Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that causes heel pain in one, or sometimes both feet. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), roughly two million people seek treatment for this condition every year. The primary complaint is painful inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of your foot, typically in the heel. In fact, the pain can often be unbearable, making it difficult to walk.
Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis?
The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing, severe pain in the heel of the foot, or feet. Typically, the pain presents itself in the first few steps of the day. More often than not, the pain lessens in intensity after the initial few steps, but it can return any time you get up from a seated position and start walking. Plantar fasciitis tends to only affect one foot, starting with mild pain in the heel.
Do Natural Remedies Work?
According to several studies, about 90% of plantar fasciitis cases can improve significantly within two months of treatment. Standard treatments include physical therapy and custom-fitted arch supports. When it comes to natural remedies, scientific studies are lacking, but there are many people that swear by them. In fact, natural remedies prove to be a great step (pun intended) in a less painful direction. Consider the following four natural remedies to see if you can avoid surgery and injections.
Wear A Night Splint
A night splint is a foot device that aims to naturally stretch the Achilles tendon while you sleep. These really work best for people who have dealt with the condition for at least six months. In addition to stretching the Achilles, night splints gently stretch arches and calves. You should only wear these splints at night while you sleep, though. One statement claimed that people who wore night splints had a 30-50% reduction in pain after 12 weeks. Some people even saw improvement after just four weeks of wearing night splints!
Apply A Cold Compress
It’s good to get cold feet…if you have plantar fasciitis! Ice works to reduce inflammation and helps to numb the pain. A study from 2013 found that applying a cold wrap to the feet for 20 minutes at bedtime helped reduce planter fascia thickness by 13%. Additionally, the cold wrap helped reduce pain by 44%, which in turn increased the amount of force that each person could apply to the affected foot without pain by 86%.
Pick Up Marbles With Your Feet
This sounds strange, but you have to think about this remedy as a strengthening tip. When you are able to strengthen your feet, you may be able to prevent foot pain. Stretching is beneficial, but so is picking up marbles with your feet and placing them in a cup. This exercise aims to strengthen the muscles in your feet, which enhances stabilization of the plantar fascia ligament. Not only does this help reduce pain, but it may also improve your overall gait. To perform the exercise, sit in a chair with your feet out in front of you. Scatter some marbles on the ground near your feet and begin picking them up with your toes, one by one, and dropping them in a cup.
Massage is always a useful tool to help reduce pain, especially if it involves fascia. Use your thumbs to massage your arches and heels. If you cannot use your hands, you can roll your foot in a very slow manner on a lacrosse ball or tennis ball. Put the ball of your foot on the ball and grab hold of a wall or something stable. Gently apply pressure on the ball of your foot and then slowly roll the arch. You can also use a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENs) device to help relieve pain. Apply the patches to the affected foot and allow the low-voltage electric stimulation to do its job.