Home / Pain Management / Discover The Best Foot Massager: Reviews (And Analysis) For 2018

Discover The Best Foot Massager: Reviews (And Analysis) For 2018

It’s the end of a long day. Your feet ache and your body is tired. Sound familiar?

Feet are the foundation of our bodies and must be cared for appropriately. One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to soothe the pain and relax is with a foot massage.

According to an article from Harvard Health:

Foot massage improves circulation, stimulates muscles, reduces tension, and often eases pain.

You can treat tired feet in the comfort of your own home through many simple techniques. There are several foot massage devices readily available in pharmacies, health stores and other retailers.

With so many devices on the market, we bring you synopsis of the types available, functions and benefits of the most popular and widely available foot massagers.

Did You Know?

Feet have more nerve endings per square inch than any other part of the body; therefore the feet are a powerful portal to the entire nervous system.

Top-rated Foot Massagers for Pain Relief and Tired Feet

Before using any type of foot massager, it’s best to speak to a medical professional to ensure it is appropriate for your health or medical conditions. If you have specific questions or concerns as to whether a foot massager is appropriate for you, please consult your doctor.

In this section, we handpicked a diverse selection of some of the best foot massagers on the market today.

AFFORDABLE
Affordable – TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller
  • THERAFLOW
  • DUAL FOOT MASSAGE ROLLER
  • Simple and Natural
  • Portable and Versatile
  • Acupressure and Kneading Modes
FEATURE-PACKED
Feature-packed – Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager with Deep-Kneading
  • MIKO
  • SHIATSU WITH DEEP-KNEADING
  • 4 Different Functions
  • Rollers + Air Compression
  • With 5 Pressure Settings to Choose From
POWERHOUSE!
Powerhouse – MedMassager MMF06
  • MEDMASSAGER
  • MMF06 11 SPEED FOOT MASSAGER
  • 11 Speed Settings
  • Up to 3,700 RPM!
  • Promotes Healthy Blood Flow

1. Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager With Deep-Kneading

Enjoy the luxury of your feet fully encased

If you want an all encompassing massage then you might want to slip your feet inside the Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager with Deep-Kneading.

Unlike the Nekteck Foot Massager which focusses on the soles of your feet, the Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager is an enclosed massager, allowing massage to both the soles and the sides of the feet.

The foot chamber of this massager uses air compression combined with heat to deliver a satisfying Shiatsu massage.

You get a lot of great features on the Miko foot massager, including five different intensity settings that have been developed to target key pressure points. It also has rolling and vibration functions to help with pain and muscle tension.

This shiatsu foot massager is sleek and light, and comes with wireless controllers so you can sit back whilst experimenting with the settings.

Some people with larger feet found the encased unit a little bit too snug, however overwhelming people with tired and painful feet reported a great result, enjoying the intensity of the massage.

2. MedMassager MMF06 11 Speed Foot Massager

Feel the power of a speedy foot massage

The Speed Foot Massager by MedMassager is a full-sized oscillating footpad that works hard to stimulate circulation in the legs and feet.

With its ergonomic shape, the MedMassager uses the optimal angle to target pressure points and to provide maximum comfort during the massage.

As its name suggests, this massager comes with 11 speed settings ranging from 1,000 to 3,700 rpm; making this electric massager one of the most powerful on the market. Therefore, it’s important to use this with care.

Through vibrations alone, the device helps promote healthy blood flow and ease pain. Unlike other machines, the MedMassager does not have a heat element, so if that is a feature you require we’d recommend the Farnsworth & Lloyd Vibrating Foot Massager instead.

Because of the strong vibrations, some users complain about the noise, but others mention that it isn’t too distracting.

This massager comes with many positive reviews and customers with various health problems claim it has helped alleviate some of their symptoms.

If you suffer from severe foot and leg pain, joint pain, muscle tension or circulation issues due to diabetes or neuropathy, this could be the massager for you.

With FDA certification, the MedMassager is certified for home and therapeutic use and comes with a one-year full replacement warranty against defects and failure for extra peace of mind.

3. Cloud Massage Foot and Calf Shiatsu Massager

A massager that allows a more comfortable seated position

If you want to really sit back and relax then the Cloud Massage Foot and Calf Shiatsu Massager could be the one for you.

Cloud’s foot and calf massager is angled and can be adjusted so you’re not sitting with your feet at a 90 degree angle. Cloud suggests it’s a more natural seated position allowing you to lean backwards in to your chair rather than sitting upright.

The handy feature of the Cloud Massager that you don’t get on many other devices is that it can also be positioned on your calves. It’s really easy to adjust, simply tilt the massager up and let it get to work on the back of your legs. What a treat if you’re a runner or cyclist!

In terms of other capabilities Cloud’s foot and calf massager uses air compression, heat and vibration to help you relax. We love the variety of settings available and how easy it is to navigate through them.

You get a no hassle warranty too when you purchase the device!

Some users did find the heat function a little bit disappointing, however those with Plantar Fasciitis seemed to love the device. Many reported relief from daily pain, and couldn’t imagine how they’d ever lived without it!

Did You Know?

Foot massages can improve your mood and overall health, plus they feel good!

4. TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller

A simple device with lots of benefits

Those that prefer a natural and simple device to soothe foot or heel pain look no further than the TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller.

Made of durable and high-quality Theaceae wood, this foot roller is an excellent and affordable option, providing a sturdy and stable roller perfect for feet of all sizes.

TheraFlow gives relief for sore feet, especially for conditions such as plantar fasciitis or neuropathy. Rollers also help relax feet to promote better blood flow and to enhance overall health.

With the help of five ridged rollers, this foot massager can be used in two different ways. The acupressure mode requires you to position your feet across all the rows, hold for a few seconds and then release.

If you opt for the kneading mode, simply roll your feet back and forth in opposite directions, without pressing too hard. For maximum benefit, you only need to do this a few times a day, which is perfect if you have a busy schedule and find it hard to take time out of your day to relax.

By using reflexology and pressure, the TheraFlow wooden roller helps the body release endorphins to relieve pain symptoms, all the while promoting increased blood circulation in the feet.

Consumers reported reductions in numbness or tingling in the feet, and also improved temperature control, as a result of poor circulation. Advantages of the roller include its lightweight, yet durable frame, which is makes it easy to take this massager with you wherever you go.

We like that this massager has a large surface area to accommodate both feet at once, and with a lifetime guarantee you can’t go wrong.

5. Nekteck Foot Massager

Great features for an affordable price

If you’re looking for the best foot massage machine at an affordable price then take a look at Nekteck’s Foot Massager.

The unit still has a wide range of different features for the price, including 6 massage heads and 18 rotating massager nodes to help relax painful muscles.

It’s portable and has a built-in carry handle so you can take it with you wherever you go.

We love that whatever your height or foot size you should be able to find a position that works. The Nekteck Foot Massager has three adjustable heights and is not fully encased making it ideal for large feet.

Reviewers rave about the heat function on this product, especially those who have a job that requires them to be on their feet all day. The machine emits deep penetrating infrared heat, which can be switched on or off depending on preference.

You do need to bear in mind that this device doesn’t come with an air compression feature like the Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager. Yet it still delivers a deep massage.

Some users did find the massager nodes a little painful, however there are a number of different settings so you can get the right intensity for you.

6. Nursal MD-50230A Foot Massager

Fits up to size 12 feet!

If you have large feet and you’re looking for a massager that they’ll fit in comfortably then take a look at the Nursal MD-50230A Foot Massager.

This foot massager from Nursal covers from the top to the bottom of the foot and from the heel to the toe.

Developers of the foot massager believe it’s this design that allows the unit to deliver a fuller and more satisfying massage.

Nursal’s MD-50230A Foot Massager includes three different massage modes, three intensity settings and timers, as well as a heat function. The control panel on the device allows you to control all this with your feet, so you can just sit back and relax.

Some users did find that they had to move their foot around to hit the right point and not simply receive pressure in one area.

Purchasers of Nursal’s MD-50230A Foot Massager reported it as great for everyday use and enjoyed the variety of different settings.

7. Moji Foot Massagers

Discover the sensation of ball bearings

Moji makes a range of compact foot massagers that uses ball bearings to gently help muscular tension roll away.

Comprised of several independent balls – made of stainless steel or plastic, depending on which model you purchase – the Moji foot massagers are simple tools to assist you with massaging muscles.

The Moji Foot PRO Massager is the top of the range model and has six high-tech stainless steel spheres that dig deep into muscles and tissue to help relieve pain and break up scar tissue.

We love the fact that you can freeze this model if you require a cold massage. A similar but lower priced version is the Moji Foot Massager, which has plastic spheres, instead of steel. This model isn’t rated as highly as the PRO version.

Finally, the Moji Mini PRO is a handheld mini-massager that can be used with the hand to massage sore muscles.

Larger steel spheres at your fingertips and heel of the hand help you dig deep into those sore muscles.

The range of Moji massagers and the multiple options available impress us. Due to their portable nature and size, these massagers can be used on other areas of the body and not just the feet.

Many runners and athletes like these massagers because they can be used to help relieve tight calves or hamstrings, and can just as easily be used on areas such as the back or shoulders.

Reviewers particularly find these massagers beneficial in treating plantar fasciitis.

Because these are non-electric, you can control the pressure and speed at which the massager is used in order to best treat your symptoms. Therefore, we think these massagers are bang for buck as they provide maximum impact for a reasonable price.

Did You Know?

Over the course of a day, your feet take a cumulative force of a couple hundred tons.

8. Farnsworth & Lloyd: Essentials Vibrating Foot Massager with IR Therapy & Reflexology / Acupressure Points

An effective electric foot massager with raised kneading points

Deriving from acupressure and reflexology, the Vibrating Foot Massager by Farnsworth & Lloyd combines traditional therapy methods with modern technology.

Through vibrations, this machine features raised kneading points to help eliminate aches and pains in the feet.

With the addition of LED infrared and red light therapy, Farnsworth & Lloyd has created a massager that uses special technology for nerves, soft tissue, muscles or chronic pain.

This product has two different modes: Standard and Boost.

Standard mode uses gentle vibrations to soothe the feet and is perfect for combating poor circulation, especially from diabetes, age, desk work or air travel.

The Boost mode is more intense and helps invigorate tired or sore feet. It is recommended for people who are on their feet all day, such as nurses, service industry professionals or industrial workers.

Built to be compact and low maintenance, this massager has an isolated vibrating mechanism to enhance the durability.

This product comes with considerably mixed reviews. It only comes with a 90-day guarantee and has limited, if any, paperwork. A few users also complained about the lack of power, amount of noise and weak heat.

With this in mind, it may be prudent to do further research on this mid-range device before parting with your hard earned cash.

9. Belmint Deep-Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager

A shiatsu massager packed with features

Employing Shiatsu, the ancient Japanese massage technique, the Belmint Deep-Kneading Foot Massager has two-foot beds that feature 18 nodes to massage each foot.

The nodes are covered by soft mesh to deliver a gentle rolling motion to knead sore feet. Through circulation motion and deep kneading, the massager targets acupressure points to release tension and ease tight muscles.

At the push of a button, you can turn on the optional heating function to help you relax even more.

Compared to other electric massagers here, this one comes at a lower price point but be aware that it has some mixed reviews.

Positive aspects of this device are that users love the way it massages, the low heat, its simple to operation techniques.

Other users were critical about several aspects of the product, such as the loud motors (some users even noted a grinding noise), the fact it only has one speed and some people reported having to move their feet around in order to get the best results.

Another consideration is the manufacturer explicitly states that this machine isn’t appropriate for diabetics. Due to mixed reviews, we suggest doing thorough research before purchasing this particular massager.

10. Arealer Shiatsu Foot Massager

Give your feet a little squeeze!

For an electric foot massager that’s really going to hug your feet there’s the Arealer Shiatsu Foot Massager.

Arealer’s foot massager contains air bags as well as big rollers and small massage heads to deliver a variety of different massage techniques including shiatsu, scraping, rolling and kneading.

A heat setting is available on the device to offer even more luxury, and an auto-off feature helps to keep you safe if you gals asleep!

We love the fact that this foot massager is so light too so you can easily take it to the office for those really busy days. It comes with a breathable cover so you can keep it clean and protected.

There is a control panel on the device and it also comes with a controller to make the process of changing settings as comfortable as possible.

Users of the Arealer foot massager found it easy to tailor their treatment, seemingly navigating the various settings with ease.

11. Acupressure Massage Slippers by Neo Reflexology Sandals

Enjoy a foot massage on the move

If you want to wear your foot massager on the go then look out for Neo Reflexology Sandals Acupressure Massage Slippers.

These sandals are made from natural stones designed to hit acupressure points on the soles of your feet, helping to improve circulation and manage pain.

You can adjust the velcro on the slippers to work for different widths of feet so there’s sure to be a pair for everyone. Plus they’re non-slip making them ideal for when on holiday or in the garden.

We love how glamorous the sandals look and how they seem to be a great alternative to traditional reflexology sandals.

Users felt that the Neo Reflexology Sandals were effective in helping with the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

However caution is advised by the developer and those providing a review, as certain users did find that the massage was too painful.

The creator recommends wearing the shoes for short periods of time initially to allow your feet to get used to the sandals.

12. Pure-Wave CM7 Cordless Massager

A handheld massager with a range of attachments

Need a small, portable multi-purpose massager? Then look no further than this cordless, handheld massager by Pure-Wave.

This ergonomic massager is an attractive proposition because it can be used on the body, face or feet.

A powerful percussion motor reaches up to 3,700 RPM to relieve muscle tension, knots, spasms, aches and pains. It also has a micro-vibration setting that is ideal for facial massages to help relieve headaches or jaw pain.

A real jack-of-all-trades, Pure-Wave’s massager has attachments for Swedish massage, trigger point therapy or sports massage settings. You can also add essential oils or pain creams.

Because it’s cordless, you can use the extra long handle to massage reach hard to reach places without being tethered to one spot.

The CM7 is a professional-grade massager and therefore comes with a higher price tag. But you can expect a high quality product that comes with excellent consumer feedback.

Customers especially rate this product for its ability to break up knots or muscle adhesion and for providing relief at specific trigger points. A variable speed controller allows you to set the perfect intensity and the six massage settings deliver your chosen firmness and massage style.

Please be aware Pure-Wave’s specifications state that this product is not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Overall, this is a quality product and is great for people suffering from muscle tightness who would benefit from having an at home masseuse 24/7.

13. Panasonic Black Massage Chair Real Pro Ultra EPMA73

Experience a full body massage

Sit back and relax into the chair that provides the ultimate massage experience in the comfort of your own home.

Thermal 3D massage rollers, designed to replicate the regenerating touch of a professional massage therapist, deliver relaxing warmth and concentrated pressure around the entire body.

To do this, the rollers contain thermal properties and an air cell system to recreate intricate Shiatsu techniques to target acupressure points.

With an extensive range of massage motions, the chair works to increase circulation, stretch and soothe tired muscles, just like an invigorating professional massage.

Made of vegan black leather, the EPMA73 from Panasonic provides a full-body massage with six automatic massage programs, and comes with up to 110 combinations than can be manually configured to best meet your needs.

Traditional massage techniques such as, Shiatsu, knead, ultra knead or Junetsu, Swedish, help relax tight muscle from the neck to the lower back to the feet.

Special internal sensors create a virtual map of your body’s contours to customize the massage specifically to your body. This is a real benefit of the Panasonic Massage Chair and is the only massager we feature than offers custom massages.

Given the capabilities and qualities of this massager, it’s no surprise it commands with a hefty price. However, it comes highly reviewed and delivers for its users.

If you frequently pay to have a massage, over time this chair could save you money, and offers many of the same benefits.

In addition to the price, you do need to consider the size of the chair and make sure you have adequate space, because it can take up a lot of room. We think that’s a small sacrifice in return for a custom massage at any time of day.

14. Air Sequential Compression Leg Massager

A wrap offering full leg coverage

Air compression massagers are commonly used to relieve painfulness, swollenness or stiffness in the thighs, legs, feet or arms.

The Air Sequential Compression Leg Massager uses 220-volt power to massage the lower limbs for 60-minutes.

Simply wrap the massager around your legs and sit back while the built-in timer starts the massage cycle.

Four chambers rapidly inflate and deflate in succession and cover the feet, ankles, calves and mid-thighs.

Different massage modes help relax muscles and can be used to treat a range of leg pain or conditions, which is why we’ve specifically chosen to feature this compression massager.

Many reviewers find the product satisfies their needs, but some complained that the zipper causes pain in the foot region and that the massager didn’t provide enough relief for the ankles or knees.

The machine has very clear sizing requirements so make sure you measure accordingly before purchasing.

We wouldn’t recommend this as an entry-level massager due to its higher price and the fact that it’s designed to treat leg problems and pain, rather than just to relieve everyday tension and common muscle pain.

15. Kendal All-In-One Foot Spa Bath Massager

Feel truly pampered with a combined foot and spa massager

If you want to treat and pamper tired feet at the end of the day, the Kendal Foot Spa Bath Massager is an excellent choice.

The deep and wide bath suits feet of all shapes and sizes to ensure they are fully submerged in the water.

Combining heat therapy, oxygen bubbles and high-frequency vibration, the three-in-one device works to massage the feet to bring about a range of benefits including: promoting blood circulation, improving metabolism, relieving fatigue and smoothing the meridians. All of which are things we think everyone could benefit from!

Made of high-quality plastic, the bath is temperature resistant and uses a PTC heating semiconductor to heat water and maintain a constant temperature.

Consumer reviews state that the water stays as hot as you want it and find the simple addition of oils and bath salts helps them to relax further.

Just be aware that the water takes awhile to drain, a feature that some people found annoying. A few users mentioned that the bath would be improved if there were more control over the heat, as the water was too hot for some people’s preference.

It’s also worth mentioning that the jets do not provide as powerful massage as some of the electric massagers so this product is not going to relieve certain symptoms or strong pain, but is perfect for relaxing tired feet at the end of a long day.

16. Naipo MGF-50006 Foot Massager with Tapping and Kneading

Tap to the rhythm of the massage!

The Naipo foot massager uses a unique tapping function to improve blood circulation and relieve tension.

With multiple speeds, you can control the tapping speed and pressure to find the most comfortable setting for you while relaxing at home or while you work at the office.

A continuous mode has a frequent rhythm, while the intermittent pulse setting pampers the feet and a wave-like setting soothes the soles.

In addition to the tapping, deep air pockets at the heel and instep fully immerse the feet and use compression to provide a more comprehensive massage. The heat feature is great for improving circulation and helps to relax your over-worked feet.

Naipo’s foot massager is a solid choice because it pampers, all the while producing results.

Due to the range of settings and intensity, many users find this machine eases their pain and commend its ability to massage different areas of the foot.

Reviewers note it is simple to adjust and easy find the appropriate features. We found this to be one of the higher priced foot massagers, but don’t let that put you off.

The massager comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty and ranks high on customer satisfaction. Therefore, we see it as a wise investment.

Instructions state that you should consult your physician if you have heart issues, pregnant or any other ailments.

They also recommend not using it before bed and/or for more than 15 minutes at a time, making the Naipo massager a great choice for quick and effective massages for aching feet.

Types of Foot Massagers

There is a wide range of foot massagers available on the market, each providing a different function or technique.

Here we provide you with the six most common types of foot massagers and what products fall under these categories. For more specifics about the function and technique of the massagers, please see the next section.

Electric

Electric foot massagers are great to massage and relax the feet at home and provide some of the power and relief beyond that of manual capabilities.

Most electric massagers are powered by rapidly rotating rollers, addressing common pain points on the soles of the feet, and sometimes the tops of feet and ankles. These come in a range of styles, some you put your feet on, while others you put your feet, or legs into, and smaller ones can be handheld.

Electric foot massagers can also include water, mimicking the benefits of a spa, with heat and oxygen bubbles to relax the feet.

Because these types of massager are powered by electricity, they are not suitable for everyone and you should always check with the manufacturer or your doctor before using.

Electric foot massagers are perfect if you just want to sit down and unwind after a long day while the massager does all the work. Due to the speed at which some of these machines massage, it means the massage itself can be very powerful and can apply strong pressure, which some people prefer.

Often electric massagers are costly and therefore require upfront investment. Due to the size of some of these massagers, they are not always very portable and do require some storage space.

Manual

People who prefer more traditional ways of massaging the feet should consider manual foot massagers. Commonly made of wood, manual massagers, or foot rollers, can be more effective at soothing sore feet and treating conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

One advantage of foot rollers over electric massagers is that you are in control of the strength and pressure of the massage, and specially design protrusions provide deeper stimulation, including myofascial release.

Not only are these simple massagers beneficial, but they are a fraction of the cost of the electric ones. If you were interested in purchasing a manual foot massager we’d recommend the TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller or one of the Moji Foot Massagers.

Hand-held

Smaller, or hand-held, massagers can be very useful if you want a multi-purpose massager, or like to control how and where the pressure is applied to your feet.

When choosing a hand-held massager, there is a range of flexibility in regards to budget, conditions or preference. Additionally, these massagers are available as either electric or manual.

The advantage of these massagers is that you determine where you want the massage and can get to the areas that require the most relief.

Because of their size, you can always have these massagers to hand. It’s easy to take a hand-held device with you when you travel, or even just to go to and from home and the office.

Hand-held massagers are also useful if you suffer from tense muscles beyond the feet; they are perfect for relieving stiff muscles in areas, such as the back, shoulders, legs or face.

Slippers

Foot slippers are an amalgamation of electronic foot massagers and manual foot rollers and are just the solution if you need relief for your feet but can’t sit still.

These are acupressure shoes that put pressure on certain areas of the foot in order to release pressure and relax the feet. Today, many foot slippers operate on electric stimulation, activated through motion, in order to provide you the relief you need.

The stimulation is meant to extend beyond the feet, to the ankles and calves, and can often promote improved blood circulation.

We only feature one type of foot slippers in this article (the Kkika Rotating Acupressure Foot Slippers), which come with mixed reviews.

If you’re considering foot slippers, do remember you have to be moving around in order to receive the benefits and therefore are probably best if used inside the home, especially if you enjoy multitasking.

Pad

Those that suffer from low circulation in the legs or feet may like to consider a foot massage pad. Using oscillating technology, footpads have a large surface designed to target pressure points in order to stimulate circulation in the legs and feet.

Footpads are angled in order to provide maximum comfort during the massage.

Most devices have multiple speed settings, and can come with different massage modes in order to best soothe the feet. Some models come with additional therapies, such as heat or infrared technology.

You can expect footpads to oscillate at high speeds, and due to this, some amount of noise. Their simple offering means you can have these on at your desk or while you watch TV, making them an easy solution to treat or relax your feet.

Based on our research, we’d recommend either the MedMassager MMF06 11 Speed Foot Massager, which is a basic footpad, or the more upscale Farnsworth & Lloyd Essentials Vibrating Foot Massager.

Chair

If you desire the ultimate massage experience in the comfort of your own home, a massage chair may be just what you’re looking for. Sore feet can extend to tightness or discomfort in other areas of the body, which can be relieved through massage therapy.

Massage chairs are intended to emulate the motions and techniques of a masseuse through rollers. Rollers often contain thermal properties and can be configured through different massage programs or traditional massage techniques.

There are an extensive number of massage chairs available for purchase and they do come at a considerable price.

However, chairs do offer far more functions and benefits than smaller massage devices. Those that suffer from specific foot conditions or issues may find that a massage chair is not the best solution, as they are more for full-body relief.

Foot Massager Functions

Foot massagers are capable many functions and styles of massage. To help you understand the differences between these we’ve provided you with a quick breakdown of the styles.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a traditional Japanese massage method based on traditional Chinese medicine that uses pressure from the hands to knead the muscles.

Foot massagers with Shiatsu settings or styles have rotating heads or vibrators to simulate a masseuse’s hands. Sometimes these massagers will incorporate heat as well.

Compression

In compression massage the main therapeutic tool is the direct application of pressure in order to relax, cleanse and rejuvenate the muscles.

Compression helps dilate the capillaries and therefore is a beneficial form of massage for people with circulation issues. Foot massagers with compression settings have auto-inflation settings to apply pressure to the feet.

Heat

An excellent way to loosen the muscles is through heat. Heating has many positive effects, including increasing your blood flow and reducing muscle tension.

While heat itself is not a massage technique – it is often used in conjunction with other types of massage, or as an added setting on a foot massager, helping muscles to relax further and ensuring you reap the benefits.

Infrared

Through invisible waves, infrared rays penetrate deep into the muscles and bones of the body to provide many healthy benefits.

Infrared elevates the surface temperature of the body to relax stiff muscles and can also increase blood flow. Much like other forms of heat, infrared is not a massage technique in itself, but is often used in conjunction with other massage styles.

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is a massage style based on the use of water pressure to treat the body. Water pressure is used to relax muscles, increase circulation and relieve muscular pain caused by a range of conditions or injuries.

Hydrotherapy foot massagers often use a combination of jets, bubbles, vibrations, lights and/or heat to provide a comprehensive experience.

Conditions / Treatments for Foot Massagers

Foot massagers can be used to treat various conditions and provide a range of benefits. Here is an abbreviated summary of different conditions and a few ways in which foot massagers can alleviate some symptoms.

Did You Know?

Three-quarters of Americans will suffer from some type of foot ailment in their lifetime..

1) Circulation and Neuropathy

Poor foot circulation is the result of many conditions, whether due to a health condition or lifestyle choices. If you sit long hours at a desk this can result in reduced circulation in the legs and feet. People who suffer from diabetes, many often have neuropathy as a result. Vibration foot massagers provide a way to counter the symptoms associated with circulation issues or neuropathy, whether it’s peripheral or diabetic. The vibrations stimulate the nerves to reduce nerve pain, ease aches and pains, eliminate numbness and tightness, and stimulate circulation.

2) Arthritis and Gout

Arthritis, or inflammation of the joints, often leads to swollen feat or fluid retention. Depending on your type or arthritis or severity, different foot massagers may better serve your needs. Massagers with heat functions, hydrotherapy or gentle kneading on the soles of the feet are widely recognized as being the most suitable. If you find that you require more intense massage settings you can invest more into a better model or with advanced features once you know what works best for your symptoms.

3) Bunions

Bunions are a painful deformity of the feet. Heredity often plays a role in the development of bunions, but it is not the only cause. Tight shoes and walking with the feet turned out can cause the big toe to pull in towards your other toes, which results in a misaligned big toe and a collapsed arch. The best way to soothe bunion pain is to massage the arches and bottom of the feet, as well as stretching and massaging the toes. Shiatsu style massagers are great at working many of the muscles in the foot to counteract natural poses and to release stiffness and tension.

4) Plantar Fasciitis

A very common and painful foot condition is plantar fasciitis, which is the result of inflamed tissue along the bottom of the foot. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you need to treat it, as it can lead to further problems in the knees and hips. Luckily, this condition can be treated at home and requires a simple manual foot massager. Using a manual roller on the bottom of your foot helps to stretch and knead the fascia to bring much needed relief. Some people find that freezing foot rollers is also effective in easing pain. People who suffer from plantar fasciitis can often have pain in the arches, heels or heel spurs as well.

5) Flat Feet

Although flat feet do not often result in pain or have a negative effect on your health, it is an unnatural condition that often means you have weak foot muscles. The best way to treat flat feet is through exercises that build up the muscle strength in the arches of your feet. However, massaging these muscles, as well as the ankles, and calves can help. Manual foot massagers or rollers are the best at stimulating the arch muscles because you are in control and can apply the appropriate amount of pressure. Shiatsu massagers that work around the entire feet, ankles and calves are also a good option.

6) Runners

Due to the extensive strain running puts on the feet, a good foot massager is something every runner should have in their toolbox! Runners often have tight plantar fascia so a foot roller is a great way to counteract this tightness and relieve the muscles. Hand-held massagers are also useful because not only can you relieve the soles of the feet, but they can also be used to loosen tight hamstrings, calves, glutes and even the lower back – all of which get a good workout during a run. If you’re really sore after a run, a chair massager will give the muscles in your entire body a chance to recover.

7) Migraine or headache

In ancient Chinese medicine, pressure points in the foot can help alleviate the symptoms of a migraine or headache. Using the theory of reflexology, applying pressure to certain areas of the feet can help relieve pain and induce relaxation. Gentle Shiatsu electric massagers are one of the best at home ways to knead and address different areas of the feet. Massaging different areas of the toes can help to relieve the pain associated with headaches so if you suffer from headaches and want to give foot massagers a try, make sure you choose a model that massages around the entire foot, and the toes in particular.

8) Menstruation

Following the same reflexology principles, a foot massage can be one way in which to relieve menstrual pain. The point that is best for relieving menstruation pain is just on the inside of the leg, three fingers widths above the ankle bone. Therefore massaging this area could help relieve some of the symptoms associated with menstruation. A handheld massager or an electric massager (that extends above the ankles) is something that can be tried to alleviate these symptoms.

9) Lower back pain

Massaging the feet can help relax the entire body and can result in reduced back pain.Good kneading action on the soles of the feet will travel beyond the feet and encourage leg and back muscles to relax. Foot massagers often address the nerves in the feet that run to other areas of the body. Any massager that uses Shiatsu, heat or infrared functions can potentially bring about benefits to other muscles in the body beyond the feet. Using a massager to relax the feet should encourage the rest of your body to relax to melt away any tension. If you’re back is really tight and you think it could benefit from direct massage, then a hand-held massager could be worth a try because you can use it to massage both your feet and back.

10) Swollen or sore feet

Hydrotheraphy or spa massagers are the perfect antidotes to swollen or sore feet at the end of a long day. Most footbath massagers incorporate heat, rollers or jets to soothe the feet. The relief you receive from a water foot massager can help aid blood circulation and help you relax after being on your feet all day. Taking a few minutes a day to slow down will not only help your feet, but will make you feel more relaxed before you go to sleep in order to promote an overall feeling of wellbeing.

Benefits

Your feet carry your entire body weight each and every day. Because of this, it’s natural for feet to feel tired in the evenings. Foot massagers can treat the feet and combat some of the stresses and strains that result from being upright all day. Through massage, you can relieve your feet and relax the rest of your body.

According to Harvard Medical School:

Massage devices in local drugstores or health stores can also help relax and restore your feet.

Here are our top ten most common benefits of foot massage (and massagers):

  1. Massage promotes blood flow to your lower extremities and feet, which is especially beneficial to people who suffer from circulation issues.
  2. Regularly massaging the feet can strengthen the feet and ankles which reduces muscle soreness and can help prevent future injuries.
  3. Based on the principles of reflexology, foot massagers can work pressure points that reduce symptoms of headaches and migraines.
  4. Common symptoms of PMS can be alleviated acupressure points on the feet.
  5. People suffering from common foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, heel spurs and bunions who use foot massagers often find it lessens the pain and can improve, and in some cases heal, their conditions.
  6. Not only can massagers relax the feet, but the rest of the body.
  7. Users report that taking even 10 minutes out of their day to use a foot massager can improve mood, reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure.
  8. Using a foot massager before bed can help you unwind after a long day, making sure the worries of the day melt away and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
  9. Massage can counteract fluid retention in the legs or feet, often caused by long periods of sitting or standing.
  10. After a long day of hard work, you can reward your feet with a little relaxation!

Disadvantages

When used properly, there are very few, if any, disadvantages of foot massagers. They are designed to help relieve tension and promote relaxation, all of which are beneficial to the feet and the mind.

If you suffer from certain health conditions, it’s important to check manufacturers’ precautions and warnings for certain conditions to know whether a device is appropriate for you. You should also limit the amount of time you utilize a massager, especially an electric one. Like most things in life, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. Most electric massagers have a built in timer or an auto-shutoff function after a specified period of time. In general this is anywhere between 15-30 minutes.

In order to get more features, power or settings, you may have to pay out. So some people may consider the price of foot massagers as a disadvantage. While most of these tools won’t give you same personal touch, but compared to the price of an actual massage, foot massagers can save you money over time and can be viewed as an investment.

FAQs

Which foot massagers are suitable for diabetics?

Which foot massagers are suitable for diabetics?

Neuropathy is a common side effect of diabetes and is often relieved through foot massagers. Massaging the feet helps to stimulate the blood flow and promote better circulation when the feet feel sore or numb.

Oscillating footpads or electric massagers are one way to ease the symptoms associated with neuropathy. Not all electric foot massagers are approved for diabetics.

Can I use a foot massager while pregnant?

Can I use a foot massager while pregnant?

Although a foot massage is great to relieve sore feet and reduce edema, it is best to consult with your obstetrician before having someone massage your feet.

Do remember that a foot massager is very different from a foot massage given by the human touch.

Due to the intensity and electric nature of most foot massagers, it is not recommended that you use a foot massager during pregnancy unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.

Can a foot massager induce labor?

Can a foot massager induce labor?

Based on principles of reflexology, there are some claims that foot massage can induce labor.

There are very mixed medical opinions regarding this topic. Again, a foot massage is not the same thing as using a foot massager.

Because a foot massager is often more intense than a foot massage, as previously mentioned, it is recommended that you do not use a foot massager during pregnancy.

Are foot massagers appropriate to use if I suffer from back pain?

Are foot massagers appropriate to use if I suffer from back pain?

Depending on the severity and source of your back pain, foot massagers can help reduce the pain.

If you suffer from tightness or soreness in your lower back, this can often be the result of tension or tightness in other parts of the body, such as the feet or legs.

People who are on their feet all day can often have a sore back as a result. Taking time at the end of the day to use a foot massager may be able to ease those sore feet and back.

Where can I buy a foot massager?

Where can I buy a foot massager?

You will find foot massagers for sale online, and are widely available on many websites, such as Target, RiteAid, Walgreens, CVS and Walmart. If you want to buy a foot massager locally, visit your nearest pharmacy. Several online retailers offer free shipping on orders as well.

How much do foot massagers cost?

How much do foot massagers cost?

There is a foot massager for every budget because the cost varies widely. You can spend as much or as little as you like.

Foot rollers or hand-held massagers are at the lowest price point while you can invest several hundred dollars in an electric massager and up to thousands if you want a massage chair.

References

  1. Swarthmore College (2017) Love your feet: An Introduction to Foot Reflexology for Self-Care. [Online] Available from: https://swatcentral.swarthmore.edu/?view=EventDetails&eventidn=15627&information_id=42584 [Accessed 4 July 2017].
  2. The Good Body (2018) Quick Foot Facts: Anatomy, Healthy Feet, Injuries And Problems, (Fun!). [Online] Available from: https://www.thegoodbody.com/foot-facts/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  3. Harvard Medical School (2018) Exercises for healthy feet. [Online] Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/exercises-for-healthy-feet [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018) Nerve Damage (Diabetic Neuropathies). [Online] Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/nerve-damage-diabetic-neuropathies [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  5. Keller, D. (2013) 9 Poses to Prevent Bunions & Relieve Bunion Pain. [Online] Available from: https://yogainternational.com/article/view/9-poses-to-prevent-bunions-relieve-bunion-pain [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  6. Scruggs, D. (2016) Causes, treatment and symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. [Online] Available from: http://fox2now.com/2016/11/15/causes-treatment-and-symptoms-of-plantar-fasciitis/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  7. Skills for Action (2016) Flat feet – not just a foot problem. [Online] Available from: http://www.skillsforaction.com/flat-feet [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  8. Dimitrijevic, I. (2018) 9 Unexpected Benefits Of Foot Massage That Make You Want To Have One Now. [Online] Available from: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/9-unexpected-benefits-foot-massage-that-make-you-want-have-one-now.html [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  9. Oakville Massage & Wellness Clinic (2018) How reflexology can relieve PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps. [Online] Available from: http://www.omwc.ca/blog/reflexology/how-reflexology-can-relieve-pms-symptoms-and-menstrual-cramps [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  10. Mukherjee, B. (2015) Top 9 Acupressure Points to Treat Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). [Online] Available from: http://www.modernreflexology.com/acupressure-points-to-treat-pms/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  11. Mukherjee, B. (2014) 5 Best Reflexology Exercises for Back Pain – Acupressure Points. [Online] Available from: http://www.modernreflexology.com/5-best-reflexology-exercises-for-back-pain/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  12. Top 10 Home Remedies (2014) Top 10 Health Benefits of Foot Massage and Reflexology. [Online] Available from: https://www.top10homeremedies.com/news-facts/top-10-health-benefits-foot-massage-reflexology.html [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  13. Cahalane, E. (2015) Massage to Aid Circulation. [Online] Available from: https://www.alive.com/health/massage-to-aid-circulation/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  14. Mancuso, C. (2014) The Surprising Benefits Of Foot Massagers. [Online] Available from: http://www.foottherapy.net/benefits-of-foot-massagers/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  15. Mukherjee, B. (2015) 6 Effective Acupressure Regions to Treat Migraine and Headaches. [Online] Available from: http://www.modernreflexology.com/6-effective-acupressure-regions-to-treat-migraine-headaches/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  16. Chronic Body Pain (2018) Treating Menstrual Pain with Acupressure Points. [Online] Available from: http://chronicbodypain.net/treating-menstrual-pain-with-acupressure-points/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  17. Hills, J. (2018) The Top 10 Natural Remedies for Swollen Ankles, Legs and Feet. [Online] Available from: https://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/natural-remedies-for-swollen-feet/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  18. Jenkins, J. (2017) Foot Massage & Pregnancy. [Online] Available from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/97266-foot-massage-pregnancy/ [Accessed 18 April 2018].
  19. Jenkins, J. (see footnote 18)

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