Whether a person is young or old, active or latent, foot and ankle injuries can persist in any client. By learning the benefits and techniques of foot and ankle massage techniques in the privacy of your home or office trough home study courses, massage therapists can easily implement these tools into practice.

Treating a client’s pain in the feet and ankles can be learned through a variety of techniques. Some of the courses offered include deep-tissue massage, orthopedic massage, sports massage and reflexology, to name a few.

The benefits of pain management include released chronic muscular tension and pain, improved circulation, increased joint flexibility, reduced mental fatigue, reduced stress, improved posture and reduced blood pressure.

Deep-tissue massage can be applied to increase mobility in the ankle and foot, along with treating plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis and ankle sprains.

Sports massage techniques can reduce the chance of injury to the client by using proper stretching, preparation and deep-tissue massage. Massage can also shorten recovery time between activities, improve the athletes’ range of motion, break down scar tissue, increase blood flow and tissue permeability, improve tissue elasticity, and reduce pain and anxiety.

Reflexology, which can be used to treat foot and ankle problems, can aid in easing a wide array of symptoms that persist, from chronic and acute aches and pains, sports injuries and arthritis in the joints.

For orthopedic massage, home study courses include topics that cover the treatment of lateral ankle sprain, general tendinitis and Achilles tendinitis. The courses also delve into teaching about massage techniques and musculoskeletal disorders, along with thermal modalities, treatment aids and the physiological effects.

An Internet search resulted in numerous home study courses that any massage therapist can take to fulfill their continuing education requirements.

Numerous studies have been done to measure the effects of hand and foot massage techniques. One such study, published last year, showed that a 20-minute massage and mobilization protocol that focused on the feet and ankles of elderly adults between 65 and 95 years old, significantly improved their performance on balance tests.

In the study, “Massage and mobilization of the feet and ankles in elderly adults: Effect on clinical balance performance,” the subjects received a 20-minute massage and mobilization session that focusing on the feet and ankles. The subjects also each received a placebo intervention, which entailed placing three demagnetized magnets near the fifth metatarsal for 20 minutes. At least one week separated the two treatments.

According to the results, researchers noted a significant improvement in performance among the subjects for both the one-leg balance test and the timed up-and-go test following the massage and mobilization treatments compared to the placebo intervention. However, no significant improvement was noted in the lateral-reach test.

Make sure you check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for your continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready

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