ZocdocAnswersCan foot massages help athletes?

Question

Can foot massages help athletes?

I am a 26 year old runner and had my first foot massage last week. I felt great. Should I get them regularly? Could they help me run better?

Answer

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the massage. Many athletes, especially runners, do find that massage is quite beneficial to them. Massage works by helping to relax sore muscles and stimulate blood flow, which can reduce soreness after a hard workout. For these reasons, many athletes will find that they are less tight after massage and that this makes their subsequent workouts more comfortable. However, it would be a stretch to say that this will help you run better, unless you are currently finding that your running is inhibited by soreness. Massage does not really improve your performance. The other thing to consider is that if you are experiencing significant soreness or pain with your workouts, you may be over training and you may need to consider backing off a bit on the intensity of your training routine. If you ever find that you have a particular pain that is very severe or that is not improving even with massage, this could be an indication that you have a more serious problem going on, such as a sprain or stress fracture. In these cases, you should make an appointment to see your primary care doctor to have it checked out.

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