From walking to running and just getting from place to place, many different things can go wrong with our feet over the years. Pain in the feet is caused by a variety of factors, but heel pain is often the result of a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
In this article, we’re taking a look at what plantar fasciitis is, what it feels like, and how you can ease the symptoms of plantar fasciitis naturally.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a large tissue that is located in the foot, more specifically along the bottom of your foot in the area that connects the heel to the toes Plantar fasciitis occurs when this part of the foot becomes inflamed. What’s interesting about this condition is that it is usually the most painful after being sedentary, and the pain often decreases with movement.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
This particular foot condition is commonly caused by overuse and injury. The plantar fascia absorbs shock when you take steps, but it can become inflamed with repetitive movements that stretch or tear it. Plantar fasciitis is most common among athletes, such as runners, as well as people who often wear unsupportive shoes and individuals who are overweight. Adults between 40 and 60 are most likely to have plantar fasciitis, as this condition becomes more of a risk with age. If you work on your feet a lot, such as on a farm or in a factory, you may be more prone to plantar fasciitis as well.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can be very painful, especially when you first wake up in the morning and take your first daily steps to the kitchen or bathroom. Most people who have this condition describe the pain as a stabbing pain that comes and goes throughout the day. You may feel tension or tightness in the sole of your foot, which can make even the simplest of walks more difficult. Walking barefoot or walking with shoes on hard surfaces may feel more painful too.
Natural Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
A medical professional can diagnose plantar fasciitis from a physical exam and perhaps a few x-rays or ultrasound imaging. Upon receiving a diagnosis of this condition, there are quite a few natural ways to ease the pain and prevent it from getting worse.
For example, you can practice targeted physical therapy exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in feet. It is also a good idea to stretch your calves with calf raises and extension to alleviate heel pain.
You can apply ice to reduce the inflammation in your foot, and it may also help to use athletic tape to support the bottom of your foot on particularly painful days. Furthermore, night splints, shoe inserts, and orthotics can be used to help distribute your weight more evenly on your feet and hold the feet in a more optimal position. These types of device therapies should only be used with the recommendation of a medical professional.
Some people swear by essential oils to help reduce heel inflammation, and massaging the oil into painful feel certainly helps too. Meanwhile, anti-inflammatory foods, such as fish, berries, and broccoli, are recommended for plantar fasciitis sufferers to eat in daily meals.
Fortunately, very few people need to have surgery to correct their plantar fasciitis, so natural methods are typically best to treat this type of pain. To prevent this condition from forming in the first place or to prevent it from getting worse, always wear supportive shoes and replace running shoes after about 500 miles. Occasionally switching up your sport-of-choice, maintaining a healthy weight, and changing your working position throughout the day all help to prevent plantar fasciitis pain as well.