Prolonged strain on the plantar fascia ligament can result in developing a painful medical condition called plantar fasciitis. If you have been experiencing pain in your feet lately, mostly heels, chances are that it could probably be this.
Although it can be treated surgically, there are many non surgical ways to cure it that do have merits and can be explained with proper reasoning.
Here are some non-surgical alternatives to cure plantar fasciitis:
1. Get the Right Shoes
Get a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world. Same goes for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Before we come to natural remedies, it is important that you get the right footwear. Say goodbye to heels and uncomfortable shoes that you’ve been clinging to for so long.
When we talked to Brian from Boot Bomb and Douglas from ShoePursuits about what specifications to look for in work boots for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis, he suggests getting a pair that gives you the ideal heel support.
He further went on to explain that with every step, your foot makes a rolling motion and if your shoe doesn’t bend along, it exerts pressure on the sole of your foot, resulting in pain. This is why its important that your shoe is flexible.
Getting Crocs may seem like an ugly idea, but their design accommodates your toe area perfectly, while supporting your heels with its built in support. Foot inserts help minimize the pain caused by stress and stretching of the plantar fascia. By contouring to the shape of your feet they provide arch support and cushioning to your heels. Another solution is getting shoe insoles from Protalus. They improve alignment of the ankle by up to 62%, putting you in position to be your best.
2. Use Night Splints
One of the best ways to cure Plantar Fasciitis is to use night splints. Since you’re in a steady position throughout the night, there is no better time for recovery. Night splints keep your toes pointed in the upward direction as you rest. This ensures that the tissue present in your heels is not squeezed.
By stretching the calf and plantar fascia ligament, the stress on the inflamed areas of your foot is minimized which drastically reduces the pain you experience.
3. Avoid High Intensity Exercises
While doctors do recommend certain exercises for healing plantar fasciitis, high intensity exercises are a no go. This involves all sorts of workouts that involve jumping (skipping and plyometric exercises) since that adds up to the existing strain on your heels and feet.
Similarly, burpees and other cardio exercises are not at all recommended to people hobbling with plantar fasciitis pain. The ideal workouts for you would be swimming, yoga and pilates, which are full-body workouts but do not apply pressure on your feet in any way. Even then, these light activities will need footwear with great shock absorption. Lilly Harvey of ShoeAdviser reported that shoe cushions are especially important in the heel and arch area of the insole. Some designs incorporate air or gel in those areas to provide precautionary measures.
Low impact exercises may not give you speedy results if you’re trying to lose weight, but they also save you from going out of shape by staying fit and functional.
Not all of us believe in being cured by allopathic treatment, which is why natural remedies are most sought after for medical conditions like plantar fasciitis. Acupuncture is one such remedy which qualifies as a natural treatment and has some merit to it.
Based on the ancient Chinese medicinal practice, the idea of Acupuncture is to balance the energy flowing through the body. It promotes blood flow and releases the natural painkillers in your body i.e. endorphins and norepinephrine which cures pain in the feet without the use of steroids and painkillers.
5. Use Essential Oils
Among the successful natural remedies used to cure plantar fasciitis, essential oils is one with a high success rate. Not only plantar fasciitis, but essential oils have also been reported to cure other conditions of the like, heel spur and foot arthritis to name a few.
Since plantar fasciitis causes pain by inflammation, essentials oil like lavender and peppermint oil cure inflammation by simply taking a few drops and massaging the bottom of your feet with it.
6. Foot Exercises
There are multiple exercises you can carry out everyday along with your routine activities and barely take 15 minutes, improving your heels and feet pain considerably. The best part about these exercises is that you don’t have to invest in any equipment. They can be done using a golf ball, a water bottle and a pack of toe separators.
Take a golf ball and roll it from one end of your foot to the other while applying as much pressure as you comfortably can. This helps stimulate the blood flow and breaks down adhesion present on the plantar fasciitis ligament.
Similarly, roll a water bottle under your feet between the two ends. If you freeze it before rolling, it will definitely add to the relief.
Toe separators have the same impact by elongating shrunk tendons and breaking adhesion on the ligament. This relieves heel and foot ache.
7. Alkaline Diet
Physicians have confirmed that with a more alkaline diet, one can considerably cure plantar fasciitis, provided you continue other natural remedies. Since inflammation indicates an acidic body condition, you need to neutralize it by shifting to a more alkaline diet.
Another way to cure it would be alkalizing the foot area only. This includes sodium bicarbonate injections which can directly be used on the affected area. Placing clay packs on the feet also extracts the acidic content out, reducing pain caused by inflammation.
While diet changes may take longer to show results, drinking alkalized drinks and ionized water shows instant results in a matter of days.
8. Deep Tissue Massages
Constant strain on the plantar fascia ultimately leads one to develop this medical condition. If you’re not comfortable with diet changes and can’t seem to find time for feet exercises, try a deep tissue massage instead.
This technique focuses on applying finger pressure through slow strokes on the affected area, which breaks muscle tension, and eliminate scar tissue by breaking it. Deep tissue massages will loosen your muscle tissues and improve blood flow in the respective area.
Since treatments for plantar fasciitis focus on breaking adhesions that develop over time due to excessive strain, this is exactly what deep tissue massages do. However, they are not recommended to people with a history of blood clots or those who have undergone surgery or suffer from other conditions like osteoporosis etc.
Icing the injured ligament numbs the affected area for a little while, which minimize the pain and inflammation by decreasing the sensation of pain in the nerves. Plantar fasciitis can also be temporarily treated with icing since it reduces the inflammation caused by the tearing of small tissues.
You can use ice cubes, a pack of frozen vegetables, ice packs (gel), frozen water bottles and paper cups to roll under your heels for a good 10-20 minutes.
While icing may reduce your pain momentarily, it doesn’t cure the problem. For the problem to stop recurring, one needs to ensure that it is eradicated from its roots.