Last Modified on Aug 27, 2015
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
When chronic foot pain affects the heel and possibly the arch of the foot, the cause is most likely plantar fasciitis (sometimes plantar's fasciitis). This chronic pain condition is the result of inflammation in the plantar fascia, a band of connective tissue running from the heel to the toes. Often it is the result of irritation from a heel spur growing off from the bone. Plantar fasciitis pain is common in runners and hikers, but can definitely afflict walkers as well or anyone on their feet all day. Obesity and shoes without proper cushioning can also be a factor.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are often worst first thing in the morning (often a stabbing pain) and include heel pain, inflammation, pain in the foot arch, gradual worsening, and pain that may occur in only one foot.
Find a Natural Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis!
Earth Clinic community members recommend several home remedies for this condition, in particular apple cider vinegar for plantar fasciitis treatment. Acupuncture for plantar fasciitis pain also shows some promise, as is the case with many chronic pain conditions. Of course, always start with an ice compress, elevation, rest, stretching. and possibly arch supports or better shoes to reduce irritation of the plantar fascia. One stretching trick is to use a tennis ball, and while seated roll the entire bottom of your foot all around on the tennis ball, using a reasonable amount of pressure. This treatment can substantially reduce plantar fasciitis pain in 2-3 days.
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To everyone suffering with foot pain, joint pain, tendon pain etc--along with ACV, which can give really good results look at your coffee intake and try cutting back to none or just one cup a day. The same for black tea. Many will scoff--coffee can't hurt--oh, yes it can, especially in excess.
[YEA] Re: Cure a Heel Spur. As recommended by the late Dr. Jarvis, I've used apple cider vinegar to good effect. For instance, I started drinking 2 capfuls a day of ORGANIC apple cider vinegar in an 8 oz glass daily and felt relief from plantar fasciitis in both heels within a few days. It's possible that the potassium in apple cider vinegar is the active/effective ingredient (as Jarvis suggests)? But I've tried taking potassium tablets alone and did not get the same results, so there must be something intrinsic to organic apple cider vinegar that causes the healing effect? Also, it seems to be important that the apple cider vinegar be organic, because "regular" apple cider might actually be white vinegar in disguise and/or they've filtered out all the beneficial qualities from the "regular" vinegar?
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[YEA] Around April 2011, while doing heavy exercises, I got what I thought was another bout of plantar fasciitis. I tried stretching my foot and my calf. I tried homeopathic remedies. I tried 12 weeks of acupuncture. I tried Chinese herbs. While many of these reduced the pain for a while, none took it away. In December 2011 my chiropracter suggested that plantar fasciitis does not last that long and perhaps it was a heel spur. I had my foot x-rayed and, lo and behold, there was a heel spur identified.
I immediately began researching "Natural Heel Spur" remedies and can upon the Earth Clinic site. I read this post about ACV, molasses and baking soda, as well as MSM, and began them all the first week of January. I also added calcium/magnesium supplements. After about a week the pain was subsiding. After two weeks, I stopped taking the Chinese herbs. It was about that time that I stopped adding molasses to my ACV/baking soda beverage. Then I stopped the MSM, as I was feeling lightheaded whenever I took it.
By the end of Week 3, my heel spur was nearly gone. I could push on the area and feel it was slightly tender. By Week 4 (last week), my heel spur was gone. Vanished. Melted away. My foot no longer has the feeling of walking around with a nail stuck in it. While I have to be careful while my foot gets stronger, I can walk short distances without pain. ACV is a lifesaver. ACV works, if you give it time. I believe the way to distinguish between Plantar Fasciitis and a heel spur is the difference between foot pain and feeling like a nail is in your heel. The nail/heel pain signals a heel spur. Try it, and good luck!
[YEA] 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.
Replied by Richard
[YEA] 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).
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[YEA] My very active 10 year old daughter was suffering for two weeks trying to play soccer, etc but in so much pain she couldn't walk. We took her to the doctor where he Dx her with plantar fasciitis and gave her exercises/stretches which she tried with no immediate success, and stopped doing them. My dad recommended apple cider vinegar (acv) and baking soda and this site. She took 2 Tbsp ACV and 1 tsp baking soda (use a tall glass) in a little juice, twice a day. After ONE day of this she noticed the pain was minimal and she could easily participate in her soccer practices. The pain was completely GONE after a few weeks. She continued taking the mixture for awhile preventatively. It was explained to me that the ACV helps balance out the bodies pH levels which can help with many issues.
[NAY] I have had horrible plantar fasciitis pain for year now and have tried everything. My latest attempt was taking ACV too, and it didn't seem to help at all. Other people seem to think it did the trick. I wish I knew a cure. I had to give up running and it's painful to walk.
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I've been suffering from acute plantar fasciitis for about 5 years now. I've tried stretches, exercises, ice, and APC with very little luck, so I finally started on cortezone injections, which only had minimal short term effect. I've recently tried an arch band that has helped exponentially. I can't name the brand, but I found it on a dancer supply website.
It's a fabric band that you wrap around your arch. It has a velcro tab that sticks to the fabric, so it's highly adjustable. Attached inside the fabric is a triangular hard foam pad that acts as an insole... even in sandals or bare feet! You buys a pair of them, but I have extremely high arches, so I double up on the foot the I have the most problems with. They're washable, but the fabric tends to break down a bit over time.
I wear them 24/7, except when I'm in the shower, and I've gone from not being able to walk on my heel at all, to being able to get up in the middle of the night with only minimal pain. I've been using them for about 1 month now and, though they haven't taken all the pain away, I can walk somewhat normally now.
Replied by Cheryl
[NAY] I am a sufferer of heel spurs. I am desperately seeking help and natural help, no doctoring. I had a cortisone shot in my heel about 20 years ago and believe me when I say DO NOT let a doctor do it to you. Oh my gosh it is the most horrific pain you can endure. I'd give birth to ten kids at once before I ever do that again. Believe me it won't be repeated. So if there's a natural solutionI'm all for it. What's everyone recommending.
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Midland, Texas, U.s.a.
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[YEA] I was recently diagnosed with Plantar Fascia. I have suffered with the pain for almost two years. A friend of mine told me that if I took about 7-9, B-12 pills a day, it would very likely help. Well, I didn't have anything to lose, so, I started taking, about 7 of the 1000 mg B-12 pills throughout the day and within three days I noticed I was pain free. I still take two B-12 pills each morning, and after 1 month, I am still pain free. Thank the Lord!!!
[YEA] My husband used to have a heel spur, but it completely went away after he started wearing boots a lot. Apparently the back of your shoe can irritate your heel and cause a heel spur, but not so with boots because they go all the way up the back of your calf.
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[YEA] I want to thank this community for the information provided on the use of the Borax soaks for heel spur pain.
I went through 9 months of plantar fasciatis generated from heel spurs as it turns out. I tried orthotics, heel cups, new shoes, ibuprofen, ice, heat, pulse massager, and copius amounts of beer (beer not necessary, I know).
Untill one day when I read this board and said, "what could I possibly lose". I bought borax, powdered 20 mule team, poured warm water into a container and plenty of powder. never measured, I was just not hesitant to add.
24 hours later, I was better. 2-3 days into it I could feel something happenning as my foot soaked. I was so far gone that it's taken 9 - 10 days of soaking but i'm finally awaking pain free and I feel but a little sting every now and then.
I will continue to wrap and cushion my arch and my heel, as well as soak until it's all gone. Happy soaking all!!
[YEA] Some years ago I developed a pain, mainly in the heel area, on both my feet. I was unable to walk for more than half an hour without feeling excruciating pain. It was so bad, I was on my hands and knees crawling. On visiting the doctor, I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. To cut a long story short, I took calcium supplements over a number of months and the pain disappeared. The calcium pills I took are very strong so I caution everyone to be careful of the dosage they take. Other than that, I would recommend heel spur sufferers to take calcium supplements (with Vit D to help absorption) to get rid of this ailment. Hint: constantly look at the health of your nails to see whether your calcium intake is lacking/adequate/too much and vary your intake accordingly.
Replied by Rose
[YEA] I love this site! This is my first post. I'm a 55 year old female and have suffered a good deal of my life from plantar fasciitis. Of late, it has reached a point where if I sit for just a few minutes, any time during the day, I suffer just to get walking again! I came across some info on cod liver oil and decided to try it. Within about 3-4 days my pain was nearly gone! It has also greatly relieved my long standing head and neck pain/strain from wearing bifocals!
I take 2 teaspoons of lemon-flavored cod liver oil mixed up well with 2 teaspoons of milk once a day. Cod liver oil thins the blood, so if you are on blood thinners such as Plavix or Coumadin do not take it! Also, if you have an upcoming surgery, do not take for two weeks before hand! (and a bit after). Pregnant and breastfeeding moms should also avoid! Do your research!
Once you are on it, you can skip a dose or two, but if you stop it, the pain will return! When you stop it for a few days, you realize the benefits you were receiving from it! So, my plantar fasciitis is much better, but not cured.
[YEA] I have used food grade diatomaceous earth for a little over two months now, worked my way up to two tablespoons a day in a glass of water. What I have noticed so far is my plantar fasciitis no longer hurts on my right foot, my nails are growing so fast I have to "tend" to them twice a week, improved energy levels, 2X daily bowel elimination (as opposed to one). All of this has taken about two months so patience is key. At 51 years old, I do exercise daily, eat about a 75% clean diet, but have about 30 pounds to loose. I believe the food grade DE is really pretty awesome...and is not a danger if properly used. I am a nurse and do believe many simple natural products support our immune system greatly. DE is one that I will continue the rest of my life with one day off a week. Good luck everyone - follow your intuition.