Plantar Fasciitis is a grave condition of the feet associated with pain in the plantar fascia ligament. While most doctors may suggest taking NSAID’s and undergoing regular physical therapy, there are several ways to treat plantar fasciitis at home naturally.
Most of us rely on artificial therapies and medicines for instant relief, which may not be great for our overall health in the long run. It will also cost you a heavy buck with the increasing price of medicines and doctor consultations.
Therefore, we decided to help those with plantar fasciitis by recommending some natural alternatives that effectively reduce pain in your feet and are easy to follow. Read on to know more about plantar fasciitis and natural cures in detail.
Risk Factors For Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis does not develop overnight and results from months or years of stressing your feet that causes heel and arch pain. Plantar Fascitis is now a lifestyle disorder, and almost every 1 in 10 people has the condition. Therefore, you need to know and avoid several factors that keep you at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Read on to know.
With growing age, our feet start getting sensitive and loses the cushioning over the skin. This sensitivity reduces the shock absorbance ability, and even the slightest impact and pressure on the feet causes pain. This condition is prevalent with people around 40-60 years of age as the skin starts sagging and loses the natural cushioning and support. Therefore, older adults are at a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis as the connected nerves and joints also start deteriorating with growing age.
Excessive body weight can directly pressurize your feet. The more the weight, the more your feet will have to bear it, and more incredible are the chances of pain and impact on the plantar fascia ligament. Therefore, it is advisable to follow a healthy diet and watch your weight if you suffer from plantar fasciitis to reduce your feet pressure.
Excessive Activity on Foot
Suppose your feet are overstressed with excessive activity like running, exercising, stretching, or any other physical activity. It can have a direct impact on the plantar fascia ligament and overstretch it.
This kind of stress on the feet is prevalent amongst athletes and sportspeople who are always on their feet. Hence, their feet and the associated nerves and ligaments are usually stressed and overworked. This increases the chances of foot fatigue and often leads to plantar fasciitis at an early stage.
Long Hours of Standing
If your work demands long hours of standing, then there are high chances that you may develop plantar fasciitis. This is because your feet bear the entire weight of your body all day, resulting in your ligament feeling pressurized.
Plantar fasciitis is prevalent amongst retail shop workers, men at construction sites, etc., whose profession involves long hours of standing. Therefore, it is recommended that they wear customized shoes for plantar fasciitis to support the plantar fascia ligament, reducing the pressure and pain caused due to plantar fasciitis.
Ill Fitted Footwear
Ill fitted footwear is one of the biggest reasons for plantar fasciitis. Especially women who tend to wear shoes with complicated and non-protective designs have high chances of developing plantar fasciitis.
These shoes are not supportive, and their shapes and high heels can affect the arch and positioning of feet. This causes more pressure on the ligament, which leads to excessive pain. Plantar fasciitis shoes and orthopedic shoes provide the adequate support needed while protecting your feet entirely if you suffer from plantar fasciitis.
Not all people have the same kind of feet. Some of them may have extremely high arches, some of them may have completely flat feet. Some people may have a foot larger or smaller than the other foot. These can lead to stability and walking issues, which indirectly causes pain in your feet.
Extremely high arches are bad because your feet do not get adequate support, and the arch feels under pressure. In flat feet, the body’s entire is not adequately distributed, which causes pain in the arch and heel region. This causes plantar fasciitis. For such concerns, you can choose to wear slippers with arch support or shoes for plantar fasciitis that is meant to support the feet, reducing pressure and pain in the heel and arch region.
Natural Cures for Plantar Fasciitis
If you develop plantar fasciitis, one of the easiest ways to cure it is through natural remedies. These can be followed at your home’s convenience and require consistency if you want to cure plantar completely fasciitis. We suggest a few natural cures that you can try to keep plantar fasciitis at bay:
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are the best-proved methods for treating plantar fasciitis. Even experts and therapists recommend RICE therapy for quick and easy recovery from pain due to plantar fasciitis. With plantar fasciitis, your foot is overstressed, which causes pain in the ligament. When in pain, your feet demand appropriate rest. With rest also comes applying ice and providing adequate compression using splints or athletic tapes.
While ice reduces the inflammation, compression helps in increasing the blood circulation around the fascia ligament. Increased blood circulation reduces pain. Keeping the feet at an elevated angle also helps in proper blood circulation. You can do this several times a day or as recommended by your doctor.
Stretching and Exercise
There are various stretching routines that you can follow for plantar fasciitis. Since the plantar fascia ligament is overstretched, appropriate stretches help you get it back in shape and increase blood circulation around the area. It increases the flexibility of the ligament, making you more active.
Simultaneously, to keep your weight in check, you may want to follow an exercise routine that helps you maintain weight while not impacting your feet. Exercises like swimming, cycling, yoga, etc., are easy to perform and do not pressure the feet and ligaments.
Specific calf stretches and ankle movements also make sure that the associated joints and nerves are in good shape and reduce overall pain in the feet if followed consistently.
You can do these exercises or stretches once or twice a day for effective results, preferably after you wake up in the morning. You can read our article on how to exercise with plantar fasciitis for a better overview.
With plantar fasciitis, the primary objective while treatment has to be to provide adequate support to the feet’ arch. The arch is where the plantar fascia ligament is situated and extends right from the toe to the heel region. Shoe inserts are usually thick and cushioned, and contour as per the shape of the feet.
They ensure adequate support and cushioning to the highly impacted areas of the feet, being the heel and the arch. Shoe inserts can be worn all day with your regular pair of shoes, and you can wash and replace them. Make sure that they do not make your feet feel incredibly stuffy. For which, you can try the shoe inserts with your regular pair of shoes before buying.
Athletic tapes provide compression to your feet. Compression increases the blood circulation around the plantar fascia ligament, making it more flexible and reduces the pain due to any kind of impact.
These can be tied overnight or even when you are doing any activity like walking, jogging, or standing for long hours. The athletic tape holds the ligament upright and does not allow your feet or arch to flatten out.
These tapes are very helpful, especially for people with flat feet and plantar fasciitis. Different materials of athletic tapes are available, some of them being stretchable and flexible for ease of tying. You can learn about the various techniques of tying a compression tape around your feet with plantar fasciitis through our article on Taping For Plantar Fasciitis.
These tapes are commonly used by athletes or people who exercise frequently. Of course, you need to replace athletic tapes from time to time. You can also use them with a pair of supportive shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Night splints are orthotic supports for the feet that help maintain your feet at an angle and keep the Achilles Tendon, and plantar fascia stretched. Ideally, when we sleep, our feet tend to remain flexed, which causes the shortening of the plantar fascia.
Night splints help in maintaining a neutral 90-degree position of the feet. With consistent stretching and massaging, and rest, night splints work effectively for treating plantar fasciitis.
Massaging relaxes not only our feet but also improves the blood circulation around the joints and ligaments. Massaging helps decrease the pain if there is any impact and reduces foot fatigue, making your feet feel energetic. By applying slight pressure with your fingers across the foot’s heel and ball, you can relax the tendons and ligaments.
Alternatively, you can also invest in a foot massager for plantar fasciitis, which effectively reduces pain. Foot massagers are powerful as their vibrations increase the blood circulation while flexing your tight muscles and relaxing them.
Natural Pain Relievers
Apart from consuming NSAID’s, there are natural pain relievers for plantar fasciitis as well. Here are some herbal remedies that you may want to try:
Essential oils are extracted from plants that retain their fragrance, chemical properties, and flavor. These smells and aromas have a calming sensation on your nerves while relaxing your feet when absorbed through the skin upon applying.
These oils can be used for topical application and ingested orally in the form of capsules or tablets. They are known to stimulate the nerve response, reduce inflammation and muscle aches due to constant activity and give a soothing effect to the feet.
You can use them with a foot massager for plantar fasciitis and massage your feet gently every day for effective results.
Lidocaine and Menthol
Lidocaine and menthol work in the form of topical applicants. Lidocaine helps in relieving soreness in the muscles and eases your nerves. Menthol works as a cooling agent and reduces pain and inflammation.
The hemp plant is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also effective in relieving musculoskeletal pain through its interactions with the endocannabinoid system, which provides natural relief.
Can you Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?
While speaking of the associated risk factors and natural cures for plantar fasciitis, one of the most frequently asked questions is, can you prevent plantar fasciitis. The answer to that is YES!! We tell you how.
Maintaining an ideal weight according to your Body Mass Index can reduce the pressure off your feet.
Use supportive footwear:
Slippers with arch support and shoes for plantar fasciitis are a must for people who are victims of plantar fasciitis or experience any kind of foot pain. These supportive shoes are built to fit your feet’ shape and support the arch, providing stability, comfort, and pain reduction.
Physical Therapy includes regular exercise, stretching, rest, and maintaining your feet health. Following stretches and exercises and the remedies mentioned above daily can help prevent plantar fasciitis in the long term.
Don’t walk barefoot
Avoid walking barefoot as it can directly impact your nerves and ligaments, causing a sharp, stinging sensation each time you place your feet on the ground. Always wear a pair of supportive shoes or socks to maintain the cushioning of the feet.
When to Visit a Doctor?
If, in any case, the treatments mentioned above and home remedies do not reduce your pain or give you any relief, then you may want to consult your doctor or physical therapist. They can obtain a more precise picture through X-Rays or Ultrasounds to find the root cause of plantar fasciitis and suggest appropriate treatment. In worst cases, you may require surgical intervention or steroid injections.
There are various treatments and remedies for plantar fasciitis, but it can also be prevented with natural cures. The treatment process is usually gradual, and if the natural cures are followed consistently, it prevents plantar fasciitis from recurring.
As we suggest, there are various natural remedies like RICE, using orthotics or athletic tapes, and herbal remedies, and supportive footwear to treat plantar fasciitis. These can be done at your convenience and are very easy to follow and cost-effective methods to try to improve your feet health.
Read our article above and tell us if these natural remedies worked in curing plantar fasciitis through the comments section below.
Dr Kristine has a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from New York College of Podiatric Medicine, and currently assists our team of shoe experts by fact-checking and confirming the information presented to the readers. As a podiatrist, she has previously worked with numerous athletes, working professionals, and high to low activity individuals on the impacts of a lifestyle on their feet. She has submitted many research papers on the role of the correct footwear in foot health and how to take adequate care of your feet.
Previously, she worked in a foot clinic attached to a hospital, before she decided to have a private practice in 2012. She has more than 15 years of experience in foot health and has been incredibly gracious in providing her expertise to the Wearsty team! Her patients have ranged from ordinary people ailing with foot problems regarding obesity, old age, and foot stress—to athletes, runners, and workers who have demanding routines.