5 Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

by Christina Lasich, MD Health Professional

Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch Those first few steps in the morning can be awfully painful if you have plantar fasciitis. And by the end of a long day, your feet might start screaming a bad, painful tune. Each day just seems to get worse and worse until you just cannot stand or walk. What will silence the pain before you go insane? If possible, you'd also like to avoid going to the doctor or spend an extraordinary amount of money. Is such a cure possible? Yes, by following these five solutions for plantar fasciitis, you can stop the foot pain.

Ice and Massage: Plantar fasciitis is a general, loosely-used diagnosis to describe when the soft tissues in your feet are inflamed. Ice can help put the fire of inflammation out. Some stores sell fancy devices that can help cool your feet down, but just a simple package of frozen peas will do just fine too. After icing your foot for 15 minutes, find the most painful spot and rub it back and forth across the width of your foot. Cross-fiber friction massage is painful to do, but it really helps to improve blood flow and healing. After the two minute massage, ice your foot for another 15 minutes. Repeat this process for each foot at least twice daily. If you have access to a massage therapist, that's even better.

Stretch: Before your feet hit the ground in the morning, stretch the feet and lower leg muscles. Actively dorsiflex your ankles a couple of times to stretch the calf muscles and extend your toes. Stretching everything out before you start walking can help to minimize the pain in the morning. Once you're out of bed, pay particular attention to stretching and strengthening your calf muscles and other leg muscles throughout the day.

Night Splint: In order to prevent soft tissue tightness from occurring during the night, the use of a resting night splint can help to eliminate plantar fasciitis. Yes, wearing a splint to bed is awkward and your bed partner may grumble. However, if you wear it faithfully for a temporary period of time, your feet might start feeling better thanks to your home-remedy program.

Shoes: Because the bottoms of your feet are sore and painful, you need to offer them some protection and relief. When you sprain an ankle or a knee, your joints feel better when supported by a brace or ACE bandage during the healing phase. Injured feet need some type of bracing too. The best shoes to offer support and protection for the feet are hiking boots. The stiff sole protects the foot while it heals. The rocker-bottom shape of the boot sole relieves the stress on the foot. Even the leather uppers give the entire ankle and foot unit more stability. More support, protection, and stability are necessary to cure plantar fasciitis. Another interesting choice for sore feet is the KURU shoe that has a moldable insole and rocker-bottom sole.

Shoe Inserts: You should even go one step further in terms of supporting your feet. Remove the insole that came with your shoes, and buy a better pair of insoles. Some of the insoles available now are so supportive that they are almost like having a custom-made orthotic. Wear your supportive shoe wear all the time in order to give your feet the best possible chance to feel better.

By following each and every step of this home-remedy treatment plan, your first few steps in the morning should become less painful. After weeks of icing, massaging, stretching and supporting, the plantar fasciitis will likely be cured without going to the doctor and without spending a bunch of money.
Now that's affordable health care.

Christina Lasich, MD
Meet Our Writer
Christina Lasich, MD

Christina Lasich, M.D., wrote about chronic pain and osteoarthritis for HealthCentral. She is physiatrist in Grass Valley, California. She specializes in pain management and spine rehabilitation.