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  • 6/20/2013

How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis Naturally

plantar fasciitis


Roughly 10 percent of the adult population suffers from the type of heel pain known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the thick fascia tissues of the heels. It’s a common running injury and usually triggered due to overuse of the feet during exercise, or from working out with poor form. It can affect either one heel at a time (usually in the dominant foot), or both simultaneously.

What are the causes of Plantar Fasciitis (Painful Foot)

The science says just about everything. Here is what it's associated with:

• Being overweight

• Being sedentary

• Having bad posture

There almost always isn't a single cause for Plantar Fasciitis, which is why so many people struggle to treat it. The solution has to address the root cause.

Plantar Fasciitis Natural Remedies

Good habits can lower your likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis. Most importantly, maintain a healthy body weight. I know that’s easier said than done, but any extra weight you carry around puts more pressure on your feet to support it all, and they can’t always handle it.

No matter your size or shape, you do need good shoes. High heels and flip flops don’t support foot health, and neither do old, worn out shoes. Get a good pair with a low heel and good arch supports…they will absorb the shock of feet hitting the ground all day.

Take the pressure off your feet. Keep off your feet as much as you can when your symptoms flare up. If you’re a die-hard athlete, at the very least, lessen the length and intensity of your workout, or switch to swimming or biking. Any low-impact activity will allow you to stay fit while keeping it easy on your feet. If your work keeps you on your feet all day and your boss won’t let you ride a bike around the office, you’ll have to resort to other methods.

Get Some Rest

One of the best ways to “get back on your feet again” will be to simply rest your feet. Take a break from any physically demanding activities that you’ve perhaps been participating in such as running, intense training, etc.

Ice Your Feet

In a recent study of 99 individuals conducted to evaluate the efficacy of heat, cold and NSAIDs on plantar fasciitis – independent of other treatment protocols – results showed that the group with the greatest relief from symptoms was from the one that applied a cold treatment routine 20 minutes before bedtime. Tests revealed reduced thickness of the plantar fascia and reduced pain levels. What’s more, the icing protocol combined with ibuprofen showed even better results.


By simply applying pressure and gently massaging your arches you will be loosening the fascia ligament as well as the other muscles along the bottom of the foot. This can be effective for some immediate gratification, though it may also provide initial discomfort.

You may also be interested in the Graston Technique, which uses specialized tools to firmly massage a few of the muscles that are thought to contribute to plantar fasciitis, such as the calf and Achilles tendon. In fact, a recent study on the effects of soft tissue mobilization in conjunction with a static stretching routine proved significantly more efficacious than stretching alone in reducing pain and improving ankle dorsiflexion.

Taping Your Feet

A growing trend you may have noticed has been that of athletes to use kinesiology tape to stretch their muscles while still maintaining full range of motion. Its benefit lies in the ability to stretch, provide support and relieve pain. This treatment option is used for many common injuries, including by physical therapists who do taping for plantar fasciitis.

Orthotic Inserts

Studies have shown that one of the best things you can do to get rid of plantar fasciitis is to have a routine that includes the use of orthotic inserts for your shoes. There are several different types available, including for those with wide feet, high arches, ones specifically for runners and more.

Night Splint

Much like adding a custom or pre-fabricated orthotic insert, night splints have shown to be successful in the treatment of heel pain and in particular limiting the stabbing morning pains associated with the condition.

Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

• Plantar Fascia Stretch: While seated, set the painful foot on the other knee by crossing your legs. Grab your toes and gently pull them back towards your leg and hold for about fifteen seconds. Repeat three times.

• Achilles Tendon Stretch: Stand on some stairs facing the staircase. On your injured side, keep the ball of your foot on the stair and lower your heel to the step below it until you feel the stretch in your foot and hold there for twenty seconds. Repeat three times.

• Towel Pick-up: While seated, place a towel on the floor and use your toes to pick it up. Let it go and repeat a dozen times or so.

• Heel Raise: Using a chair for balance, stand up on your toes, hold for five seconds and slowly lower your whole foot back to the ground, not holding the chair if you can. Repeat a dozen times.

• Prone Hip Extension: While lying on your stomach on the floor, tighten the back of your legs and butt on your injured side and raise that leg eight inches or so off the floor. Hold for five seconds and repeat a dozen times.






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