Having A Conversation With Your Myofascial Massage Roller To Treat Plantar Fasciitis And Other Training Strains

Hi folks, welcome!

Myofascial massage rollers can be expensive, so choose wisely. Rebecca and I consider the selection of rollers, but whichever one you buy remember that you are having a conversation with the roller.

Rebecca with her rollers, introducing an approach to arch reactivation and strengthening for 'flat feet,' another cause of plantar fasciitis.

Rebecca with her rollers, introducing an approach to arch reactivation and strengthening for ‘flat feet,’ another cause of plantar fasciitis.

From time to time we receive questions about massage rollers in relation to treating plantar fasciitis. In fact, they have been somewhat frequent lately – I wonder if it’s the cold weather making people stiff. Here is such a comment, from Matthew in the UK, concerning his running-induced foot pain:

“I have been using a simple foam roller (similar to MELT, which I had to google) but I guess the TriggerPoint gets in deeper, right? Certainly mine struggles to get in deep the higher up my calf I go.”

On the same day, in response to another client (non-runner) dealing with plantar fasciitis and the selection of a roller, Rebecca sent the following reply:

Book by Tom Myers Anatomy Trains goodreads

What a great book and videos – a must for anyone interested in sports injury and repair – you’ll never think about stretching, rollers or massage in the same way ever again.

“Trigger points are isolated areas that sometimes the TriggerPoint roller is more effective in locating the cathexis [interesting word choice] of pain.  Dry needling is another,  more expensive way to treat trigger points of pain. However, resistance to allowing ones body to receive the pressure can inhibit the benefits of using the roller.  Therefore, the melt roller, which is softer, can be a way of allowing the weight of the body to fully meet the contact of discomfort and begin to find an unwinding process.  Both are useful.  It all depends on the area and the individual to which will be more effective.  I find the melt roller a great way to warm up before working out.  I can slowly let the pressure of the roller help awaken the tissue of my body.  There are areas which are so tight that I can not use other rollers without resisting.  However, it is too soft for other areas.  After working out, I use the props that can sink in deeper to all the spots that need more pressure.  If we think of ourselves like the strata of earth, sometimes we will be working on the top soil, other times dropping deeper into the red clay.  I always use the roller, stick, and balls in every class I teach.”

I have been receiving body awareness training from Rebecca for a couple of years to great effect, but I still have the temerity to add two comments:

This year's Nouveau is excellent!

This year’s Nouveau is excellent!

  1. Whether you work with the softest MELT roller, or a hard wine bottle, it is essential to remember that you are having a conversation with the roller. You are not ‘applying’ the roller to the tight spots, you are conversing with them –  it you take this approach, the risk of applying excessive pressure, and doing more harm than good, will not be an issue. Your body is not a thing to be fixed, it is alive, every single cell – talk to each other.
  2. I consider the roller to be like a bandaid, helping recovery, but not the final solution. If you fix the underlying biomechanical cause of your tightness it will disappear from your life – this is no easy task, but it is critical enough to be stage four (out of five) of our plantar fasciitis treatment method.

Happy trails!

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Should I use an empty wine bottle, or full one? What role does the chocolate play? Actually, I think I’ll try a melt roller!

    • MELT is probably the best place to start. I only recommend a wine bottle when traveling, and nothing else is available – have to be careful, though. Enjoy all the comestibles. -kevin

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. 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.