Your feet carry your entire body weight. So, whether you’re heading home from a tough workout, a long walk, or a day at work in unsupportive shoes, it’s pretty common to experience foot pain.
Fortunately, you can ease discomfort with self-myofascial release, a massage technique designed to relieve tension in your fascia, the fibrous connective tissue beneath your skin. All you need is a lacrosse ball — available at most sporting-goods stores for less than $3.
This method can improve circulation and range of motion and reduce postworkout soreness. It can even help ease some of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition of the fascia on the bottoms of the feet. (For more on self-myofascial release, see “Be Your Own Massage Therapist.”)
1. Sit comfortably in a chair with both bare feet on the floor.
2. Place the lacrosse ball under the inner arch of your right foot.
3. Lean forward to put weight on your right foot — enough to feel an intense pressure from the ball.
4. Roll the ball toward the heel slowly, then along the outer arch and across the forefoot, massaging the entire sole.
5. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds. When you reach a tense spot, try pointing and flexing your toes to intensify the massage.
6. Repeat with your left foot.
For more intensity, perform the exercise while standing. For less, remain seated and shift some weight back into your hips.