiple levels and intensity of vibration.
The vibrations help to reduce soreness by increasing the circulation in the feet.
The increase in blood circulation would also help to speed up the healing of microscopic tears in the fascia.
Research and Google are your best friends.
You can compare the features each individual massager offer.
You can look up videos to see how the devices perform and hear the opinions of those who actually used and tested the products.
Narrow down your search to your top 3 and, if you could, road test it yourself before committing to a purchase.
If going to a physical store to test out the massagers is not possible, check the reviews.
Check how many stars or total rating a product has.
Conventional wisdom dictates that the higher the rating, the higher the customer satisfaction, then the higher the likelihood that a product delivers.
Note that a high number of reviews doesn’t always translate to rave reviews.
Read through the comments to determine common issues and complaints, and what features the product has that gets the most kudos.
How Long Should You Massage For Plantar Fasciitis?
A massage is one of the best ways to stretch the stiff fascia and ease the soreness from a day of standing and walking.
Perform the massage by rubbing the arch.
Rubbing your thumb back and forth along the fascia from heel to the balls of the feet.
Flex your toes upward and pull toward your shin.
10 minutes of manual stretching and massage is recommended to warm up the muscles in the morning before standing and again at night.
Manual massage is recommended but not always doable.
The use of an electric massager is the answer to that.
Most massagers have time and intensity settings.
Set your massage sessions to a maximum of 15 minutes to avoid further injury or soreness to the feet.
People with neuropathy or impaired sensation in the feet or the legs may do more harm than good with prolonged sessions.
It is also a precaution to avoid the device from overheating.
Here’s a rundown of the best foot massagers for plantar fasciitis based on functionality, features, price, and user reviews.
If you are unsure of what to buy, this guide is a good place to start.
Best Overall Plantar Fasciitis Massager
The Miko Shiatsu foot Massager hits all buttons with its features, a reasonable price point, and sleek design.
Here’s what it can do:
The machine uses compressed air and heat to massage the pressure points all over your feet.
The air pressure has 5 levels that are adjustable for that just right pressure you prefer while the heat can be turned on or off.
It comes with 2 cordless remote controls, a center console for the main control and an LCD screen which displays the time.
The time also has an auto shut-off programmed at 15 minutes, the recommended length of time for a massage.
The air pressure pads fully encase each foot reaching all areas to soothe tired, achy feet.
The pads and cloth cover are also removable which makes clean up easy.
It has separate chambers that completely covers each foot and accommodate up to shoe size 12 for men and up to size 14 for women.
The Miko is light at 12 pounds with dimensions at 16.9 x 15.7 x 7.9 inches and can be slid under a table or a chair after use.
The design is sleek though a bit too futuristic for some tastes.
It has been described as “Darth Vader’s helmet.”
Some reviews noted that the pressure can get painful; the manufacturer recommends using socks and to start at the lowest setting to get a feel of what is tolerable.
- Can be used and forgotten due to its auto-off timer function.
- The motor isn’t whisper-quiet but not obnoxiously loud.
- The back part of the foot, the heel and arch, do not get as much attention from the air pressure and kneading.
The Miko is moderately priced and will be a good one-time investment compared to a $25 to $50 per reflexology massage session.
Best Manual Massager
The TheraFlow Foot Massager doesn’t have any of the other products’ bells and whistles but its simplicity is its strength.
The manual foot massager is made out of wood and is as uncomplicated to use as its design.
The product can be used straight out of the box.
It can relieve pain from plantar fasciitis, heel and arch pain, and the stresses of standing for long periods.
The rollers rotate as you move your feet across the surface.
The TheraFlow comes in 2 sizes: Large and XL.
It will be able to accommodate any foot length or width.
It comes with a reflexology chart and easy to understand instructions which let you get a lot of use out of it.
It measures 7.5 x 11.2 x 2.5 inches and weighs 1.6 pounds.
It packs flat and can be taken and used anywhere with you.
The wood material and simple design are classic.
A quick wipe down is all you need to do to clean it.
This is a great product with no-frills features.
Use this product 3 times a day and you’ll notice the benefits.
The TheraFlow is so well-made that it can accommodate the weight of a 200-pound person.
- Can be used standing up or sitting down.
- It does not need batteries or electricity.
- The price is very budget-friendly.
- Although you have full control of the pressure as you manually work your foot across the rollers, you can’t use it and forget it.
- It has to be directly manipulated to produce the intended results.
Best Value Foot Massager
This model has 18 shiatsu nodes.
Perfect for the deep kneading action to relax and soothe stiff arches.
The shiatsu nodes are placed at the right intervals hitting all the right pressure points of the foot using it.
Aside from the nodes, there is also a built-in heater perfect for warming feet on cold nights.
The heat is at just the right temperature to bring up blood circulation to the feet.
This is ideal for people with neuropathy which impairs their sensation to determine hot and cold.
The downside is there are no other temperature settings for those who prefer warmer temperatures.
The open, ergonomic design allows you to place your feet and the ergonomic curve accommodates your foot whether flat or high arched.
The Belmint also have 4 bases that can be adjusted to accommodate the right angle for better relaxation.
This foot massager is also my pick for Best Plantar Fasciitis Massager For Big Feet.
With three power settings – power on with heat, power on without heat, and off, the massager is easy to operate.
The Belmint also automatically turns off after 20-minutes.
Its dimensions are 13.5 x 14.2 x 5 inches at just 7.9 pounds.
Although it is not totally flat, it can be easily stored under the bed or chair after use.
The Belmint is affordably priced with the range in the lower end of the range.
- It has an easy to use, one-touch operation with a single button to control and cycle through all the settings.
- The open design is great for all foot sizes and widths.
- Has one heat setting.
- There are no vibrations or air pressure that will cover the whole foot.
Best Stylish Massager
Some prefer aesthetics along with functionality and this is where the Brookstone F4 Shiatsu Foot Massager comes in.
The Brookstone F4 is a dome-shaped massager that covers the whole feet.
It has air pressure compression massage, shiatsu massage with nodes to knead the soles of the feet, and heat to ease the soreness and tension of the feet.
The dome design integrates a handle for carrying the device and a built-in cord wrap to keep everything neat.
The design is streamlined with no edges and comes with a backlit control panel in the front.
The price is in the upper region of the price range.
The controls feature 2 settings, high and low. It has 3 auto-massage programs: Soothe, Pulse, and Energize. The heat settings have divided customers into 2 camps of you could hardly feel it and it’s too hot. Similar to the auto-massage programs, the heat function only has 2 settings.
Clean-up is a breeze with the detachable zip-up linings.
It fits feet with shoe sizes up to 12 for men and 14 for women.
The machine is on the heavier end of the scale at 12.65 pounds; it’s not portable but the built-in handle makes it easier to transport.
Its dimensions are 16.8 x 8.8 x 14.4 inches with a sleek design that isn’t an eyesore even when out in the open.
- The Brookstone has massage nodes, air compression, and heat; all the important massage features in a good foot massager.
- The controls are easy to use and the preset auto-massage settings are clearly labeled taking the guesswork out of selecting the massage you prefer.
- With the price of this model, you’d think that a remote control would be standard, but there is none.
- The settings can only be adjusted via the main control panel.
- The squeezing pressure may be too intense for some.
- Heat control options are limited.
Best Top Of The Line Multi-Way Massager
If money were no object, drop it on a Cloud Massager.
It has the same features as the other massagers featured in the list but this massager offers multiple settings.
The quality is medical grade with clear, step by step instructions in the manual.
The Cloud massager not just massages your feet, it also gives equal attention to your legs, ankles, and toes.
The Cloud Massager has rolling ball nodes, air compression massage, and heat to bring relief from pain and increase blood flow.
The massager is ideal for those who have diabetic neuropathy and plantar fasciitis.
You can choose a variety of preset combinations, Mode 1 has air pressure, roller, and vibration; Mode 2 has rolling massage with air pressure; and Mode 3 with just air pressure.
It has 5 levels of pressure and an on or off Heat button.
The machine can be used flat on the floor the way most foot massagers are designed too.
The Cloud Massagers does it one better by having an adjustable stand so you can use it with your feet at a comfortable 45° angle.
Putting it in an upright position allows you to use it as a massager for your legs.
The channels for the feet and legs are 5 inches wide and 11 inches long.
It will be able to fit an array of foot and leg sizes.
The sides of the channel are lined with air pressure cuffs that inflate to squeeze and massage tired and aching feet and legs.
The flat base of the channel has the pressure point nodes and heat to relieve the tightness in the fascia and soothe the soreness of the soles.
The heaviest and biggest of the lot, it weighs 22 pounds with dimensions of 22 x 11 x 17.7 inches.
The ergonomic design is easy on the eyes but still looks bulky.
The heft is a good sign of quality though.
- The Cloud Massager is a medical grade massager. You get the same quality of treatment as one from a machine used for physical therapy.
- The combination of massage modes are varied and offers many options from light pressure to a combination of pressure, compression, and heat.
- The massager is heavy.
- For all its options for treatment modes, it does not have a remote control.
Best Massager For Bone Spurs
Bone spurs are an effect of plantar fasciitis and are brought about by the same causes as plantar fasciitis so I thought it be helpful to include this.
The Recovery Set is a manual massager that involves 5 steps starting with a towel and every piece of the set.
The smooth and spiked balls can be used hot or cold.
The smooth one is used to soften the rightness of the fascia while the spiked one stimulates the pressure points of the feet bringing relief.
The roller helps by increasing the blood circulation to the fascia and to heal the micro-injuries to the ligaments.
The increased blood flow also helps to avoid scar tissue from forming.
The design is streamlined and the material uses high-grade plastic.
The balls are filled with gel that can be heated or cooled to achieve the desired treatment effect.
Everything comes with a bag for easy storage.
The set is affordable and priced at the lower end of the scale.
- Ultra-portable with everything in the set weighing in at just 1.2 pounds.
- Proven to be a very effective tool to treat heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.
- Using the set and going through the steps can be tedious especially if you are doing it several times a day.
Personal preferences aside, the best of the foot massagers featured in the list would have to be the Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager.
It covers all massage features: heat and air pressure.
The air pressure mimics the shiatsu massage of the feet’s pressure points.
The 5 levels of pressure cover all preferences, from ticklish to those who like hard squeezing pressure.
The remote controls and individual foot chambers round out the features of this model.
But again, preferences will still be the driving factor when you make a decision.
Choose what will be the best for your needs and budget.
WebMD staff. (2018, December 24). 8 Plantar fasciitis Treatments: How Doctors Treat Plantar Fasciitis. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/treatment-for-plantar-fasciitis#1
Rosenwieg, T. (2016, April 20). Facts About Plantar Fasciitis. Retrieved from https://www.betterbraces.com/blog/facts-about-plantar-fasciitis/
Cleveland Clinic Staff. (2017, December 5). Chronic Heel Pain? 4 Simple Fixes for Your Plantar Fasciitis. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/chronic-heel-pain-4-simple-fixes-for-your-plantar-fasciitis/