Video Course: Plantar Foot Pain

Whitney Lowe, Til Luchau

This course is approved for Florida’s “Distance Learning Hands-On Technique” category for the 2021-2023 renewal period (CE Broker course #20-1078494 for FL only).

This course has closed captioning. Click “cc” on the video player to view.

Pain in the sole of the foot can be a vexing issue for massage and bodywork practitioners. Join Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe as they share current insights about relevant anatomy, research, mechanisms, assessment, strategies, and hands-on techniques for effective work with the very common condition of plantar foot pain. 

This course was featured during the 2020 ABMP CE Summit

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Course Outline
  1. Anatomical overview of key structures in the area
    • Metatarsal ligaments
    • Deep muscles of the foot
      • Interosseous & lumbricals
      • Quadratus plantae
      • FHL, FDL, & tib posterior (Tom, Dick & Harry)
      • Plantar tendon sheaths
    • Abductor hallucis & flexor digitorum brevis
    • Plantar fascia
    • Flexor retinaculum & tarsal tunnel
    • Tibial nerve and its divisions
      • Tibial nerve
      • Medial & lateral plantar nerves


  1. Common causes of plantar foot pain
    • Plantar fasciitis/fasciosis
    • Muscle-tendon overuse/injury
      • Strain
      • Tendinosis
      • Tenosynovitis
    • Ligament sprain
    • Nerve compression/tension
      • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
      • Baxter’s neuropathy
      • Morton’s neuroma


  1. Important concepts to assess plantar foot pain
    • Key factors in client history
    • Visible indicators
    • Palpation (where, how, what does it tell)
    • Physical examination testing
      • AROM, PROM & MRT
      • Special orthopedic tests (when are they useful and examples)


  1. Hands-On Techniques
Learning Objectives

Having viewed the online massage therapy technique CE course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key anatomical structures responsible for plantar foot pain
  • Describe helpful methods to discriminate plantar nerve pain from other soft tissue causes
  • Describe at least two biomechanical factors that may contribute to foot pain
  • List two or more treatment strategies applied to the leg and foot to help address plantar foot pain
Whitney Lowe

Whitney Lowe directs the Academy of Clinical Massage which provides advanced clinical massage continuing education as well as programs for schools. His system of orthopedic massage is designed for massage therapists seeking to meet the needs of clients with chronic pain or sports, recreational, or occupational pain and injury conditions. He is the author of Orthopedic Assessment in Massage Therapy and his articles appear regularly in professional peer-reviewed journals, Massage & Bodywork magazine, and other industry publications. Learn more about his workshops and online courses at

Til Luchau

Til Luchau is a lead instructor and the director of He is a Certified Advanced Rolfer with a diverse background that includes manual therapy, somatic psychology, transformative education, as well as organizational and leadership development. He is the author of the Advanced Myofascial Techniques textbook series, has a regular Myofascial Techniques column in Massage & Bodywork magazine, and his articles have been published in magazines and peer-reviewed technical journals internationally. He has trained thousands of practitioners in his popular courses at schools and centers in over 20 countries on six continents. His private practice based in Colorado includes myofascial and pain-science informed manual therapy, as well as professional consulting and supervision with practitioners from around the world. Learn more at

Topics and Techniques

This orthopedic massage therapy CE course from Whitney Lowe and Til Luchau addresses plantar foot pain from common causes including plantar fasciitis, muscle-tendon overuse, sprain, and nerve compression. Topics include relevant anatomy, research, mechanisms, assessment (palpation and orthopedic tests), strategies, and several hands-on techniques for effective work with the common condition of plantar foot pain.


This online massage therapy CE course is available to you on demand to access, learn, and earn CE whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for you!


Visit the ABMP Education Center FAQ page for a full list of resources.

Is this massage techniques CE course approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) for CE credit?
Yes! All of the courses are approved under ABMP’s NCBTMB Approved Provider account (451086-09).

How do I earn a CE certificate for this video-based course?
After you complete the webinar video, a quiz will appear on the page. Earn a CE certificate by scoring 70% or higher on the course quiz.

How do I access my CE certificates?
CE certificates are available on your “My CE Transcripts” page and on the course page. Visit your “My CE Transcript” page by clicking “My CE” on the navigation bar at the top of your screen.


"Love the anatomy detail.  I don't think I've seen such a comprehensive view of the layers in the foot before.  THANK YOU!"

"I have clients who display plantar foot pain. The webinar gave me excellent techniques and knowledge of possible causes. I will apply what I learned immediately!"

"The digital anatomical section by Lowe was extremely helpful in visualizing what Luchau was demonstrating with massage techniques.  I am a visual and hand-on learner and would love to see more of this combination of tools for learning."

"Awesome course! The detail, the diagrams, and the instruction are all well done. The dialogue between the two presenters added more depth and understanding to the material."