Plantar fasciitis, or “jogger’s heel,” is caused when the fascia connecting the heel to the toes becomes inflamed, which causes intense, stabbing heel pain. This pain begins as a few sharp pains in the morning when a person takes his or her first steps, but eventually can become constant. Runners, people who wear bad shoes, and those who are overweight are most at risk.
Typical Diagnosis and Treatment
A doctor can diagnose plantar fasciitis through a physical examination and x-rays. Traditional treatment involves steroid and/or numbing injections, which eases the pain for up to seven weeks. If injections prove ineffective, then a doctor may wish to schedule a surgical procedure called a plantar fascia release. During this procedure, part of the fascia is cut or removed. Risks involved with this procedure include blood clots, infection, and nerve damage.
Before submitting to chemical or surgical treatments, you may want to explore natural remedies. There are many ways in which you may tame or even banish your heel pain from plantar fasciitis altogether, but we will focus on the use of four natural ingredients.
Epsom salts are pure mineral compounds consisting of magnesium and sulfate, and packaged Epsom salts can be found at most grocery and drug stores. Studies have shown that a combination of Epsom salts and hot water can draw inflammation from sore muscles, joints, and ligaments, allowing swollen tissues to drain. Simply fill a small tub with hot water. Make sure the temperature is comfortable enough for you to comfortably soak your feet. You will soak your feet in this mixture for at least fifteen minutes daily. After soaking, gently massage the bottoms of the feet, concentrating on the arch and the heel. If you have diabetes, this treatment may excessively dry your skin. Apply lotion after soaking.
Ginger is a spice derived from the rhizome of the plant by the same name. Ginger is known for increasing circulation and is recommended by natural healers to ease arthritis pain. Mince about a teaspoon of ginger into a cup of water. Boil the water, and then allow it to cool to the same temperature as a cup of tea. Allow the mixture to steep for up to ten minutes, then drink. For immediate results, drink a cup of ginger water twice a day. It is important that you consult your physician before drinking ginger water, as it may interact badly with some prescribed medications. Ginger may also worsen existing gallstones, high blood pressure, and heart problems.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is helpful for a number of maladies, including pain and inflammation. There are two ways in which to use apple cider vinegar to treat Plantar Fasciitis. One way is to warm a glass of water and combine apple cider vinegar and honey. Another way to use this cure is to fill a small tub with warm water, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and soak your feet in the water for five minutes a day. Remember that it is not recommended that you drink apple cider vinegar directly. Make sure to dilute it before ingesting.
Massage can often result in instant pain relief. You may find it helpful to make an appointment with a massage therapist who specializes in deep-tissue massage, which is often strong enough to bring about a pain response and uses the knuckles and elbows as a means of massage. Studies have shown that deep-tissue calf and foot massage can help alleviate the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis. You can also massage your feet at home using a small amount of warm coconut or sesame oil and rubbing your feet using gentle circular motions, then rinsing your feet with warm water.