Daily routine work and lifestyle can sometimes overexert your muscles, causing leg pain. To relieve this condition, some exercises should be performed. There are various leg massage techniques and unusual ways that may be used for the same.
What Causes Leg Pain?
Overexertion is the main cause of leg pain. Leg pain may occur when muscles are subjected to extremes such as excessive brisk walking or sport or some accident. Cramps, numbness, weakness, throbbing, or burning are some common symptoms of leg pain. Apart from this, conditions such as Thrombosis and Sciatica may also be the factors that cause leg pain.
In Thrombosis, the patient may experience blood clots that restrict blood circulation. The clots are usually seen due to some injury to a vein, a restricted movement for a long period of time due to some surgery or a long journey.
In Sciatica, the Sciatic nerve that runs all along the lower back, from thighs through buttocks, causes a dull ache in either of the legs or a side buttock. Also, diabetes is another condition that may cause leg pain.
Also Read: Leg Pain During Periods ~ Top Instant Relief Remedies | Be Bodywise
Benefits of Leg Massage
Leg massage is a method of applying selective pressure to some points on the feet. These may be practised on our own at home. Several benefits are associated with leg massages. Listed below are some leg massage technique benefits.
1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety Conditions
As per studies, leg massage techniques are ways in which the complete central nervous system can relieve stress and anxiety. The body adjusts the stress levels and releases tension. It is also used to relieve fatigue. Hence, it acts on the body as well as the mind. This could help relieve headaches and migraine conditions.
2. Helps Improve Circulation
The lymphatic system is an integral part of the body's immune system. It is responsible for removing any leftover fluid and waste fluid from the body. Using foot massages, manual lymph drainage can be performed. Lymph is the waste fluid that could be moved by massaging the swollen areas on the leg or near the ankle.
3. Relieves from Pain
A sore leg is usually a clear indication of leg pain. An intense muscle massage that acts around the ankle could be carried out. It helps relieve any tensions in joints and muscles. The same technique works for pain around the knees as well.
12 Leg Massage Techniques
Leg massage can help relieve muscles and relieve leg pain. They can be performed at home. Listed below are the techniques for how to do leg massage.
1. Warmup Twists
If you have just begun, warmup twists are the first exercise to start with. This leg massage technique helps warm up the foot for the coming exercises. To perform this exercise,
- Placing your palms on either side of the foot, pull the right-hand side of the foot forward as the left-hand side is pushed backwards.
- Now push the left-hand side of the foot forward as the right-hand side is pushed backwards.
- Repeat this twisting procedure, working your way up from ankles to toes.
2. Arch Rub Technique
In this method, the underside of the foot is massaged. To perform this technique,
- Hold the topside of the foot in a hand.
- Holding it, run your fingers and gradually rub along the arch of the leg.
- Repeat this procedure from the heel to the ball of the foot.
3. Toe Bend Technique
Toe bends are used to enhance flexibility. To perform this technique,
- Hold the heel in one hand.
- Bend all the toes of one foot back and forth simultaneously with the other end.
- Repeat this movement, increasing pressure gradually and moving the toes to their full range of movement.
4. Foot Spread Technique
As the name suggests, the technique involves spreading the foot to its natural width. To perform this technique,
- Holding each side of the foot, pull each side outwards.
- Repeat this procedure, allowing the foot to spread out in width.
5. Heel Squeeze Technique
The heel squeeze technique is mainly performed to relieve any stresses at the backside of the feet. To perform this technique,
- In one hand, hold the top of the foot and hold the backside of the heel in the other.
- Now, repeatedly squeeze and release the backside of the heel.
6. Knuckle Technique
Another way to massage the bottom of the foot. To perform this technique,
- Hold the backside of the foot with one hand.
- Now hold the knuckle or fist of the other against the bottom of the foot.
- Applying moderate pressure, knead the bottom of the foot using the knuckles.
- Repeat this procedure all along the backside of the foot.
7. Thumb Technique
As the name suggests, the thumb technique involves using the thumb to apply pressure on the backside of the foot. To perform this technique,
- Hold the foot with one hand on either side and place your fingers on the foot.
- Place the thumbs on toe pads, i.e., under each foot.
- Stroke each toe, up and down, with moderate pressure.
- Repeat this procedure along the arch, up and down, until enjoyable.
8. Pressure Points
Pressure points are a great way to relieve leg pain. To perform this leg massage technique,
- Use one hand to support the foot topside and use the other hand’s thumb to press and release the instep.
- Continue this motion very gradually, pressing and releasing it on the backside of the heel.
9. Achilles Massage Technique
The Achilles massage technique is known to ease pressure on the Achilles tendon. To perform this technique,
- Grasp this tendon with the other hand between the thumb and the index finger.
- Use a stroking motion down the heel.
- Repeat this procedure several times on the heel.
10. Top and Side Circles Technique
The Top and Side circles, as the name suggests, involve pressing circles on foot. To perform the technique,
- Support the foot from the bottom side using both hands.
- Now extend the fingers. Use them to make circles on the ankle on either side.
- Using a continuous circular movement, move the fingers on the side of the foot.
- Keep circling the fingers right up till the toes.
- Focus on the spaces between the tendons.
11. Toe Massage Technique
As the name suggests, the technique involves massaging toes. It helps relieve tension and cramps in the toes. To perform this technique,
- Hold the bottom side of the foot with one hand.
- Now using the fingers of the other hand, pull and tug the toes gently.
- Go from the outer to the inner toes.
- Massage between each toe.
- Repeat this procedure several times.
12. Finishing Strokes Technique
The finishing strokes technique can be performed at the end of the foot massage. To perform this technique,
- Place the palms on either side of the foot.
- Now gently pull the right side of the foot forward while pushing the left side backwards.
- Now gently push the left side of the foot backwards while pushing the right side forward.
- Repeat this technique, going from ankles to the toes.
- Keep the pressure low, lowering each time and gradually lifting the hands from the foot completely.
Other Unusual Ideas to Do a Self Leg Massage
Apart from the usual leg massage techniques mentioned above, there are some unusual ways to do self-leg massage. For this, everyday objects may also be used. Listed below are some ways how to do a self-leg massage.
1. Tennis Ball Technique
Tennis Balls can be placed at various positions to massage the leg. Some of its uses for leg massage are listed below.
- Sit on a chair and place the ball under your thigh, preferably under a tender spot. Use the body weight to move the ball. It helps relieve hamstring muscles.
- Sit on a chair with the ball under your thigh just beneath the hip. Hold it there, and then move it an inch or two. Again hold for 30 seconds and then move. Repeat until the ball almost reaches the knee. It helps relieve hamstring muscles.
- Lie on the floor and massage your calf using the ball in ways as mentioned above.
- Place the ball under your foot and change pressure by standing or sitting as you move the ball around.
2. Foam Roller or Rolling Pin Technique
Take a foam roller made of hard plastic and place the roller under the front or backside of your upper or lower leg. Gently roll over the roller.
3. Roller Stick
Take the roller stick and roll the middle portion that consists of rubber rollers on your leg. Varying the pressure keeps rolling it on the muscles. It can relieve pain.
4. Roller Ball
A moveable ball in a handheld case is similar to a lacrosse ball. Hold it in one hand and roll it over your leg on the sore muscles.
Leg Massage Tips
Leg massage techniques can be practised in different ways. It can be chosen as per liking and comfort. However, there are a few ways to ensure that leg massage feels good. Listed here are some leg massage tips.
1. Before getting started
Soak the feet in warm water, with or without some oil drops. Pat the feet dry with a towel and rest them on it. Spread massage oil over the foot till the ankle.
2. Focus on the Sore Parts
Put the right amounts of pressure for the right duration on sore parts and continue if it feels good.
3. Avoid Injuring the Thumbs
Do not apply pressure to the amount that the thumbs begin hurting. Use the bodyweight strength to apply pressure, not the thumb muscles.
For leg massage techniques, one may use two kinds of machines to relieve pain in calves and feet.
1. Air Compression Massagers
In this type, a plastic or cloth material is wrapped around both left and right lower legs, secured with a zipper or velcro. Air Slowly fills within and leaves the airbags. This increase in air pressure and then the gentle release massages the feet within the zipper.
2. Shiatsu Foot and Calf Massagers
These massagers come with vibrate and heat options. As you put the legs in the device, the airbags will provide a massage that will squeeze and then release the legs. The rollers will knead the leg muscles.
When Not to Massage
Sometimes, one should not massage if,
- You feel a blood clot in a vein.
- If you are wondering are leg massages safe during pregnancy, because during pregnancy, blood clots may develop on your inner thigh veins.
- Your legs are swollen with fluid and are weeping.
- You have open sores over your leg
- You have varicose veins or osteoporosis.
- Your skin is tender, or you have a rash due to an autoimmune disease such as Lupus or Scleroderma.
- You have a low platelet count or are on blood thinners.
- You are prone to bruising or hematoma formation.
Summing Up on Leg Massage
Leg massage techniques for leg pains are the ultimate remedy to relieve the leg muscles. If the leg pain is due to stress, anxiety-like conditions, the use of Yoga and meditation techniques could easily relieve them.
Apart from this, stretching exercises are also preferred for pain due to improper use of muscles and overexertion. Soreness, fatigue, and weakness with cramps in the legs are some common symptoms that accompany leg pain. One must always keep the risk factors in mind before practising any kind of exercise.
Many homemade effective exercises are available to get rid of leg pains due to overexertion. These massages could promote a sense of well-being and relax the feet muscles.
Self massages are simple and convenient ways to deal with the pain-causing factors. For people who wonder are leg massagers safe for self-massage, yes, the two kinds of massagers mentioned could be used for the same.
However, one must be aware of when massages should not be performed, such as during leg swelling with fluids and many more. Ensuring safe practises during leg massage techniques is important for getting comfort from conditions of leg pain.
- Scott W. Cheatham, November 2015; THE EFFECTS OF SELF‐MYOFASCIAL RELEASE USING A FOAM ROLL OR ROLLER MASSAGER ON JOINT RANGE OF MOTION, MUSCLE RECOVERY, AND PERFORMANCE: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4637917/
- The University of Minnesota, How Does Reflexology Work? - https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reflexology/how-does-reflexology-work