Foot and ankle injuries can persist in any client, but they can be treated in a variety of ways by massage therapists. Those treatments can be learned in the comfort of your home through home study courses.

Following the conclusion of the courses, massage therapists can implement these additional treatment tools into their practice.

Foot and ankle massage isn’t limited to one modality and can have significant benefits that include the release of chronic muscular tension and pain, improved circulation, increased joint flexibility, reduced mental fatigue, stress reduction, improved posture and reduced blood pressure.

Some of the home study massage courses offered online include reflexology, deep-tissue massage, sports massage and orthopedic massage. Reflexology 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. This technique can focus pressure on particular reflex points in the foot to cure or prevent disease.

Another modality, deep-tissue massage, can be implemented to increase mobility in the ankle an foot, along with treating plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis and ankle sprains. For your athletic clients, sports massage can be used to treat chronic athletic injuries. Sports massage techniques can reduce the chance of injury to the client by using proper stretching, preparation and deep-tissue massage.

This type of 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.

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 revealed numerous home study courses a massage therapist can take to fulfill his or her continuing education requirements.

Numerous studies have been done to measure the effects of hand and foot massage techniques. A recent study 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 to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready