Nothing is worse than when your feet are sore. It seems every part of your body is affected with pain when your feet are not happy. That’s one of the reason I started my career in reflexology back in the 80s. I have always wanted to help people feel better with natural holistic therapies and working with their feet through reflexology allowed me that experience. I had many clients dealing with plantar fasciitis so I want to share some of the best solutions for plantar fasciitis in this article.
Let’s start with understanding what plantar fasciitis is all about.
WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS
First of all, how in the heck do you say this? It is pronounced like this : Plan-tur Fas-e-i-tis. Websters Dictionary still sits on my desk!
Plantar fasciitis happens to be quite common for many reasons which I will explain shortly. But, what is it and how do you know if you have it? It is often felt as heel pain. There is a thick band of tissue running along the bottom of our feet connecting our heel bone to our toes. This is the plantar fascia and this band of tissue does not stretch.
You may first feel this pain when you get up in the morning. Stepping down on the floor feels like you landed on a bed of nails. Once you begin to move about, the pain will seem less. However, standing from a sitting position may bring your attention to it later in the day.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE?
There are several reasons you may be dealing with plantar fasciitis. The basic reason is you are taxing the plantar fascia tissue. In other words, you are putting undue stress by excessive stretching.
The plantar fascia is like the shock absorbers in your car. It is build to take the pounding so your body doesn’t feel the shock. However, when the pounding is too extreme, small tears can happen to the tissue. With repetition, the tissue will become irritated or inflamed causing the pain you will feel in your heel. Don’t ignore these signs of pain as it can lead to other problems such as hip, knee, and back problems.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Plantar fasciitis is most common in people 40 and older, however, children as young as 6 years old have been reported to suffer from this pain.
The way the foot is designed often plays a part in plantar fasciitis. Being flat-footed or having a high arch can contribute.
Exercise such as long distance running, jumping activities (volleyball, aerobics) even dancing (ballet). If the weight of the foot is not distributed well, there can be added stress to the foot. One reason wearing the properly designed shoes for the activity is so important.
Women who are pregnant or those who are generally overweight may have problems as well. Extra pounds equates to extra stress on the foot tissue. Shock absorbers do wear out.
Another group of people who are at risk of plantar fasciitis are those who work on their feet all day. I am a singer and work with bands. Standing on stage or cement for 4 hours will definitely stress the plantar fascia tissue. Teachers and factory workers are prime candidates.
I’d like to start by saying I use alternative medicine and holistic means to deal with things in my life. That does not mean I don’t respect those trained and practicing Western medicine. It is always important to consult with your physician before trying alternative methods. I am not in any way diagnosing or prescribing here. I am simply telling what I know and sharing my experience with you.
The number one way to protect yourself against plantar fasciitis is just this, keep your body healthy with a proper weight for your size. Wear supportive shoes that fit your activity and remember to replace athletic shoes when they begin to break down. Proper support is very important in prevention.
CALMING THE BEAST
while looking for solutions to calm or ease the foot pain you are experiencing, I believe, there are some common sense holistic possibilities. These I will share with you now.
1. Always wear shoes with good support that are appropriate for your activity. Shoes are designed to provide protection and shock absorption. Bad shoes lead to foot, knee and back problems.
2. Avoid walking on hard surfaces barefoot. When you walk barefoot on a hard surface you foot, without support, can fall at the arch. This will change the way your foot bears weight increasing the chance for plantar fasciitis.
3. Maintain a healthy weight. The average American is considered obese. Maintain your BMI between 18.5 to 25. This is considered normal by all health professionals.
4. Avoid excessive running and jumping. Remember that the plantar fascia is the shock Avoid and can break down with too much pressure or pounding. Give in to some less foot stressing activities such as swimming.
5. Apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas to your foot when feeling pain. (20 minutes is recommended by most therapies)
6. Ginger is a natural root that helps to reduce inflammation. Drink in tea, eat fresh or take health tablets to help.
7. Orthotic inserts are most effective and fit in most shoes. You can find orthotic inserts in most pharmacies or you can have your Doctor order them for you.
8. Soak in Epsom salts and warm water. Soaking in the warm water with Epsom salts and even essential oils will benefit your mental healthy, relax your body and reduce the stress hormones which increase inflammation.
9. Reflexology and gentle foot massage are wonderful for relaxing and increasing blood flow. Increased blood flow is imperative for healing when dealing with plantar fasciitis. Reflexology and foot massage both increase your blood flow. And they both make you feel really relaxed!
10. Taping is a method that supports your foot’s natural arch. The process is called kinesiology taping. It also helps improve circulation. Check out Mighty-X K Tape Roll on Amazon. It comes with video guides on how to use along with the tape.
Dealing with foot pain is common in our lives. Either we have stood too long, run too hard, or forgot to wear our better supporting shoes. There are many reasons why our feet hurt. The most holistic and kindest thing we can do for our bodies is take care of our feet. Just think how much they carry around each day.
I have pointed out what I believe to be the best solutions for plantar fasciitis, along with passing on some knowledge about our foot anatomy.
Please comment on the information in this article. If you have other ways or experiences to alleviate your foot pain, I would love to hear from you.
Get Happy Feet,