I Fixed My Plantar Fasciitis With A Trigger Point Performance Therapy Roller (Sigh Of Relief!)

FitOldDog on TriggerPoint Performance Therapy Roller

I fixed my first case of plantar fasciitis with the aid of a TriggerPoint Therapy Performance Roller, but the second case was more complicated, interesting and painful. But that’s another story.

FitOldDog's plantar fasciitis treatment roadmapI’ve learned a lot about plantar fasciitis since then.

I wrote this blog post a several years ago based on my first encounter with plantar fasciitis. I had a second case, which required a hip re-alignment (bike accident) before I could fix my heel pain with our method. Wrote a new book, created the Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Interactive Map, and saw the results of poor treatment by doctors, not knowing what they are doing. All in or linked to our new book, which you can find at this link. That said, our basic method still works, but only if you can find and fix the underlying cause if you don’t respond at first.

Wishing you happy feet,


The use of a roller for myofascial massage is but one of  five critical steps in FitOldDog’s  approach to plantar fasciitis therapy and prevention.

To read more about what happened after I wrote this blog post (years ago), go to our cornerstone content page, at this link

I know a number of runners who suffer from plantar fasciitis, which can completely ruin your sport. I suffered from it for a while, trying the usual recommended approaches, some of which are described in My Foot Shop website from which the adjacent photograph was derived.

If you visit this site and you are at all squeamish, don’t watch the surgery video that is included, which is actually pretty interesting. I like the markings on this photo, as they show exactly where my problems have been, all initiated by barefoot running, I’m afraid. But I finally found a solution, thanks to my eldest son, Nick, the Trigger Point Performance Therapy Roller System.

Location of pain associated with plantar fasciitis. From: http://goo.gl/RbkTs

Location of pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Click on figure for source website.

This is something that actually works, as long as you find the regions of your myofascia that are tight and roll them loose again. Learning a little anatomy can help a lot, too.

Caution, roll regularly, especially after exercise when your muscles are warmed up, but don’t overdo it. The pain of rolling should only be irritating, not excruciating.

Wishing you happy feet.


Kevin aka FitOldDog



  1. Here is my response to a question from Matthew, which he placed on my Facebook page in response to the roller post above: http://goo.gl/DUkRI
    Matthew’s question:
    “Looks like a very thorough article…will certainly give this a read at home when I’ve more time. With regard to my foot injury, I’ve exhausted all professional avenues and am trying to get back into running bit at a time, ignoring the pain unless it gets worse. I’m basically just doing the warm up with my training group, because if i run on my own i’m much more ‘aware’ of the foot. Currently running with orthotics even though countless people have told me not to.”

    My response:
    Hi Matthew,
    Yep! The same damn tendon, as it was for me too, but it is gone now. I should add more detail to my roller routine, which has worked. (1) be prepared for some discomfort when you roll, especially when you start, as I could barely put my calf on the roller at first, until, as you see in the video, I can put my full weight on it, (2) get a roller that reaches the spot, which you’ll know because it will hurt like hell when you do, (3) remember everything is linked, so rolling your hips, quads, hamstrings, and even your shoulders can help too, in fact your plantar fasciae are attached to your eyeballs, for that matter, (4) persist with the roller, and trust me that it does work, (5) make it a routine part of your day. I finally can get out of bed in the morning and no longer be hopping around on a sore heel for 10 minutes or so. Finally, after about a year. Don’t give up, find the muscle body of your problem tendon and work it for a few minutes 2 or 3 x per day, and back off if you are irritating it. I bet you can get rid of your problem in 3 months, with essentially pain-free running in less time than that, if you do the work. Crossing my fingers for you, as I’m upping my distance in preparation of Lake Placid, which would be impossible without my Trigger Point Performance Therapy roller (No! They didn’t ask me or pay me to say this, in fact I don’t think they know who I am).
    Kind regards,

  2. Matthew Morgan says:

    Thanks Kevin.
    I am definately going to give this a try.
    I will especially try it on my Tib Ant, as that is always tight – right up close to the knee seems most tight. Perhaps loosening that up, along with my calves, will relieve the pressue on the tib ant tendon.

    I am loving being back with my training group – even though it’s only for the warm up, and not YET pain free. Trying to do rehab on my own was very depressing and looking back, I shouldnt have done it. But you have to learn whats not right for you before you can figure out what’s right!

    Good luck with ongoing, injury free training!

    • Hi Matthew,
      You do have to persist, and the roller is very painful at first, but slowly the pain goes away. I has certainly worked for my eldest son, Nick, as he was unable to run for years, trying all sorts of cures for his knee. Then he got into the rollers, found the tight spots yanking on his knee, rolled them, and we ran a trail together a few days ago for the first time in years.
      Best of luck, and I bet it works.

  3. I thought that was your foot at first in the photo.

  4. My foot is much more attractive than that one. -k

  5. Thanks for this Kevin, I am certainly going to give it a try. Probably with a wine bottle until I can afford the roller. I’m feeling really defeated about my plantar fasciitis and I’ll try anything at this point!

    • Hi Becky,

      Don’t give up, whatever, you do. For a start, ask the question, “Is it really plantar fasciitis?” – question everything, including your assumptions.
      Can you find a tight muscle deep in your calf that will respond to roller treatment.
      Consider exploring your stance, posture and gait, for which Feldenkrais best if you can afford a few sessions.
      Think about these questions, then tell me what you conclude.
      The ultimate issue is to find the correct diagnosis, then you can start to fix it.

  6. Kristin Watson says:

    Wanted to leave a comment and say thanks for the roller (I promise to give it back before we leave town!) I am an avid runner and was reduced to a crawl especially on the am runs @ 5:15 good thing it is still dark out as it was not a pretty sight to see. I rolled the entire lower leg and arches several times a day and within a few short weeks, I was back to running pain free. I had been crippled with this for about a solid year and went through countless shoes in desperation to find something that worked. Nothing until I spent time on the roller. I now have my brother-in-law hooked on it! Thanks again

  7. I went to Fleet Feet and got the lower leg kit today. I’m excited to start seeing results. I’m wondering though, did you continue to run when you first started working with the roller or did you rest until you were pain free? I don’t want to be working against myself by continuing to exercise (I don’t run but I walk for exercise).

    • Hi Becky,
      I worked on it for about a week before seeing enough change to run, which I started VERY carefully on a treadmill, slowly working up to regular running (trails, then track, then road), always rolling before and after my run. I have to roll pretty rarely now. I made up my training time by water running, plus I swim and bike. Even the bike would tighten it up when it was bad, and it was always worst in the morning after a run.
      Boot, ice, sock, massage, stretching did nothing!
      Took about 5 months to fix completely with rollers, starting on quads, then shins, then calves.
      Hope that helps.

  8. Thanks Kevin! I’ll be sure to check back in and let you know how it’s going!

  9. You are so right about trigger points. I had the same problem, plantar fasciitis from running too much in preparation for my first half marathon. At first I just kept running, not realizing, that my pain was something serious. After a few weeks I could no longer ignore the pain that made me hobble every time I stood up after a while. I thought some rest would surely heal whatever I had going on in my foot. Bummer… t didn’t heal, it got a little better maybe. I tried stretching, icing, rolling my foot with iced peas in a tin, rolling with a golf ball, taping my foot, you name it, I tried it. I think the tape helped some, the icing felt good. But things only improved when I stumbled about a book on triggerpoints. (The trigger point therapy workbook, Clare Davies) I started rolling my calves with 2 tennisballs tied into one sock. It was so painful, but still felt sooo good! And within a short time I felt improvement. It didn’t take long until I tried to run again, very scared that the pain might return. Luckily it didn’t return too badly. I kept rolling my calves and kept feeling improvement. Now I don’t even have to stretch in the morning and still don’t have pain when walking. I am so happy to be back to running, have finished that half marathon and am starting to train for a full marathon.
    So if you have plantar problems give the rolling a try…

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Disclaimer: this publication does not provide medical advice. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.