7 Do-It-Yourself Plantar Fasciitis Remedies – Eliminate Heel Pain
Are you experiencing stiffness and sharp pain on the bottom of your foot? One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This condition involves the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a flat band of connective tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Repetitive straining, stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia makes it get swollen, weak, and inflamed. Then the bottom of your foot or heel becomes painful when you walk or stand.
Plantar fasciitis usually affects middle-aged people. It can also occur in younger people who engage in physical activities that require them to be on their feet a lot, such as runners and hikers. Other factors that may increase your risk of developing this condition include ill-fitting or worn out shoes, excessive pronation, obesity, and tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons.
You can alleviate discomfort and inflammation with these plantar fasciitis remedies and simple lifestyle changes.
1. Rest Your Feet
Getting enough rest is the go-to treatment for all types of ailments and the same goes for plantar fasciitis. You need to allow your feet to recover by limiting or stopping physical activities that cause heel pain. The more you spend time on your feet, the less chance you will have of recovering rapidly. Try to avoid walking, standing or walking on hard surfaces.
2. Cold Compress
Icing or applying cold compress is one of the most effective plantar fasciitis remedies. It helps in reducing pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia. A popular method is to fill up a water bottle and leave it in the freezer for some time. Once it is frozen, roll your affected foot over it. Use it as a massager for about 10 minutes. Repeat this treatment three times daily.
Another option is to wrap some ice cubes in a clean towel. Place it over the affected area for about five minutes. Follow this process a few times a day to reduce irritation caused by plantar fasciitis.
3. Supportive Shoes and Orthotic Inserts
Shoes have a great impact on the way you walk and run. They also influence your ability to withstand pressure and force. Your shoes should provide arch support and additional cushioning to lower the chances of injury while you work or exercise. Some shoes also offer a shock-absorption feature, which is helpful for athletes and physical workers. If you need to move around, wear orthotic slippers or flip flops.
You may consider wearing night splints to stretch the calf and arch of your foot. Try shoe inserts or heel cups to cushion your heel area. You can purchase these items at many athletic shoe stores and pharmacies.
4. Stretching Exercises
Simple exercises to stretch your arches, calf muscles and Achilles tendon can help in controlling heel pain. It can also alleviate inflammation in the calves and other muscles, allowing you to walk around comfortably. Here are some stretching exercises that you can try at home:
- Cross your affected leg over the other leg. Take hold of the affected foot. Pull your toes back towards you. Hold this position for ten seconds and relax. Perform ten repetitions.
- Roll a golf ball or frozen water bottle under your arch. Start from the front and continue your way back while applying a little pressure. Perform this for a couple of minutes daily.
- Lean forward and place one foot in front of the other. Bend your knees and squat down. Hold this position for ten seconds. Perform 20 repetitions.
- In the morning, sit up in bed and hold onto your flexed feet. Gently pull them toward your shin for 30 seconds and release. Repeat this one or twice every morning to reduce the pain.
You can consult a physical trainer for more stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis.
5. Foot Massage
Massaging the affected foot can give you relief from discomfort and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis. One of the best plantar fasciitis remedies, it stimulates blood circulation around the area and helps in releasing tension in the plantar fascia. Simply massage your feet with some warm coconut, sesame or olive oil for 20 minutes. Do this a few times a day, especially before bed time.
Another option is to use an electric foot massager. These devices may provide a combination of options, such as rotating nodes that give a deeper massage.
6. Hot Water and Epsom Salt
Heat relaxes muscles and relieves tension in the affected area. Epsom salt can also help reduce inflammation and soothe your plantar fascia. To use this treatment, add two to three tablespoons of Epsom salt in a foot basin filled with warm water. Soak your foot for at least 10 minutes and massage the area gently. Follow this treatment twice daily.
7. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Reducing your weight can minimize the amount of pressure placed on your feet. The higher your weight, the more stress your feet experience. Exercising daily, getting adequate amount of sleep, reducing stress and eating more anti-inflammatory foods can all contribute to weight loss. Some foods good for weight loss are fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, probiotic foods, fresh fish and green juices.
Other Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
- Physical Therapy
- Magnetic Therapy
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medication
- Cortisone Injections
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that affects millions of people around the world. Since it causes stabbing pain and discomfort, you can reduce its symptoms and speed up your healing process with the plantar fasciitis remedies mentioned above. Although it can be annoying and excruciating, this condition is treatable and preventable with rest, cold compress, massage and stretching exercises. Consider wearing night splints to prevent stiffness and avoid going barefoot.
Before implementing these treatments, make sure that you get an advice from a professional. Naturally, podiatrists will suggest some of these ideas, but you need to make sure that plantar fasciitis is the cause of your heel pain. Other conditions that are commonly mistaken for plantar fasciitis are heel spurs and Achilles tendonitis. If one or combination of these remedies work, be resilient and continue the process. Do not exercise on concrete and other hard surfaces. If the problem persists, see a podiatrist.