Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia tissue. This tissue is vital in supporting the arches of each foot, thus helping it to absorb shock and pressure from walking and to bear the body’s weight when standing. The tissue connects the toes to the heel’s metatarsal bones. When this tissue suffers a number of micro tears they can become inflamed. These tears may be caused by arthritis, but are more commonly caused by injury or overuse including the wearing of poor or ill fitting footwear. Many doctors will recommend rest or even surgery, but there are many home remedies, too, including herbal ones.
1. Stretches & Massages
The pain associated with plantar fasciitis tends to be at its worst in the mornings after a long sleep or after a period of sitting or lying down. Before walking any distance, many find it useful to go through a gentle stretching regime. Both tai chi and qigong have been known to help. Furthermore, receiving regular massages, whether doing them yourself or getting them done professionally, can relieve pain and relax the tissue as a whole.
2. Walking Them Off
Many sufferers of plantar fasciitis, myself included, have noticed that walking can actually be beneficial to it. Walking works because it allows the fascia muscle to slowly warm up as you walk. In time, walking will reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis, however, it is a matter of balance. Over walking will cause more damage and greater pain.
3. Weight Loss
As the main function of this area is to support weight, it makes sense that being overweight may place additional pressure upon the arch and fascia tissue. Therefore one of the key steps you can take, if you are overweight, is to reduce weight. Walking, as noted above, will help on both counts, but there are other ways ranging from a healthy, balanced diet to non-walking exercises including sitting exercises, which can reduce weight and relieve pressure on the fascia tissue.
● Arnica (Arnica Montana) – Apply externally by massaging onto the foot in the form of a cream or oil. This will relieve stress and pain on the affected area.
● Bromelain (Stem Bromelain/Fruit Bromelain) – A pineapple extract to be taken internally which reduces inflammation.
● Chamomile essential oil (Matricaria recutita) – If breathed in, can reduce pain.
● Feverfew (Tanacetum Parthenium) – A herb to be taken internally that reduces inflammation and any related pain.
● Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – Side effect free pain reducer that can be included in foods and drinks.
● Horsetail (Equisetum Telmatela) – most useful for treating inflammation.
● Meadowsweet (Filipendula Ulmaria) aerial – 3-5 drops of tincture or 1 cup infused will reduce inflammation.
● Turmeric (Curcuma longa) root – reduces pain and inflammation
● Willow (Salix alba) bark – 2 cups of tea or 1 or 2 droppers will ease pain.
5. Better Footwear and Supports
Effectively wrapping a foot, wearing night splints, and wearing proper footwear are vital to helping to deal with plantar fasciitis. Some experts even recommend the wearing of crocs – they might not be stylish, but they allow for plenty of toe room and heel support.
Sally Phillips is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible. For more information on plantar fasciitis from this author, go to her article here.