Are you suffering from plantar fasciitis?
Are you actively looking for ways to get rid of plantar fasciitis permanently?
If so, then please read on.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain that is known to affect about 2 million people in the US alone.
Apart from the many causes and risk factors, plantar fasciitis can be treated at home and naturally.
And in this article, I will show you 16 natural ways to get rid of plantar fasciitis quickly.
But before we begin, let’s look at the treatment goals:
Every treatment has a set of objective, and goals are crucial in determining success.
The treatment goals for plantar fasciitis are:
At A Glance
Inflammation is the primary defense mechanism of our body.
It is a process by which our body repairs, fights, and protects itself from enemies.
However, when inflammation goes out of control, it disrupts the immune system, becoming a chronic problem, causing pain.
The connection between plantar fasciitis and inflammation is well established.
...They go hand in hand.
However, to cure plantar fasciitis completely, you NEED to reduce inflammation.There are many natural remedies for healing and eliminating inflammation & pain.
Let's talk about a few:
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory problem, and adding food that contributes to the problem is like adding gasoline to fire.
Today, most modern American diet consists of food that is overly processed and high in sugar, which is known to fuel inflammation.
However, if you want to reduce inflammation, you need to start thinking about the food you’re eating.
To begin with, you NEED to remove sugar and rice from your diet.
Cut down on food that readily metabolizes into sugar (Glycemic Index) and spikes your blood sugar.
Studies have shown sugar to be a vital trigger signal of an inflammatory process.
Fats are essential for a healthy body but choosing the right fat is crucial.
Replace all trans fats, saturated fats, and other processed oil-based fats with natural, healthy fats.
Fish fat, olive oil , natural butter are healthy fats which have natural anti-inflammatory benefits.
Finally, add lots of fresh fruits and colorful vegetable to your diet.
Organic fruits and greens are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals like inflammation.
Toxic buildup in the body is one of the most significant factors contributing to chronic inflammation.
Being hydrated is a natural and the cheapest solution for inflammation.
Daily, our bodies are exposed to many toxins, either from the food we eat, from the air or our lifestyle.
Our bodies fail to flush these toxins out of our system if it is not adequately hydrated.
Additionally, the lack of water in the system will deteriorate the essential functions of our cells, causing other problems.
Being adequately hydrated means less inflammatory problems.
How much water is right for you depends on factors like your weight, health condition, activity level, and more.
However, the basic idea is to drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
You can drink water whenever you’re thirsty, but there are a few crucial points in a day when water can be very beneficial.
Stress, the primary trigger switch for a long list of life-threatening diseases that are known to haunt humankind.
Stress is known to cause an uncontrolled increase in the level of Cytokines, the trigger module of an inflammatory response.
The levels of This increased cytokine can be very damaging to our body, and stress should be reduced to control it .
Getting proper rest and sleep is a natural way to get rid of stress.
When asleep, your body goes into a safe mode to repair itself, and your brain flushes all the stress causing toxins.
Chronic stress and lack/poor quality of sleep is the perfect recipe for chronic health problems like inflammation.
Additionally, practicing yoga, reading books, meditation can help relax & divert your mind from the thoughts causing stress.
Apart from the many health benefits, certain supplements can help in reducing inflammation.
They are the necessary vitamins and minerals that can help aid with the recovery.
Intake of supplements, in conjunction with the other inflammation management options, can help accelerate the recovery process.
If you think about the best supplement, it is something that works to reduce inflammation and pain, with less to no side effects.
There are many over the counter as well as natural supplements available in the market.
Here are a few you can start using today:
Omega-3’s are essential fatty acids that our body needs to function correctly .
We need to add Omega-3 rich food to our diet as our body is incapable of making it on its own.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are well known for their ability to regulate the inflammatory process, reduces pain and stiffness.
A study by Surgical Neurology found that Omega-3 Fatty Acids are safer than prescription drugs used for treating inflammation.The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends about 1-2 portions of fish per week.
It is said that omega 3 supplements are no good when compared to omega 3 rich food.
Here is a list of foods rich in Omega-3.
We have divided the list into two different categories:
i.e., Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian.
List of vegan food
List of non-vegan food
There is no exact numerical figure to answer this question. It depends on factors like the type of omega-3, health status, weight, age, and many more.
However, a research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that a dose of 1200 mg per day of omega-3's can help ease inflammatory problems.
Bottom Line: Omega-3 Fatty Acids has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help cure inflammatory diseases, especially plantar fasciitis.
Turmeric, the most common spice found in every kitchen is known for its wide range of health benefits.
Curcumin, the main component of turmeric is known for its ability to reduce pain and inflammation.
Turmeric can be used while cooking and as a supplement to benefit from its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving abilities.
However, a study found that standardized curcumin extracts to work better than merely raw or powdered turmeric.
Turmeric can be used in many ways to get rid of the pain.
Milk and Turmeric Drink:
Mustard Oil and Turmeric Wrap:
The amount of turmeric dosage will depend on many different factors.
According to the University Of Maryland Medical Center, there is no recommended dose for children. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to avoid turmeric supplements.
For an adult, the recommended dose is typically 400-600 mg of standardized curcumin powder 2-3 times per day; or 1-3 grams of powdered root per day.
High doses of curcumin may act as a blood thinner or may upset your stomach. Avoid taking curcumin supplement if you are going to have surgery, have gallbladder disease, or is pregnant.
Bottom Line: Curcumin in turmeric is proven to help relieve pain and inflammation caused due to plantar fasciitis, with less to no side-effects of prescription painkillers.
Once you have done enough to reduce inflammation, it's time to correct the possible causes and risk factors associated with heel pain.
By taking care of the risk factors, you can prevent not only plantar fasciitis from happening but also from reoccurring.
However, firstly, let’s look at the common risk factors:
If you’re suffering from heel pain, then you may have heard rest to be the best home remedy for plantar fasciitis pain.
Your heel pain may be a sign that you’re working your foot a lot and need to give it some time off.
Plantar fasciitis pain occurs when tiny cracks appear on the plantar fascia ligament due to your daily activities.
Resting and avoiding high impact activities will allow the ligament to relax and the cracks to heal.
In one study, rest was cited as the best way to ease heel pain by 25% of the patients.
The period of rest, you’ll need to get rid of the heel pain will depend on the severity of your condition.
Take a break from all the activities that require you to be on your foot and put pressure on your foot as soon as you notice the symptoms.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of painkiller that is designed to help alleviate pain, lower fever, and reduce inflammation.
Over the counter, NSAIDs can help calm heel pain quickly and is considered an excellent home remedy for plantar fasciitis.
NSAIDs come in 3 main forms:
There are different types of NSAIDs available in the market, but the FDA approves not all.
Here are few from the FDA list: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Ketoprofen, and Aspirin.
The dose of the drug will depend on your physical and medical condition, and your doctor will prescribe your daily dosage.
However, Pain relievers are not the permanent solution to any pain or inflammatory problem, including PF.
Painkillers should only be used in cases where the pain is severe and unbearable.
Every medicine has its side effects from mild to harsh, and NSAIDs are no different.
There are several long and short-term side effects, and the intensity of the side effect may depend on the medicine itself.
The common side effects of oral NSAIDs: Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Constipation, and Dizziness.
Other side effects include Kidney failure (with long-term use), Ulcers, Blood pressure spike, and liver failure.
NSAIDs are known to cause allergic reactions and should be avoided by people having high blood allergy and asthma.
Patients (especially children) suffering from chicken pox and influenza should avoid using aspirin as it may cause the development of Reye's syndrome (a liver disease).
Long-term NSAID use may lead to stroke or heart attack, especially in elderly patients.
When it comes to foot pain, the higher your body weight, the more it will hurt.
The plantar fascia ligament is the band of connective tissues that help maintain the foot arch and absorbs the pressure of your daily activities.
Moreover, with weight gain, you put extra pressure on your foot, which in turn strains your foot muscles and plantar fascia ligament.
Obesity is associated with various adverse health effects ranging from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, arthritis.
Besides, you’re at higher risk of developing heel pain (PF) if you’re overweight.
Researchers found that about 90% of the patients with heel pain are overweight.
Sure it will...
However, to lose weight, you need to exercise, and with the already existing heel pain, it can be very uncomfortable.
Moreover, you may make your condition worse if you decide to walk, run, or perform other exercises to lose weight with obesity.
To maintain a balanced weight, you can try low-intensity exercises like swimming, cycling, and walking on a treadmill.
These activities will help you shed those extra pounds without further straining your foot.
Weight gain is directly connected to your diet.
Avoid snacking on processed & fried food and limit your sugar intake. Instead, add more fruits and greens to your daily diet.
Additionally, reducing stress, proper sleep can help reduce & maintain weight.
You NEED to maintain a decent Body Mass Index (BMI) to get rid of plantar fasciitis once and for all.
Studies found a Body Mass Index between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal for adults.
If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis and have failed to cure the pain, you may NEED to give your footwear a second thought.
The footwear you choose to wear can do two things:
Cause and make the heel pain worse…
...Alternatively, help you beat and prevent PF.
When we walk or run, our foot muscles are put under a lot of stress from the force of our body weight.
This constant stress can make your foot muscles weaken over time, causing pain.
Proper footwear is designed to cushion your heel from the impacts of physical activities and distribute your body weight evenly.
A good pair of shoes for PF can immensely reduce the stress placed on the plantar fascia ligament and accelerate your recovery.
On the other hand:
Non-supportive or worn out shoes can damage the soft tissues further leading to chronic pain, in turn, slowing the recovery process.
If you want pain relief, replace all your non-supportive shoes with shoes that have proper sole padding and arch support.
Avoid moving around barefoot when you’re at home and most IMPORTANTLY stay away from high heels.
You can get a pair of good shoes inserts if you are not planning on changing your footwear for now.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Replace your running shoes at every 300-500 miles and walking shoes every 1500-2000 miles.
After reducing inflammation and working with the causes that lead to PF, it’s time to strengthen our foot and muscles.
Plantar fasciitis is a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), and over time the ligament and other foot muscles become weak.
Moreover, you NEED to do a lot of physical therapy to help those weak muscles gain complete functionality.
Physical therapy is a set of stretching and strengthening exercises designed to help restore the flexibility and strength of your foot and muscles.
Physical therapy can be performed at home as well as by visiting a physiotherapist.
Let’s talk more in-depth about the physical therapies you can perform at home to get rid of PF permanently.
Icing the sole and heel of your foot is a great way to reduce pain and inflammation.
Applying ice to the injured ligament (Plantar Fascia) helps block the pain signals and provide immediate pain relief.
The ice treatment can be performed whenever you’re in pain. However, the best time to deliver ice therapy is after stretching and strengthening exercises or after a busy day.
So, how to use ice for instant pain relief?
There are many ways to ice your foot heel, but the easiest is via ice pack, ice massage, and ice bath.
The use of an ice pack is the easiest as it can be applied while watching tv, reading newspaper or while at your office desk.
A soft ice pack or a medium size bag of frozen corn/peas will work great.
To apply it, put the bag of frozen corn on the floor and rest your foot on the bag.
As the corn is loosely packed, it will mold well with the bottom of your foot.
Apply it for 5-10 mins per session and repeat it a few times a day.Label the bag of corn/peas as “do not eat” and refreeze after each session for future use.
Ice massage can be used in a variety of ways and is an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis pain.
Here we’ll talk about the ice cup and frozen bottle message.
For ice cup massage, fill a small paper or foam glass two-thirds full of water and freeze it solid.
Once solid, peel the top of the glass till about an inch of ice is showing.
Rub the affected area gradually in a circular motion for 5-7 minutes and repeat it a few times per day.
For frozen water bottle, fill up a plastic water bottle (round bottle) with ⅔ water and put it in the freezer in the upright position without the cap on (preserve the lid).
Once solid, remove the bottle from the freezer and put the cap on tight.
Now, sit on a chair and place the frozen bottle on its side in front of you.
Gently roll your foot back & forth over the frozen bottle and gradually apply pressure to massage the heel and the plantar fascia.
You can practice this iced bottle message 5-7 mins several times a day.
Make sure you put back the water bottle to freeze after each use.
The iced bottle massage is a great pain management technique with the added benefit of deep tissue massage.
It also helps the Plantar Fascia ligament to stretch gently, resulting in better arch and foot mobility.
The ice bath is yet another great way to heal plantar fasciitis pain.
Fill a small tub or bucket with ice cubes and water.
Soak your affected feet in the cold water for 10-15 minutes.
Repeat it whenever you feel the pain, especially after exercising, running, or climbing stairs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Over icing or applying ice for an extended period at a stretch may give you frostbite and or damage tissues, therefore, use it till you don't feel uncomfortable.
Secondly, never put weight on the injured foot immediately after any icing therapy. Icing makes fascia and muscles tight, and putting pressure may cause more pain.
Instead, massage the plantar fascia warm (after icing) with your bare hands before actually starting any activity.
Taut calf and feet muscles are one of the many causes known to aggravate plantar fasciitis pain.
Stretching is one of the best heel pain remedies since it significantly improves the flexibility and strength of the plantar fascia ligament.
A study by the Baltalimani Osteopathic Training and Research Hospital in Turkey found that about 96 percent of the patients experience less to no pain after performing stretching exercises regularly.
Many quick and easy stretches can be performed at home or work.
The following are some of the stretching exercises recommended by The American Orthopedic Foot And Ankle Society.
You can make this towel stretch more effective by using a warm towel.
Additionally, you can place a folded towel under your affected foot to increase the intensity whenever you're comfortable.
These foot stretches are very effective in treating plantar fasciitis. They target the stressed foot muscles and help strengthen them.
Experts believe this exercises can help you get rid of plantar fasciitis for good and its symptoms in a short amount of time if performed regularly.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is essential that the intensity is increased gradually and not to hold the stretched position for too long.
Skip stretching and rest if you feel intense pain while performing the stretches and return once you’re comfortable.
Taping your foot is an excellent way to stop heel pain immediately .
Taping can help with multiple problems, but its primary functions are to reduce inflammation & swelling and minimize pain.
Plantar fasciitis taping helps eliminate the painful symptoms by reducing the stress, tension, and movement of the plantar fascia.
It also helps maintain healthy foot functionality and reduces the chances of plantar fascia tear.
Athletic tape (a.k.a Kinesiology tape) is ideal for athletes and the most active people who have to be on there foot a lot.
The two most common athletic tapes recommended by experts are KT tape and RockTape.
There are a variety of taping techniques, but here we’ll discuss “low dye taping,” the easiest way to tape your foot at home.
Before you start the taping process, wash and dry your foot to remove dirt or lotion from the skin. This will ensure your tape sticks well.
Then move on to putting on the tape as follows:
The third tape is applied to secure the first and the second tape. Put it on the joint of the previous two tapes to make it firm.
Athletic tapes have holes to avoid sweating and let your skin breath.
The waterproof design allows the tape to be worn while swimming and while showering.
The tape can be worn for as long as you feel the pain and is made to last about 3-5 days.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The latex in the tape may cause allergic reactions or irritation.
Diabetic patients, individuals with thin skin, or peripheral vascular symptoms should avoid the use of taping.
Discontinue taping if you feel unforgettable with the taping treatment.
Orthotic inserts or foot pads are a great way to get rid of plantar fasciitis fast.
The shoe inserts help patients continue with there day to day activities without pain.
The orthotic shoe insert or insole is used inside your shoes for added arch support.
The inserts help cushion your steps and help distribute weight evenly, reducing strain on the ligament, especially if you have high arches.
The orthotic can help balance and structure your foot, which intern helps stop the pain from reoccurring.
They work great for athletes & runners and individuals whose work require a lot of standing and walking around.
There are a wide variety of shoe inserts available from over-the-counter (OTC) or have them custom made. You will get great results with an OTC.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Remove your default shoe insole before inserting your orthotic insert for plantar fasciitis.
Remember to buy a comfortable insert, has proper arch support, and has a rigid structure. Use your orthotic insole whenever you’re on your foot.
When we sleep, our body muscles go into a natural state of relaxation, which helps repair itself.
However, the relaxed state can pose some challenges for people suffering from plantar fasciitis.
During your sleep, your foot naturally points downwards.
This downward position of your foot allows the plantar fascia ligament and Achilles tendon to relax and shorten.
When you step out of bed, the body weight stretches the contracted ligament, causing acute pain.
To prevent this pain from returning every morning, you NEED to stop your foot from pointing downwards when you sleep.
How? By using a Night Splint...
A night splint is a foot and ankle brace designed to maintain a neutral 90 degree (dorsiflexion) foot to leg angle.
This position helps passively stretch your plantar fascia and calf muscles as you sleep and prevent it from contracting.
Heel splints work great in relieving plantar fasciitis pain very quickly.
Patients have reported a significant amount of pain relief from using foot splints for just one month.
Initially, patients may find it difficult to sleep with a night splint on as most of the braces are quite bulky.
However, there are a few types of braces available that are ultra-light and doesn't bother the lightest sleepers.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It's advisable to wear the foot brace for shorter periods with lower tensions in the beginning.
You can gradually extend the time, and the amount of tension as your foot gets used to the constant stretching.
Make sure you don’t strap in too tight as this will cause issues with foot mobility and blood flow.
Apart from the many health benefits, yoga is also known for its ability to heal foot pain.
Yoga is one of the best natural ways to keep your foot happy and healthy.
Plantar fasciitis is caused due to repetitive strain injury to plantar fascia ligament.
The overstressing of the ligament makes it weak and damaged.
Yoga, if done correctly, can quickly help strengthen and repair the damaged ligament.
Moreover, yoga can help you get relief from back, hip, knee, and any other structural pain as a result of plantar fasciitis.
When you first began with a yoga routine, it is essential to keep in mind not to start with stretches that will put unnecessary pressure on your arch and foot.
Start with the light stretches and gradually work your way up.
Standing & sitting poses, poses that gently stretch your Achilles tendon, calf, and the arch work great (check out the video for the poses).
Yoga can do wonders in treating foot and heel pain if done correctly.
However, it takes time to see positive effects, and you need to have patience and be consistent with it.
With time, yoga will repair and strengthen your foot muscles allowing you to get back to your feet pain-free.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Avoid yoga poses that are demanding on your foot. Intense yoga stretches/poses may further deteriorate your condition and make the pain worst.
Yoga is not the ultimate solution for PF; it can help speed up the recovery process when practiced with the other remedies.
Not all the yoga poses are suitable for everyone, and you need to find the pose that you’re comfortable.
Electrical stimulation, in conjunction with the other physical therapies, is a proven solution for plantar fasciitis.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENs) is a therapeutic technique by which low-frequency current is used to condition the muscles.
This helps break up scar tissues, blocks pain signals, strengthens muscles, increases blood flow, and promotes rapid healing of the fascia.
TENs therapy works by placing electrodes (devices that conduct electricity) on the area of pain, held in place with adhesive.
Small pulses of current are delivered through the electrodes.
The electric pulse contracts and releases the muscles of the area of pain (foot and leg).
This contraction and expansion stimulate the muscles, promoting blood circulation.
With proper blood circulation, comes nutrients and fresh oxygen, which helps to revive and strengthen the delicate tissues.
Moreover, the current stops the pain signals from reaching the brain and also helps produce endorphins, the natural painkiller.
TENs therapy is a great way to reduce heel pain and is often thought to be complementary and alternative medicine.
Many users reported TENs to be a successful way of treating plantar fasciitis.
However, further research is required to confirm if this is a useful pain management option.
One this is certain, electrical stimulation therapies are not the ultimate solution for plantar fasciitis. They can help relieve pain temporarily.
You can get the benefits of a TENs therapy at home or by visiting a physiotherapist.
Heel pain is often caused due to taut calf & foot muscles or due to tense muscles and fascia.
When we are in pain, our first line of response is to massage the area of pain.
Self-massage is an effective home remedy for treating foot and heel pain.
Though massaging may not get rid of your heel pain entirely, but it will provide quick temporary pain relief.
Massage therapy can relax the muscle tissues and increases blood and lymph circulation.
This happens due to the physical manipulation of the tissues and chemicals released due to the relaxation response.
Improved blood circulation ensures more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the damaged tissues.
This helps tissues regain their health and standard functionality.
Additionally, massage also triggers relaxation in the body, which helps reduce blood pressure, stress hormones further decreasing pain.
There are many types of foot massage techniques that are known for their healing ability to ease the pain.
However, before getting started, you need to find a comfortable place to sit and enough place to move your foot around.
Additionally, for self-massage, you will need a bottle of lubricant, a paper towel, a massage ball/tennis ball/frozen water bottle/rolling pin.
These simple tools can help you massage deep, reach trigger points, and ensure an even massage, which is hard to achieve with bare hands.
Apply a moderate amount of oil or lubricant on the sole of your foot for your thumb to glide smoothly.
With your thumb, find the area of pain near the heel of your foot
Apply as much pressure as you're comfortable with
Massage the affected area in a circular motion with your thumb till its warm
Moreover, massage the plantar fascia ligament in the lengthwise from the heel to the toes
Repeat 3-5 times
The tools required for this massage technique are readily available at home.
To massage your plantar fascia with a ball:
Sit upright on a chair.
Place a ball or rolling pin on the ground.
With moderate pressure, roll the ball/rolling pin from the heel to the ball of your foot.
Repeat 3-5 time.
Additionally, you can use a frozen bottle for added benefit.
Massage is not a permanent cure for heel pain and can help relieve pain temporarily.
However, it is sometimes considered more efficient in easing pain compared to merely stretching.
Massages can be performed whenever you're in pain, first thing in the morning, at the office or while watching tv.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Start your massage therapy with less to moderate pressure and gradually increase the pressure as you get comfortable.