Foot massagers provide relief for people who spend long days on their feet, as well as those who suffer from a variety of conditions like plantar fasciitis and bunions.
Today’s foot massagers are head and shoulders above those produced even a decade ago and are quiet, reliable and affordable to boot.
Below, our health and wellness experts have brought together their list of the most important benefits of foot massagers.
16 Benefits Of Foot Massagers
Foot massagers can provide a number of benefits to body and soul. Here are some of the most important.
1: Foot massagers can improve your circulation.
More and more people today are living sedentary lives. Most of the time it’s not their choice. It’s a function of our increasingly service-oriented economy that compels people to sit staring at computer screens for hours on end. Maintaining proper blood circulation in the lower extremities is key to preventing deep vein thrombosis and a rash of other problems. Just taking 20 minutes or so with the massager when you get home will work wonders to restore circulation.
2: Foot massagers can speed recovery from injuries.
If you’ve experienced an ankle sprain, dislocated ankle or a fracture of any of the bones in your feet a foot massager can shorten recovery time. The massager works to increase blood flow to the affected areas and relieve pain and stiffness. Regular foot massage also helps to strengthen the muscles of the feet and ankle which helps fend off future injuries.
3: Foot massagers can improve your sex life.
It may sound like a questionable claim but hear us out. The feet are a very real, if little appreciated, erogenous zone (1). Sharing a few minutes with your partner and the foot massager can help set the mood for a hot and heavy evening. After trying it a few times you may never look at your humble foot massager quite the same way again.
4: Foot massagers can help relieve anxiety and depression.
This isn’t really anything new. People have know for thousands of years how relaxing a good foot massage can be. No one is saying it’s a cure for clinical depression (2). But it can nonetheless help lift your spirits if you’ve had a tough day, received bad news or are just feeling a bit down in the dumps. If you’re nervous about a big presentation at work, spend some time with the foot massager before you go to bed. It will help you sleep better so you can breeze through the big event like a boss.
5: Foot massagers can help relieve headaches.
Headaches are sometimes a product of poor blood circulation. Your brain relies entirely on blood flow to provide the oxygen it needs to function properly (3). If blood flow is not what it should be a person may experience confusion, difficulty making decisions, headaches and more. A foot massager can help get the blood flowing in your lower extremities, which will help get things moving throughout the body. There’s no guarantee a foot massage will relieve your headache. But it should at least relieve you of stress and anxiety that is making the headache worse.
6: Foot massagers can help relieve the symptoms of PMS.
This is mostly due to its ability to alleviate stress and help you relax. Many PMS (4) symptoms, including mood swings, tension, irritability, sadness, insomnia and more are related to stress and anxiety caused by fluctuating hormone levels. Most types of massage are thought to aid in relaxation. But the foot massage is particularly good at helping people let go of some of their cares and worries and adopt a more laid back attitude.
7: Foot massagers may help lower blood pressure.
The jury is still out on this particular claim but there are plenty who believe it to be true. Particularly adherents of Chinese reflexology. High blood pressure has numerous potential causes and one of them is thought to be stress. As such, the argument goes that regular sessions with your foot massager should help relieve stress. That will in turn (at least in some people) result in a lowering of blood pressure levels.
8: Foot massagers will just make your feet feel better.
That’s the kind of common sense benefit anyone can get their head around. As we’ve seen a good foot massager helps restore proper circulation, helps prevent conditions like deep vein thrombosis, lowers anxiety levels and helps you sleep better. Even if it did nothing else or its benefits ran no further than that, that’s still a boatload of positivity.
9: Foot massagers can mitigate the symptoms of arthritis.
There are different forms of arthritis (5) but they all involve inflammation of the joints. The stiffness and pain associated with arthritis can be an enormous cross to bear. A good foot massager can help lessen that pain and stiffness while also helping to reduce swelling and increase circulation. Electric massagers that provide hydrotherapy and heat are thought to be particularly effective for people with arthritis or gout (6).
10: Foot massagers relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia (7) is the large tendon that extends across the length of the arch of the foot. Under various conditions this tendon can become inflamed. Plantar fasciitis, as this condition is called, can be extremely painful and also impede your normal walking motion. A good electric massager that supplies heat and which kneads the arch of the foot effectively can be very helpful in providing relief from this condition.
11: Foot massagers relieve the pain associated with bunions.
Bunions (8) are a deformity of the foot involving the big toe. The condition, which is often hereditary, can be very painful and cause a major disruption to the mechanics of ordinary walking. People with bunions all too often rely on pain killers to provide needed relief. But the electric massager should be given due consideration as a better way to address the issue. If you have bunions look for a massager that kneads the arches of your feet and massages the toes. Many people believe the shiatsu-style massager is best for those with bunions.
12: Foot massagers can help you deal with flat feet.
Flat feet do not typically produce the type of pain you’ll experience from plantar fasciitis. Still, they can cause the feet to become easily worn out and sore. And they can make it very uncomfortable for a person to spend long hours standing, if that’s what their work requires. There are several ways to deal with flat feet. Wearing the right type of shoes is important. Performing exercises that build the muscles of the feet can also help. Finally, a foot massager can effectively address soreness and fatigue in the foot muscles.
13: Foot massagers can aid your recovery after a long run.
Runners are no strangers to sore feet. An electric foot massager can provide them much needed relief. In many cases runners will experience a sore or tight plantar fascia after running. Even if they don’t technically suffer from plantar fasciitis. A mechanical foot massager that is able to massage the bottom of the foot is a good thing to have in such cases. The foot massager will also help alleviate muscles stiffness in the lower leg and have a beneficial knock-on effect that extends up the leg to the glutes. Essentially, it helps enable quicker recovery and ensures you’re in good shape before you hit the pavement again.
14: Foot massagers may relieve menstrual pain.
It’s thought that the pain relief and relaxation that can be achieved through a foot massage can go a long way toward alleviating the pain and discomfort associated with menstruation. This is based on principles of Chinese reflexology (9). And while reflexology teaches that the ankle is the place to massage to provide optimal relief from menstrual cramps, there are those who believe any good foot massage will produce the same results.
15: Foot massagers can help relieve lower back pain.
Most people will agree that a good foot massage helps relieve tension and soreness in the entire lower body. Including the glutes and lower back. An electronic massager that provides robust kneading action to the soles of the feet is best for producing this benefit. Although if it also provides heat it can be even more effective. In order to get the most from this effect it’s important that you be seated comfortably and that your back has proper support.
16: Foot massagers can reduce swelling in the feet.
Above we briefly mentioned the dangers of edema. But it warrants a bit more mentioning before we move on. Deep vein thrombosis or DVT (10), is perhaps the biggest danger when it comes to swelling of the legs and feet. DVT involves the formation of blood clots that can be fatal if they move to the lung or heart. If your swollen feet and legs are tender to the touch, warm to the touch or turning red it’s time to seek medical attention. Keep in mind that using a good foot massager on a daily basis can help fend off the onset of DVT.
Foot massagers may be compact and unassuming but they can produce outsized benefits for a wide variety of people. Those with conditions of the feet like bunions and plantar fasciities will benefit from them, so too will people who spend long hours on their feet like waitresses and construction workers. They may also provide secondary benefits like PMS and back pain relief.