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The Amazing Benefits of Rolling Out Your Feet

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By Janik Sundstrom
Michelle Meyer - Editor for Upstep
Edited by Michelle Meyer

Published August 16, 2022.

A person rolling a small ball underneath the bottom of their foot.

Rolling out your feet is considered a safe, cost-effective, and conservative method to manage pain that develops on the underside of your feet. Pain and discomfort can set in when the muscles and fascia, making up the sole or plantar side of your foot, become irritated or inflamed from overuse.

Let's consider the benefits of foot rolling in more detail as well as investigate an effective technique to employ.

8 Benefits of Foot Rolling

1. Relieves Foot Pain

Rolling out the fascia and tissues comprising the underside of your feet is beneficial for reducing tension, preventing calcium crystal formation, and alleviating inflamed muscles within the sole of the foot. Regular foot rolling is particularly beneficial if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, because it effectively manages the inflammation and pain associated with this condition. 

2. Improves Foot Mobility

Tension in your intrinsic foot muscles may be contributing to your feet functioning ineffectively. Your feet may feel discomfort or sensitive, because the nerve structures in the muscles are compressed and are becoming irritated. Rolling out your foot will give the neural structures in the foot space to move freely, without becoming aggravated. This will improve the overall function of the foot, playing a crucial role in injury prevention.

3. Prevents Injury

It's important for your foot muscles to function effectively to prevent injury to the foot itself, the ankle, and the rest of your legs while partaking in sporting activities. Additionally, problems you have experienced with your lower back could be alleviated with the restoration of normal biomechanics, starting in the feet.

4. Improves Circulation

It's helpful to apply pressure to the sole of your foot, because it improves circulation in the feet by moving blood out of the feet and back into the circulatory system. This has also been shown to improve tissue healing. 

5. Improves Balance

By rolling out your feet and thereby restoring normal function in the muscles and structures, your balance will improve and further reduce your risk of developing injuries in the future. 

6. Reduces Stress

Using a ball to roll out your feet is an effective way to reduce tension rising from pressure points in the feet. You can target these trigger points with a massage ball in an effort to alleviate tension and stress. 

7. Improves Overall Function

The improved mobility in your feet will have a ripple effect on the rest of the body, allowing for more efficient movement from the lower leg complex. It will take the strain off other areas of the legs that are currently working harder during physical activities such as walking or running activities. 

8. Improves Sleep

If you're experiencing increased pain levels at night, it can cause poor sleep quality, especially after vigorous sporting activities. Foot rolling focused on targeting pressure points on a daily basis will improve your pain levels at night, allowing you to get a restful night's sleep.

How to Roll Your Feet Out With a Ball

  1. Acquire a ball, particularly a tennis ball for plantar fasciitis exercises, to carry out the technique. A frozen water bottle can also be used. 
  2. You can start in a sitting position, placing the ball under the mid-foot area.
  3. Apply gentle and controlled pressure to the underside of the foot using the ball. Gently apply a force downwards onto the ball, avoiding high levels of pain or a sharp stabbing sensation of pain. 
  4. You can start with downward pressure in a localized spot, targeting the trigger point areas of the foot for maximum relief. Repeat 6 times and relax. The amount of repetitions isn’t fixed and the technique can be adjusted to your personal preferences. 
  5. You can then progress to making longitudinal and circular motions with the ball. This will target the fascia on the underside of the foot. You can repeat this 8-10 times along the entire foot. 
  6. Be sure to target the heel area and the muscles of the forefoot for maximal relief.
  7. Repeat on both feet. 


Many people have found great benefit from rolling out their feet on a regular basis, from athletes to people who have developed foot pain from everyday use. You can find the same relief from your symptoms through regular rolling. You can also combine this with other techniques to rebuild the arches in your feet and fix overpronated feet and overpronated ankles.