How To Perform Plantar Fibroma Massage – It’s So Simple And Easy

If you find a lump - like growth in the arch of your foot, then you probably have a condition called plantar fibroma.

The condition is also known as plantar fibromatosis or ledderhose disease and is caused by the thickening of the plantar fascia. Such thickening of this ligament causes a node that shows as a lump in your arch.

As a runner, you will find yourself feeling tightness in the bottom of your foot and pain when walking. Additional symptoms include calf tightness. (1, 2)

One of the common treatment methods is a plantar fibroma massage which can help alleviate some of the symptoms of the condition. Before we go into the details of how to perform this massage, let us first understand the causes of the condition and other treatment options.

Understanding what caused your condition is the first step to finding the best treatment.


What Causes Plantar Fibroma?

Plantar Fascia

Although there is no fixed cause of the condition, there is evidence that one of the possible causes is trauma to the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is similar to a ligament or band of tissue that stretches from your heel to the middle of your foot bones. 

This ligament supports your arch and also acts as a shock absorber of your foot. (3)

Your Genetic

Additional possible causes are genetic such as Dupuytren contracture, knuckle pads, and Peyronie disease. These conditions involve a thickening and tightening of the tissue beneath the skin.

High Blood Pressure Treatment

The condition can also be triggered by taking medications used for treating high blood pressure known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents which can cause fibrotic tissue disorders. In addition, anti-seizure medicines can also cause excess collagen production. (4)

When lumps develop, they can be either in one foot or both feet and without treatment, they usually will stay. The lumps are firm to the touch and the mass can get larger without proper treatment. Pain is experienced because of pressure put on the lump when standing or walking. As a runner, you will likely need to pause running until you reduce the pain.

Treating Plantar Fibroma

Treating Plantar Fibroma

The goal of all treatment options is first to reduce the pressure on the fibroma and second to reduce the pressure on the plantar fascia. There are three main treatment methods that you can choose from: (5, 6)

  • Orthotic devices. These work by incorporating an indention for the fibroma which is deep and reduces pressure on the arch of the foot
  • Injections. Steroids such as corticosteroid are injected into the mass to make it shrink and relieve pain. This method is often temporary and the mass may return to its original size.
  • ​Surgery. Removing the mass is another treatment option but can cause more complications due to the flattening of the arch after surgery.
  • Physical therapy. This includes massage therapy including reflexology and massage. This works in trying to break down the fibers and incorporates stretching with strength exercises.

How To Perform Plantar Fibroma Massage

How To Perform Plantar Fibroma Massage

Although there is little evidence that doing massage will remove the condition, many people claim that massage therapy does help relieve the pain. In addition, a foot massage can help loosen the ligaments and muscles in the foot and increase blood circulation. (7)

Because you will be massaging around lumps, here are some do’s and don’ts when performing a plantar fibroma massage. Although these techniques are not specifically for this condition, they can still be effective in alleviating pain when properly performed.

What You Need:

  • Massage oil as a lubricant. This is to help achieve smooth controlled movement. When applying lubricant don’t put so much that you can’t control movement but apply enough so you still have control.
  • ​A golf or tennis ball
  • ​Socks to use with the tennis ball

Step 1: Consult A Doctor First

Although massaging your feet may sound like a safe treatment option, when you have plantar fibroma, you need first consult a doctor. Putting too much pressure on your foot may only make the condition worse.

  • Make sure you let your physician know before resorting to performing this foot massage.

Step 2: Don’t Put Direct Pressure On The Lumps

When performing a massage on a plantar fibroma patient, it is important that you never put direct pressure on the small lumps which can be painful. Instead, work around the lumps and massage the surrounding tissue to help reduce any referred pain caused by the massage.

Step 3: Follow Proper Technique

When massaging around the lumps of your foot, there are a few techniques that you can follow: (8, 9)

Option #1: Spreading The Metatarsals

The metatarsals are the bones that connect the bones of the toe and give the foot its arch. 

To perform a massage that targets this part of the foot

  • Place the thumb on the top of the metatarsal area while holding the ball under your foot
  • Then, grasp the foot and work your thumbs spreading the metatarsal bones

Option #2: Deep Pressure On The Heel

To perform it:

  • Use the heel of your hand
  • ​Apply pressure to the ball of the foot down to the heel
  • This is one of the best ways to alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia. (10)

Option #3: Petrissage Sole Of The Foot

To perform it:

  • ​Work from the heel to the ball of your foot with your thumbs applying cross frictions
  • ​Then apply pressure on the sole of the foot to the heel
  • ​Use firm but smooth movements

Option #4: Myofascial Release Massage

To perform this technique:

  • ​Sit in a chair and place a golf ball on the floor underneath your foot
  • ​Roll the ball around until you find a pressure point
  • Then press down until you feel the point soften.
  • Hold for about five minutes

Although it is best if you have someone perform these massage techniques, you can still do your own foot massage. In fact, doing it yourself will ensure that you don’t put too much pressure on the lumps.


Developing plantar fibroma can be a hindrance to your running but it doesn't mean you're running career is over. By understanding the condition and trying to determine the cause, you will be better equipped to do everything possible to treat it as soon as possible.

Although there are many options available including orthopedic techniques, injections, and surgery, many prefer massage therapy to alleviate pain.

When doing massage on your affected foot, always remember to avoid the lumps and work on your foot instead. Also, watch the linked videos to understand how to properly perform each technique.

Although plantar fibroma massage has not been proven to remove the lumps, it is effective in reducing pain and allowing better movement.

How did you find this article? What other techniques have you heard about for treating plantar fibroma? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Also, remember to share this information with family and friends.