"The most frequent cause of heel or arch pain is plantar fasciitis. This is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. A symptom is sharp pain in the arch when getting up in the morning or after prolonged inactivity. Wearing shoes with little arch or heel support, too much physical activity, going barefoot and being overweight all can contribute to the condition. People with flat feet or with very high arches that flatten when they stand up are at higher risk for foot pain problems."
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
[YEA] 01/18/2012: Cheryl from Abilene, Tx: "I can attest to the ace bandage wrapper on your feet - I had the inflamed fascias(?) in both my feet for 3 years before I read on ec to use the ace to wrap - it works!!! 0ver a year and still no problem"Replies
12/20/2012: Icandoit from Portland, Or replies: "Hi all, Not sure quite where to post this info but I recently discovered a book that may help many people who look here for help. It's called Why You Really Hurt: It all starts with the foot by Dr Burton Schuler. I found it at my local library but you my find it online, (though I don't think he even has a website). If you google his name you will find many testimonials for this book and how it explains probably most of the pain you may be experiencing in your feet, ankles, heels, legs, hips, back and upwards from there. He says that the problem stems from a short first metatarsal bone, or it could also be that your first metatarsal is hypermobile either way, it affects the way your foot hits the ground and the way it is supposed to reset itself to prepare for the next step. He dispels a lot of misinformation that is out there about pain, and makes it clear that there is something you can do to feel better. Something that he does not make any money from selling to you (which also makes me trust him as a good source of information) and also encourages you to make your own. There is an entire chapter with photos on how to make and attach them to your feet or insoles.
I just started using the toe pads, and I am seeing immediate results-as in I had pain in my heels, feet, ankles and calves on Sunday... Made the toe pads on Monday... And by that afternoon I could tell that all that I learned in this book was true. I had no problems at work that night (I am a waitress at a busy restaurant) and even more miraculously I had no pain in my feet, heels or ankles-zero- when I got out of bed on Tuesday. That has not happened in a looong time.
I was kind of skeptical that two pieces of foam stuck to the bottom of my feet could do much of anything, and in fact, I had this book for months and thought to myself "oh, I will just try icing it, soaking it, yoga, rest, new shoes, new inserts, podiatrist, earthclinic. Com, acupuncture and meditation first" No results. It only got worse actually. It was only when I was actually hobbling around that I finally thought "I guess I better try those toe pad things" I am truly amazed and just want to pass along this really great resource. This book is truly the only thing that helped me. I think it may just be able to help you to. There is also another book that I saw raves about on this site called Trigger point Therapy Workbook by Amber Davies. I just got it, but I think it may work well in tandem with the foot pads to help undo the stress my body takes on. I will post my progress, in case it helps."
01/29/2013: Jada from Florida replies: "very helpful post! Thank you, can I ask where you got your toe pads from? I would like to try this."
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 08/18/2011: Maria from Newmarket, Toronto/canada: "I had a heel pain and swelling in the planter fascia since four months and looked like it was increasing with tingling sensation in the heel and it was difficult for me to walk, I tried physiotherapy for 6 times where I got eswt plus applied ice packs for 10 min morning and evening for one month but no improvement, took neproxin for inflammation, but the symptoms were same, so I came to know about this site and read about apple cider vinegar and cold water remedy, just after 3 days after using apple cider vinegar twice a day my pain was all gone, but after a week it came back 30 percent. I am still applying apple cider wrap at night, and drinking it with baking soda, and I am feeling much better and I think ice cold water remedy really works. I will post after I get fully cured . |Thanks to earth clinic, I simply love this site."Replies
01/18/2012: Richard from Sedalia, Missouri replies: "I have had Plantar Fasciitis 2 times and I can empathize with the pain. However I have the cure. It takes about a week - may vary some depending on your sitation.
Take an ace bandage and wrap your foot at night so that you cannot point your toes. When you sleep, a lot of times your foot will flex. This inflames Plantar Fasciitis.
If you wrap your foot so that it will not flex, it WILL go away."
[YEA] 08/10/2011: Ccadroz93 from Midlothian, Tx, Usa: "I had crippling facciitis. I did the shots (worthless... The shots hurt more than the faciitis and only gave minimal relief) I have a drawer full of every orthotic known to man (none of which took away the pain in my facciia or my heel) I ended up tearing it doing stretches that were recommended and in the end after 2 doctor recommendations had surgery to repair the faciia. 2 years later my foot is still jacked up and I began having the same issue with my other foot. One day I saw a guy actually running barefoot on the street. I did some research to find out what damage I was sure he was doing to his feet and after reading about these "barefooters" I started going barefoot whenever possible. My good foot no longer has any pain at all and my foot that had the surgery has improved dramatically. All the orthotics were doing is holding the facciia in a shortened position which is the problem in the first place.... When I started going barefoot, it was able to stretch naturally. Pain is almost completely gone! Anyone looking for an orthotic collection?? LOL"
08/06/2011: Mark, from Forest Lake, Minnesota: "I have suffered from severe pain from plantar fascitis and bone heel spurs on both of my feet for over a year now. I have done excersises(given from a P/T), soaking(epsom saltwater), arch supports(professionally made), prayer, ultrasound, corizone shots(the most painful shot in my entire life--ouch), prescription meds, lots and lots of ibuprofren and other ideas.
My orthopedic doctor says he has tryed just about everything he knows and now is trying to ready me for surgury!!! No way in 'H' 'E' double toothpicks will both my feet be cut open!! No way!
I am now trying the ACV wrap on my heels at night with the hopes that this will give me even a hint of relief from this severe pain, (like knives pushing in at the bottom of my feet). Actually, I am anticipating this life altering condition to get much, much better(Lord willing).
My wife(Wendy) helped to come up with this idea about this uncomfortable wrap. She took a female Pad(Always maxi pad), fold it in the center and cut it in half with a sharp scissors, fold the tabs over in the back. Use about 2 tsp for each half and spread around on one end. Use this end to place against your heel and use cheap paper or sport tape to hold in place. I then use a long, larger tube sock to slide over entire piece(being careful not to pull it out of place), and whulla, a cleaner more practical disposable ACV wrap.
I do seem to been having LESS severe pain since I started the wrap(3 days ago) and now am taking the Apple cider/baking soda mixture drink twice and day. (2 tbs apple cider, 1 tsp. Baking soda, 1 tbs honey, 6 oz. Water) the honey makes it bearable to drink. Ha ha (Twice a day)."Replies
08/06/2011: Andrea from Kiel, Wi/usa replies: "I suffered with painful plantar fascitis for quite a few years. After being diagnosed with celiac disease and adhering to a strict gluten-free diet, all of my plantar fascitis problems vanished. Not sure if this is your problem, but if you or anyone else in your family (it's hereditary and some people have NO symptoms) have digestive issues such as bloating, gas or abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea or both, migraines, anemia, bone or joint pain, you might want to get tested. Good luck!"
08/08/2011: Carla from London, Uk replies: "HI, I got better when I switched to a shoe that bent over just under the toes and had padding under the heel.. There's a lot of info on this on heelspurs.com. It was the only thing that worked for me and I felt it healing for me over a week after months.. The best shoes I found were ECCO shoes. And not all of their shoes either so do try a selection on first. It allows the fascia to stretch properly and is very padded. A life saver really in terms of having mobility back.
08/09/2011: Jc from Midland, Texas, U.s.a. replies: "I acquired a raging case of plantar fasciatis that actually crippled me. I was driving long distances constantly - for years - in a small car with no cruise control. Every time I reached my destination, I would have to crawl on my hands and knees and would have extreme pain for days and weeks on end. My brother built me a pair of sandals with a donut hole in the heel of my right foot... That did no good. Coincidentaly, I had a friend who was undergoing a series of steroid injections to the heels and described it as the worst thing that she had ever endured. I said, "Self; I ain't doin' that. "
What worked like magic for me: I borrowed my husband's 2 inch belt and fastened it into a loop. I would lay on the sofa and put part of the belt on the ball of my foot and pull upward. My goal was to see how far I could pull my foot toward my shin bone, pretending that I was going to touch the shin with my big toe. My timing was for as long as a set of commercials last on t. V. Programs, then give it one, last, long, strong pull - release. I did that for 2 weeks - but the fasciatis was 75% better within 72 hours.
Oh, I also put a can of soup on the floor on my side of the bed and forced all my weight onto my arch first thing in the morning for 5 minutes. From Internet research, I found an illustration that explained this disorder so clearly. The foot being in a 45 degree angle for many hours (on a gas pedal) had allowed my plantar fascia to shrink; the calcaneous (heel bone) was building a calcification ledge trying to reach for the facia. It is not exactly a 'spur'. Don't let anyone give you injections - or God forbid surgery - without trying this remedy."
08/16/2012: Lin from Birmingham, Mi., Usa: "What can I do for burning feet at night when I recline on the bed?????"Replies
11/28/2012: Angela from Memphis, Tn Tennessee replies: "This might have to do with your blood sugar. You should do an alkalizing diet to normalize your blood sugar which is taught by Dr. Robert Young and his books are on Amazon.com. He also has a facebook page and a website. Or you could go on green smoothies ala Victoria Boutenko who also has books and a website. When your body is getting too much acid producing foods you develope inflammation which unbalances whatever organs/systems in your body that you are hereditarily weak in. When you eat an alkalizing diet those imbalances correct themselves. Best of all you could become a raw vegan but it takes unusual strength of character to do that."
09/15/2011: Sandra from Greenville, N.c., Pitt: "Since 2005 I have had this lesion in the center of ball of left foot, foot doctor will debriate but that eases pain for about 2 weeks, only way to NOT feel as though I'm walking with a rock in my shoe is to stay off my feet and stay on carpet. I do have a back condition and have wondered if they are tied together, My last Xray showed retrolisthesis of L3-L4, and Sclerosis at L5. Would appreciate your help!"Replies
08/10/2012: Veronica from Melbourne, Usa replies: "I've had foot pain since I was a kid (I'm 20) and I haven't been able to fix it.
When I was younger it would start out as my arches and heels hurting and the longer I was on my feet, the worse it got and I'd have to sit down for a while. I did get arch supports once but they didn't help and if I remember correctly it made my heel pain worse and my arches would cramp up too.
As of now, the pain starts in my heels and then spreads to the rest of the bottoms of my feet. It's hard to explain what it feels like, it's as of my bones are bruised, like I had stomped on a rock.
The longer I'm on my feet the longer it takes for my feet to stop being sore in the days after. If I was out shopping all day and the next morning I get out of bed, my feet are stiff and sore and I sometimes get shooting pains throughout my feet.
I go barefoot 99% of the time (before & now) and that doesn't help. I finally found a pair of sneakers that help keep down the pain somewhat but I haven't found out how to make it go away completely.
08/11/2012: Tamara from Fort Collins, Colorado replies: "Hi Veronica, I suggest a book by biomechanist Katy Bowman called Every Woman's Guide to Foot Pain Relief. Or you can check out her blog Katysays.com. She's the director of the Restorative Exercise Institute in which she teaches practitioners and everyday peeps how to correct their movement so as to live without pain. Most of the whole body exercises are kind of like a cross between gentle yoga and Pilates. I highly recommend her book but you can gain a ton of info for free from her blog. I have to admit though, it takes work and mindfulness to overcome a lifetime of misuse (and I'm only 27). Just search the blog for feet :)"
08/14/2012: V from Some City, Some State, Usa replies: "I'll check those out, thank you!"
02/09/2011: Dallas from Amesbury, Ma: "Does anyone know of a cause of or remedy for foot pain? I have foot pain every morning making my feet stiff and difficult to walk on. The pain is in the long bones connecting the ankle bones to the toes, ie: the metatarsals (I think). The pain is increasing and becoming more chronic. Thanks!"Replies
02/09/2011: Mmsg from Somewhere, Europe replies: "try soaking feet in water with epsom salts or magnesium oil."
02/09/2011: Dallas from Amesbury, Ma, U.s.a. replies: "Thanks Mmsg for your foot pain remedy. I'll try it tonight. I do have magnesium oil."
05/08/2010: Lightawake from Auckland, New Zealand: "help!:) ive suffered depression for 4 years, and while many things are a lot better, one thing that seems to have developed and getting worse is aching hands and feet! i tend to have had cold hands and feet for years anyway, and probably get cold easily, but now my feet are constantly aching, especially when im lying down they are almost buzzing and feel swollen though they`re not - i wonder if it`s the nerve endings...i`m not on my feet all day, i dont know what the cause is. can anybody help??"Replies
07/15/2010: Yannic from Belgium, Europe replies: "Hi Lightawake, Could it be that you have neuropathy? Do your entire feet and hands hurt or only the soles and palms? All the best, Yannic"
07/16/2009: LIN from ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: "SORE FEET AND TOES ALL THE TIME, EVEN IN BED
CAN SOMEONE HELP WITH SORE FEET AND TOES. I HAVE BEEN HAVING THIS PROBLEM FOR A WHILE NOW. NOTHING SEEMS TO WORK, I HAVE TRIED DIFFERENT SHOES, SOAKING IN THE EVENING, LOTIONS, NOTHING. I AM ON MY FEET ALL DAY LONG. I AM WORKING ABOUT 12 TO 13 HOURS A DAY, AND HAVE EVEN GONE BARE FOOT, JUST FOR SOME COMFORT. IF I HAPPEN TO SIT FOR A SHORT TIME, THE FEET FEEL EVEN WORSE."Replies
07/17/2009: Sandy (Sandhya) from Bangalore, India replies: "1. Try massaging your legs and toes with good quality coconut oil, for 10 minutes. Keep this oil on overnight (sleep with this oil massaged into your legs). When you wake up next morning your aches should be gone.
2. Dissolve half teaspoonful of turmeric in milk and drink everyday.
3. Try oil-pulling (see oil-pulling page on this site)"
07/17/2009: Susan from Dublin, Ireland replies: "Hi, I have a job where I am standing quite a bit as well....I read a post on Earthclinic in the Hydrogen Peroxide section which works for me. I pour a capful or two of H2O2 into a pail and fill it with warm water and soak my feet for 20 even 30 minutes sometimes. My feet usually feel great after this. I do it whenever I feel my feet need a little TLC."
07/20/2009: Ger from Dublin, Ireland replies: "Re Lady from Dublin. Can you tell me where you get your HP, I cannot source HP 35% food gradein Ireland. Any leads wouldbe helpful."
07/21/2009: Susan from Dublin, Ireland replies: "To Ger from Dublin: I haven't been able to source foodgrade either. I use 20 volume (6 %) and dilute it down to about 1 %. I use it as mouthwash, face toner, to brush my teeth with, soak feet, but I don't drink it. The pharmacist told me it would be fine and I haven't had any negative side effects from using it like this. I have asked my local health shop to look into getting foodgrade, or if it is possible to get; I will let you know if he finds any!"
07/24/2009: Selena from Chula, GA replies: "Try doing the foot exercises for plantar fascitis (not sure about spelling). Rolling the foot back and forth over a tennis ball is one of the exercises. There are several more that stretch the muscles out in the foot for relief. Google it. Hope it helps."
02/04/2010: Karen from Moberly, Mo, Usa replies: "It does sound like you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis (correct spelling, since I've had this). The ONLY shoes that I was able to walk in after I came down with this were the shoes with the Z-coil for the heel (expensive but worth it and would have prevented it~absorbs the shock~ had I used them prior to the damage).
You will need to stretch out that Plantar muscle, Achilles tendon, and calf muscle since you are dealing with a shortened muscles, inflammation response causing bone spurs (calcium produced as part of the healing response) which are extremely painful when the muscles is stretched over these bone spurs.
The best stretch is toes up on the wall with heel on the floor and bend your knee. I have a stair stepper and stretching the foot downward while leaning forward is great also. I pushed myself and ended up having to quit work to get off my feet (RN) for healing. Good luck. Mine was a severe case and it has almost resolved, but at tremendous cost."
06/25/2010: Paula from White Bear, Mn replies: "The basic problem with sore feet is plantair facitis, meaning inflammation of the tendon, what I have discovered is the inflammation is caused by a calcium buildup...some shoe stores carry a little green ball with flanges on them...while sitting down, rub your foot on this ball while pushing down as hard as you possibly can, you should feel the calcium breaking up, which your body will absorb, it should hurt like a deep tissue massage....if you can't find this ball, you may get some relief with a golf ball, but push as hard as you can...a tennis ball may bring some relief but it will not sufficiently break the calcium, I did all of the things the docs wanted, surgery was next, this cured me in 10 minutes...no kidding."
11/06/2010: Janet from Taos, New Mexico replies: "I have foot pain upon waking every morning. I am a fairly active person - perhaps 20 pounds overweight with a slight skeletal frame (5'3" and weigh 140). I take a complete supplement everyday. The problem is definitely not plantar fascitis. Now my achilles tendons are swollen and painful altho I did not strain them with exercise. I think this is some sort of metabolic problem. I am determined to cure it with some sort of energy or wholistic treatment. When I find the cure I will share it. I have high arches too but wear orthotics every day."
12/30/2010: Alleg from Westvlopp, Belgium replies: "Everyone with foot problems might find it useful to do googling re: Morton's Toe (2nd toe being longer than big toe)."
12/31/2010: Mesem from Toulon, France replies: "Thankyou so much for this advice Alleg. I never knew that there was a name for this. I am a strawberry blonk Celtic so genetic. I had a orthopedist tell me once "these are not very good feet for walking" but neglected to tell me why! Why do doctors withhold simple information like this! I'm already trying the pad, and I think it is helping. Happy New Year!"
08/15/2011: Karen from Reno, Nevada, United States replies: "H2O2 food grade is available at Guardian of Eden Phone 352-563-5200."
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
05/08/2011: Diane from Lake City, Ar: "Is there ANY cure for Tarsel (Tarsal) Tunnel Syndrome? I take Lyrica (Gabapentin) and Tramadol which works to a degree. If I do not take it, I am incapacitated. I've tried massages, heating pads, magnesium oil, staying off my feet and elevating them. I read on this site where omitting Aspartame helped with CARPAL Tunnel Syndrome; so, I will try that along with the other suggestions I found on this site for the Carpal. But, the TARSAL Tunnel Syndrome affect the feet and mobility. The pain has radiated up my legs, too. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!!!!"Replies
06/24/2011: Dennin from Hemet, Ca. replies: "I have been wearing metatarsal orthotics for almost 20 years, they are the best arch supports around. There is a franchise that sells them in almost every state in the U. S. , Emmit Smith is the spokesperson. His feet hurt so bad when he was on Dancing with the Stars, he now wears them. Look them up, I can wear these orthotics in every kind of shoe style, in sandals I velcro them in, voila!
Plantar fascitis is caused by over extension of the ligments on the bottom of the foot, if the four aches in the foot are supported with the properly sized metatarsal arch structure things will go into a neutral state redistributing the upper body weight on the appropriate bones in the feet. Skeletal posturing occurs, you stand up straight and fatigue diminishes. Amazing stuff happens, yep it does."
03/01/2012: Rosemary from White Rock, B.c., Canada replies: "I am a 55 y.o. woman and suffer from very high arches and metatarsalalgia. My arches ached and toes and foot pads were extremely inflamed and painful to the point of being crippled. I tried epsom salt foot soak, and adding more calcium citrate plus B6 and a variety of cheaper inserts and orthotics. What finally worked was expensive orthotics fitted from weight bearing foam imprints in the proper walking shoes, and BORON, At first I purchased the expensive boron supplements, then I read here that an 1/8th of a tsp of BORAX in one liter of water a day is good for the bones, amongst other things..... Wow... Within 2 weeks I was almost pain free and one month later I am out walking again, I honestly never thought it was going to get better as I had the pain for 1 1/2 years, and off and on for 30 years (I am an avid walker)."