There's a pain that strikes your foot, starting in the heel and radiating up through to your toes. It feels like a pinch, a stab, and a tear all at once as every step becomes horribly painful.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries, and while preventable, it's also treatable. So, if you have this issue, keep reading – we have some exciting information for helping prevent it from happening and preventing flare-ups.
Why Am I Feeling This Pain of Plantar Fasciitis?
Generally, the thick ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot, the one that acts as a shock absorber and helps support the arch of your foot, becomes inflamed. It could be because it's too stretched out, there's too much pressure on it, or you gave it a nasty twist.
Some research says that it might be better to call this plantar fasciosis as the damage in some people is more degeneration than inflammation.
Plantar fasciitis happens in women a little bit more than men, usually because of pregnancy. The extra weight increases the pressure on the foot and causes more inflammation – people who are overweight experience the same increased risk.
Fortunately, it is treatable. And you can recover from it.
What's The Typical Recommendations?
Normally, doctors recommend home treatments like resting, icing, using braces, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Sometimes, they recommend an injection of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and pain.
They also recommend staying off your foot to let it heal. Gentle stretches are sometimes prescribed in physical therapy, as are swimming and other low-impact activity.
Even more holistic treatments recommend rest and relaxation in the initial few days.
Is There Anything Holistically I Can Do To Stop The Pain And Get Back To Normal?
In the holistic and alternative medicine world, the recommendation for plantar fasciitis differs a bit from traditional medical treatment.
Holistically oriented doctors are finding that their usual recommendations of rest and bracing aren't fixing the problem.
They're helping people to walk in a biodynamic way or how to best walk for our physiology. This has more success in completely eliminating the problem.
For many people, the problem lies not in the tendons being able to support our feet but placing too much stress on that tendon. Many people walk with too much weight on their heels or the balls of their feet. Women tend to be more on the balls of their feet because of heeled shoes.
Walking correctly distributes the weight throughout the foot and rolls that weight through the various tendons and muscles. It's also a very soft step, avoiding the slamming flop of a foot hitting the hard surfaces. (You know those people you can hear walking a mile away)
Walking more biodynamically uses the knees and the hips to control most movements, taking the pressure off the feet.
It takes work to learn how to walk, because most of us never learned properly in the first place and don't pay much attention to it.
Tip For Preventing And Healing Plantar Fasciitis
Rubbing your feet, especially the arch of your foot 10 to 15 minutes a day can help relax the tendons and muscles that support your foot. Plus, it gives you a chance to look at your feet and see any problems.
There's a series of exercises specifically designed for stretching the tendons of the feet
- Achilles Tendon Stretch
- Toe Stretch – gently stretch your toes as far back as possible and hold
- Towel Stretch – loop a towel over the ball of your foot and gently pull straight back
- Walk barefoot
Having good supportive shoes and footwear is essential for running, working, and moving around on hard surfaces. But, if you can get out onto softer surfaces such as grass or sand, go barefoot. If forces you to pay more attention to your feet and how you step and helps build up the muscle and tendon strength to keep your body supported.
- Cabbage and vinegar
We know this one is a little odd. Soaking your feet in a weak vinegar bath helps reduce inflammation. Then, take softened cabbage leaves and wrap them around the bottom of your foot and secure with an ace bandage. Leave that on overnight. Cabbage contains anthracyanins linked to reducing joint pain and inflammation, and apple cider vinegar is rich in magnesium, which helps heal.
- Massage your feet with aloe vera
Many herbs help reduce inflammation, and aloe can help keep your feet soft and relaxed.
Remember, keeping a healthy weight and moving properly can help prevent problems from the forming. If you have developed plantar fasciitis, we recommend trying some holistic treatments in conjunction with traditional therapies.