Massage Home-Study Courses Teach Treatment of Foot and Ankle Problems, MASSAGE MagazineEveryday walking can take its toll on the the feet—and the wear and tear on the feet of extremely active clients can lead to even more damage and injury. With careful attention, and the aid of a massage home-study course, therapists can treat these injuries in a variety of ways.

While the treatment options for foot and ankle injuries vary, how to treat them can be learned in the comfort of your home through home-study courses. After completing the courses, massage therapists can implement these additional treatment tools into practice.

There are many benefits to treatment, which 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. Treating foot and ankle injuries isn’t limited to one modality, and therapists have a wide variety of educational options to choose from in what area to focus.

Some of the home-study massage courses offered online include deep-tissue massage, sports massage, reflexology and orthopedic massage.

Deep-tissue massage can be implemented to increase mobility in the ankle and 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.

Another modality, reflexology, can aid in easing an 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.

An Internet search revealed numerous home-study courses that are available for any massage therapist to take to fulfill her continuing education requirements.

Numerous studies have been done to measure the effects of hand-and-foot massage techniques. A recent study showed when reflexology treatments were applied to areas of the feet that correspond to the heart, the cardiac index of test subjects decreased significantly.

In the study, “Reflexology has acute (immediate) haemodynamic effect in healthy volunteers: a double-blind randomized controlled trial,” measured the effects of treatment in 11 healthy men older than 18 and five healthy postmenopausal women.

All of the participants received two separate reflexology sessions. One session included standardized Ingham reflexology techniques applied to the upper part of the foot, which has a point that corresponds with the heart. Another session of the technique focused on the lower part of the foot, which doesn’t contain any points reported to correspond to the heart. This second session was the control treatment.

No significant differences were found for any of the outcome measures except for cardiac index.

The study showed a significant decrease in cardiac index when the subjects received the intervention treatment applied to the upper foot.

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