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Plantar Fasciitis: Holistic Options for Pain Relief

Plantar Fasciitis: Holistic Options For Pain Relief
Plantar fasciitis is a painful injury caused by chronic irritation concentrated on the sole of the foot due to excessive use. It is a common problem that many of my clients are either currently experiencing or have experienced at some point in their life.

The arch of your foot is a unique structure. Every time you take a step, your weight pushes down on the arch of your foot, yet it doesn’t collapse because of an intricate combination of bone, springy ligaments, long tendons from leg muscles and of course, the arch muscles themselves. When any of the mechanisms fail, the connective tissue in the arch may start to degenerate and fray causing plantar fasciitis.

The pain and discomfort that results from this condition can be severe, and people often seek out medical advice when the condition worsens. Sometimes surgery is required, but there are many treatments that a person can try first before heading into the OR.

Pain Relief Options for Plantar Fasciitis

Approximately 2 million people in the United States will suffer from Plantar fasciitis, and it generally affects those who are on their feet a lot for work or regularly partake in activities such as hiking, running, and even walking. Although it is extremely common, that doesn’t make it any less painful. Let’s look at some of the things you can do to help relieve pain caused by this condition.

Massage

foot-massage

Deep tissue massage loosens the muscle tissues, removes toxins, and improves the circulation of blood and oxygen to the area that has been affected by plantar fasciitis. By applying deep tissue massage on the fascia and muscles, you will release muscle tension, break up scar tissue, and provide pain relief for those with foot pain.

It is important to see a professional massage therapist when you are looking to reduce pain related to plantar fasciitis. A massage that comes with a pedicure will not be as effective as a true foot massage from a licensed massage therapist.

Reflexology

During reflexology ligaments and muscles of the foot and calf are relaxed and loosened. Similar to massage, the entire foot experiences increased circulation, muscle relief, and improved flexibility. Those who regularly have reflexology sessions have had a lot of success with combating plantar fasciitis.

Yoga/stretching

yoga-stretch-feet

Doing specific yoga poses and stretching can help relieve the pain caused by plantar faciitis. Targeted stretching and yoga can help lengthen and heal the connective tissue that has been strained. The video above shows some specific yoga moves that have been shown to help provide pain relief from plantar fasciitis. Click here to see specific yoga stretches that help with this condition.

Acupuncture

Three studies compared acupuncture with standard treatment for plantar fasciitis. The results showed that acupuncture significantly reduced pain levels in patients. However, this is not a one and done treatment. You must continue to get acupuncture to keep your pain at bay, but if you combine acupuncture with some of the other methods in this post, you can keep the pain to a minimum between appointments.

MELT

The MELT method is an exercise that you can do at home using soft balls and rollers to help massage the bottoms of your feet that helps relax the connective muscle tissue and improves circulation. MELT was created by manual therapist and connective tissue specialist Sue Hitzmann and has helped a lot of people who suffer from plantar fasciitis.

Shoe Inserts or Different Shoes

Sometimes the cause of plantar fasciitis comes from wearing the wrong pair of shoes while you are on your feet at work or out getting exercise. Shoes hold your foot in a static position and inhibit natural shock absorption.

This can be corrected by buying the right pair of shoes or shoe inserts. I would suggest heading to a specialty shoe store or seeing an orthopedist for more information on what shoes and inserts to buy if you have plantar fasciitis.

Warm Foot Soaks

 


For centuries Epsom salt soaks have been used to help reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling. Doing a warm Epsom salt foot regularly at home is a great way to help reduce the pain caused by plantar fasciitis and relax tired feet.  I have shared a recipe above that I think is both easy and effective. Adding vinegar to your Epsom salt soak helps further reduce inflammation and pain, so I highly suggest putting it into your foot soak along with the essential oils of your choice.

The treatments above may also help you avoid the condition altogether. If you have decided to try adding running or another impact exercise to your routine, definitely consider some preventative measures as your body adjusts to the new form of movement so you won’t suffer from plantar fasciitis.

If you are interested in using massage to help combat plantar fasciitis, schedule your appointment below so you can start feeling like yourself again.

Suzanne Schaper

Suzanne Schaper is a Board Certified Massage Therapist in Overland Park, KS. She loves nothing more that sharing her knowledge for health and wellness with her clientele. "A life free of pain and disease is a more full life." Suzanne enjoys assisting her clients in their pursuit of health and happiness.

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