Roll Your Plantar Fascia: Why, When, & How

The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes. It helps to support the arch of the foot, as well as providing shock absorption when you walk or run. However, plantar fasciitis can occur when the plantar fascia becomes tight and inflamed. This often happens due to overuse and may cause pain in the heel and sole of your foot. Rolling out your plantar fascia can help alleviate this discomfort and provide relief for many people who experience pain or tightness. Here is when, why, and how to roll out your plantar fascia.


Plantar Fasciitis is caused by overuse or injury to the foot resulting in inflammation of the tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. Over time, this can lead to long-term damage if left untreated, and many people experience pain with just walking or standing if left untreated. Rolling out the plantar fascia helps reduce pain and stiffness in the area by increasing blood flow and breaking up scar tissue. This can also help strengthen muscles in the feet and improve flexibility. By reducing inflammation here, you will reduce the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

a man rubs his sore and hurting feet


It’s recommended that if you have pain, you should roll out your plantar fascia at least once per day (or more frequently if needed) as part of an overall treatment plan for this condition. This can help prevent further damage as well as quicken recovery time between workouts or activities that put a strain on your feet such as running or playing sports. Even if it is not painful, rolling your plantar fascia regularly can help to prevent tightness or future pain. This should be done before activities such as running or walking, or prolonged standing so that it does not become too painful during these activities. If you are typically busy on the go, we highly recommend rolling it out while you are sitting at your desk or table working!

a lacrosse ball sits under the arch of a bare foot


The best way to roll out your plantar fascia is with an object such as a lacrosse ball. Start by sitting or standing, with one foot planted flat on the ground. Place the ball under the arch of your other foot, and slowly roll up and down from your heel to your toes, applying gentle pressure until you find an area of tightness or soreness. While this may be uncomfortable (especially for anyone already experiencing pain), make sure you are keeping the pressure light enough that it is not painful. When that starts to get comfortable, intensify the stretch by adding pressure, or by curling your toes down as you roll towards the ball of your foot, and extending your toes upward as you roll towards your heel. After you start to experience some relief, switch feet, and be sure not to rush through it – take it slow! 

Rolling out your plantar fascia is an easy way to get relief from pain caused by tightness in this ligament without taking medication or undergoing invasive treatments such as cortisone injections or surgery. Not only does it target any problem areas directly with pressure, but also increases overall flexibility throughout all areas of each foot which can help prevent future issues from occurring due to improper form during physical activity! So, if you are suffering from heel pain due to overuse or other causes related to plantar fasciitis – give rolling out your plantar fascia a try. As always, know that the team at Stark is here and happy to help if needed!