Treat Plantar Fasciitis without Surgery
It’s got a funny name and if you’ve never suffered from it, you may not even know what it is. But plantar fasciitis affects about 2 million people every year.
Plantar fascia are ligaments that connects the heel bones to the toes, which creates the arch of the foot. And plantar fasciitis happens when that band of tissue, which supports your foot’s arch, becomes irritated and inflamed.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes and Symptoms
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of foot pain and typically starts after you begin exercise or become active in a new way. When there is too much pressure or strain on the foot’s tissue, the body’s natural response is inflammation. This results in heel pain, and loss of flexibility and range of motion.
While there’s no way to determine who is at risk for plantar fasciitis, here are some causes and the symptoms to watch out for.
- Exercising with poor form or on a hard surface
- Spending long hours on your feet
- Running (especially with poor form or in old running sneakers)
- Being overweight
- History of inflammation
- Having a high foot arch
- Heel pain
- Bone pain
- Tenderness and/or swelling
- Pain when walking (especially in the morning, but subsides after a few minutes of walking)
Natural Solutions for Plantar Fasciitis
Most who suffer from plantar fasciitis can improve within months with simple treatment, including the following:
Deep tissue massage – this can help increase the flow of blood and fluid, which can break up the scar tissue and speed up the healing process. You can also massage using essential oils (see below).
Rest – taking some time off a particular exercise (at least a few weeks) can help reduce the pain.
Ice – roll your foot over a cold water bottle or ice pack 3-4 times per day.
Heel exercises and stretches – here are a few examples:
- Calf stretch – lean forward against a wall with one knee straight and the heel on the ground. Place the other leg in front, with the knee bent. To stretch the calf muscles and the heel cord, push your hips toward the wall in a controlled fashion. Hold the position for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat this exercise 20 times for each foot.
- Toe stretch – sit down and cross affected foot over the other knee. Grasp the toes and slowly pull them toward you in a controlled fashion. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
- Thumb massage – rub your thumb left to right over the arch of the affected foot.
- Towel stretch – roll up a warm towel, place under foot, pull on both ends, and massage affected area.
- Squat stretches – stand forward and spread your feet apart. Flex your knees and squat down, keeping your heels on the ground as long as possible. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 20 times.
Change footwear – look for more supportive shoes with extra cushioning. You can also add heel inserts or orthotics to your current shoes. Don’t forget, if you’re a runner you should change your running sneakers every 400 miles of use.
Maintain healthy weight – those who have a BMI over 30 are at a higher risk for plantar fasciitis than others. The less you weigh, the less stress placed on your feet and heels.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet – foods that can control inflammation include:
- Organic fruits and vegetables
- Raw food
- Wild-caught fish
- Probiotic foods
- Nuts and seeds
- Pasture-raised eggs and poultry
Physical therapy – as a last resort, a visit to a physical therapist can teach you better heel stretches and better form for running and exercise.
Essential oils – essential oils are great for inflammation, and to decrease pain and swelling. I love to use them while massaging areas of pain. Here are the oils that I recommend:
- Rosemary – supports pain relief and has anti-inflammatory properties
- Marjoram and lemongrass – may reduce muscle spasms and muscle pain
- Thyme – is known to help relieve swelling and inflammation
- Wintergreen and peppermint – may help relieve pain
- Lavender – widely used for its calming and relaxing qualities
- Turmeric – works as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.
Essential Oil Blend:
- 5 drops rosemary
- 5 drops marjoram
- 5 drops turmeric
- 5 drops wintergreen
Mix in a 10 ml roller bottle, then fill the rest of way with fractionated coconut oil and roll on area of concern several times per day.
Supplements – I recommend taking Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex. Polyphenols are packed with antioxidants, they provide numerous health benefits, including soothing support to aching muscles and joints, and other discomfort.
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