So it’s five for Friday, so I’m linking up with the Friday Five aka the DC Trifecta: Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia
So let’s talk about plantar fasciitis. I know I talked about here,
but that was mostly about the etiology of the syndrome. Today I want to talk about natural treatments. As I mentioned in the other blog post, plantar fasciitis (heel pain) is caused by irritation at the insertion of the plantar fascia on the medial process of the calcaneal (heel bone) tuberosity. Some people have copious amounts of pain, which alters their daily activities. As we all know it can be called by numerous different names but some of the more unknown terms include jogger’s heel, tennis heel, policeman’s heel, and even gonorrheal heel (eww). Although a misnomer, the most commonly term is heel spurs syndrome.
The typical presentation is a sharp pain localized to the anterior aspect of the calcaneus. Usually pain upon rising and subsides with walking. The heel spur (exostosis) does not always exist in symptomatic individuals and many asymptomatic individuals may have bony heel spurs Fortunately, for most of my patients, their plantar fasciitis will resolve with natural remedies. As all of you know I am all about natural remedies. So let’s talk about my five favorite natural remedies for plantar fasciitis
My Five Favorite Natural Remedies
1.Rest Your Feet When You Can
This seems like a no brainer. In fact, getting should be your go-to treatment for every ailment. Time is the biggest healer. The more time you spend on your feet – forcing your inflamed fascia ligaments to support all of your body weight – the less chance you have of getting better rapidly. It’s counterproductive to continue to do daily routine.
Use common sense, limit activity and give yourself the best chance to heal. However, if you must do some activity, swimming and bicycling require limited load bearing to your feet and are excellent alternatives to rigorous exercises.
2.Icing Your Feet
Icing is one of the more practical ways of controlling the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Not to mention it has value as an anti-inflammatory.
A popular technique is to fill up a water bottle and throw it in the freezer. When it’s nice and frozen, take it out and simply roll your feet over it, using it as a self-massager. Do this for about 10 minutes, 3 times per day.
Tip: try placing a towel around the frozen bottle to help minimize the irritability of having a freezing cold water bottle up against your skin.
Here are some other popular options …
- Icing your feet with a frozen bag of peas (since you’re not going to be eating them anyway, yuck!)
- Massaging with a ziplock baggie filled with ice
3. Taping For Plantar Fasciitis
One of my go to treatments is taping the foot to help support your fascia. It is not only therapeutic, but I also use it as a diagnostic tool determine if a patient will benefit from an insert/orthotic. If a patient plantar fasciitis is relieved when their foot is tapped than they will do well with an orthotic. By tapping their foot, I am providing more support for the fascia ligament and decreasing tension while the patient is weight bearing
I like to use, KT Tape, which is also popular amongst athletes. You can find more self-taping videos using KT Tape on Youtube.
4. Compression Socks
Compression socks are just as they sound. They are socks that are several degrees tighter than normal socks and provide added strength to the arches of your feet. It’s more or less similar to an orthotic in that it keeps your arches from falling flat and provides a secure fit. Many of them are also specifically designed to increase blood flow, which in turn helps heal inflammation. I will actually have another post on this later on. I actually just started using them for my peroneal tendonitis #smoothtoe.
5. Stretching Exercises For Ligaments, Tendons and Muscles
There are many types of stretches and exercises you can do to help your plantar fasciitis. The benefits can be as follows…
Stretching and massaging is therapeutic and provides some level of instant relief.
It increases the flexibility of the Achilles and calf muscles, which is thought to play a role in plantar fasciitis.
Actually, here is a study that supports the use of an Achilles stretching protocol. Upon conclusion of the study, stretching was determined to be a key element in treating chronic plantar fasciitis.
It’s important to know that while there are positive studies and encouraging testimonials from people that verify the success rate of any given treatment, there is no one protocol that works for everyone. You really do need to be your own doctor and implement a trial-and-error approach to treating your own plantar fasciitis. As always though, make sure to get the advice of your doctor first – before implementing these natural remedies for plantar fasciitis.
I’d love to find out so that we can help others get better and concentrate on the things that really matter in their lives!