Are you looking for some home remedies for plantar fasciitis?
When I knew I had plantar fasciitis (also known as the Policeman's Heel), I was keen to know if there was anything I could do at home to speed up my recovery.
It turns out there are quite a few things you can do to treat plantar fasciitis at home. I’m so excited to share them with you in this post!
Here are some of the top home remedies for plantar fasciitis.
Pain Relief Options
Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce pain and inflammation. Paracetamol and ibuprofen can both help with this.
Taking pain relief when pain comes on can make it less effective. A better approach can be to take it regularly ready for when you have pain.
If you’re not getting any relief after a couple of weeks of this, ease off the NSAIDs and get advice from your doctor. You may need to look at different treatment options to help your recovery.
If you’re pregnant, you need to be a bit more careful with pain relief. Check with your doctor first if it’s okay for you to take NSAIDs for plantar fasciitis.
Taking Weight Off Your Foot
Resting your foot as much as you can help to reduce pain levels. This includes trying not to stand on the affected foot too much.
Taking the weight off your feet means that they aren’t absorbing as much pressure as normal. This gives more chance for the plantar fascia to heal.
Any activities that put too much pressure on the heel area are best avoided such as running.
Stretching your plantar fascia can help to relieve tightness in the heel area. They can also reduce the chances that the problem will come back.
Stretches for the plantar fascia and the Achilles work well for this.
A simple way to do this is to pull a towel around the ball of your foot and draw your foot towards your body. Your knee should be straight during this. Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds and repeat it a few times for each sore heel.
Another option is a wall stretch. This involves leaning against a wall with one straight knee (and heel flat to the floor) and one bent knee. You should feel the stretch in your heel and foot arch as you lean forwards. Hold the stretch for around 10 seconds and then straighten up again. Repeat around 20 times for each heel that is sore.
You can also try crossing the affected leg over the other one and guiding your toes towards your shin. This encourages the arch of the foot and the plantar fascia to stretch. Hold the stretch for around 10 seconds and repeat up to 10 times.
If you’re not sure you’re getting the stretch right, it's easy to tell. The plantar fascia on the sore foot will feel firm if you move your thumb from left to right on the arch.
Here’s a YouTube video with some exercises you can try at home:
Pro tipPlantar fasciitis taping is considered as one of the best methods to reduce pain and relax your foot.
Using shoe inserts can be a helpful home treatment for plantar fasciitis. This is even truer if it’s combined with other home remedies.
One study combining shoe inserts with stretching exercises worked for 95% of people in 8 weeks.
Icing Your Foot
Applying an ice pack to the heel area can help to calm down the pain and inflammation.
It’s best not to apply ice directly on the skin. Wrapping it in a towel is a safer option, for example. Doing this for around 15 to 20 minutes is usually enough at a time. You may want to do this every few hours if you’re in a lot of pain.
Turmeric is very anti-inflammatory, which can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Curcumin, in particular, is a key part of this.
In a study on mice, curcumin could heal inflammatory exercise-induced muscle damage.
As an added bonus, turmeric doesn’t have any of the potential side effects of some of these medications.
It’s worth giving turmeric a try to harness the anti-inflammatory effects. You may be surprised to find it makes a difference to your plantar fasciitis symptoms!
Ginger has anti-inflammatory benefits too. This means it can have a positive effect on muscle pain, for example.
One study found eating raw ginger reduced exercise-induced muscle damage.
This backs up findings from other studies looking at ginger as a pain reliever. It has worked well for osteoarthritis patients too, for example.
Ginger can be a useful option for natural pain relief. It has the added bonus of being anti-inflammatory too so it’s a good option for plantar fasciitis.
Using Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids could be an alternative to Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs.
One study looked at back and neck pain and found that most of the participants had a reduction in pain levels.
Consuming more omega 3 fatty acids alongside turmeric and ginger could help to reduce inflammation. This could have a knock-on effect on your pain levels too.
I hope you have enjoyed this guide and got some great tips on home remedies for plantar fasciitis!
As you can see, there are a number of options for plantar fasciitis home treatments. You’re most likely to get some relief from symptoms if you try a few treatments at the same time.
Just to recap these, some of these include:
- Gentle stretching of the plantar fascia and Achilles Tendon
- Icing your foot to reduce inflammation
- Using pain relief
- Wear supportive footwear
- Using shoe inserts
- Adding anti-inflammatory things to your diet such as turmeric, ginger and omega 3 fatty acids