Plantar Fasciitis Pain: Holistic Treatment

Last Modified on Feb 17, 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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Most Popular Plantar Fasciitis Remedies:

Foot Stretch3

User Reviews

Apple Cider Vinegar   1  0   

Posted by Kimm (San Luis Obispo, California) on 05/12/2012

[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?

Apple Cider Vinegar Wrap   1  1   

Posted by Cde (Post Falls, Id) on 04/05/2010

[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) 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.

Posted by Dolly (Everett, WA) on 05/24/2009

I had Plantars Fascitis for a couple years. I used shoes with high arch support, a sandal made in the US, Chaco sandals. I never walked without them in my house even. After a few months it finally went away. It came back a year later, mildly. I made sure to walk only in the shoes indoors too. All gone now. No problem w/ fascitis for 5 yrs. The other problem I found was using a shovel in your garden. DON'T use your foot to press the shovel down.. that is the ultimate insult to the fascia! DO stretch your feet w/ straps, or standing on your toes, like you're reaching for a top shelf, or standing at the edge of a step and stretching your foot that way. Best wishes.

Posted by Man (FC, CO) on 10/22/2008

[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.

Replied by Francine
Texas, US

Please look into a homeopathic doctor for plantar fasciitis. People have been cured with homeopathy.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Molasses, Baking Soda   1  0   

Posted by Joan (South Riding, Virginia Usa) on 02/03/2012

[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!

B12   1  0   

Posted by Deb (Claremore, Oklahoma) on 07/18/2012

[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 from Walmart, 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!!!

Replied by William
Clover, Sc

I plan to start trying this to see if it will help me. I will send my results after a few weeks.

Boots   1  0   

Posted by T (Denver, CO) on 10/26/2006

[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.

Replied by Amanda
Cleveland, Ohio

Hi, that sounds like a terrific and simple remedy, but I wanted to point out that the condition that you are describing is not a heal spur. Heal spurs are on the under side of the foot and are due to prolonged cases of plantar fasciitis in which the fascia becomes detached from the bone and a little bump of bone grows in its place. It is the damage to the fascia that causes the pain, not the bone spur itself.
Replied by Cubuwu
Cordoba, Spain

Not a heel spur? What do I have then? I have a big lump on the back of my heel, at the top of the heelbone. My achilles tendon rubs over it and everytime I sit down it gets really stiff. I can hardly walk! I've read through most of the comments and I don't think any of them will work for me. This has developed WHILE I was taking a daily shot of ACV and Turmeric. I also take 3mg of creatine daily. I want to stop this pain because it's driving me mad. Its getting so bad that I dream about being able to doing sports which involve impact X)

Borax   1  0   

Posted by Alex (Hawthorne, California) on 11/25/2012

[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!!

Brace, Insoles, Exercises   0  0   

Posted by Kelly (San Francisco, Ca) on 08/15/2009

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.

Calcium   1  0   

Posted by Bern (Sydney, Nsw, Australia) on 06/20/2012

[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
Ontario Canada

Have non stop pain in feet and legs that makes everyday activities difficult to impossible. Just wondering abut how much calcium you took ? My nails are extremely thin and fragile so I am wondering if [like in your situation] calcium is the issue ? Thanks for any help.

Cod Liver Oil   0  0   

Posted by Mary (Syracuse, New York) on 05/15/2013

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  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.

Diatomaceous Earth   1  0   

Posted by Mytake (Wilmington, DE, USA) on 09/10/2014

[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.

Dietary Changes   1  0   

Posted by Susan (Tx) on 01/20/2014

I have been suffering with either heel spurs or plantar facititis for over a year. I have done numerous eating plans and recently tried eating paleo. I also started taking 2 tbsp of coconut oil per day and eating more oranges and 1 banana a day. The past few weeks I have been in so much pain that it is horrible to even walk.

I started to look into foods that cause inflammation and got out my Eat Right For Your Blood Type. I am type A+

I should be eating vegetarian and I do prefer veggies and fruits. I was surprised to see that a few of my avoid foods are coconut, oranges, bananas and they have been in my daily diet!

I thought the diet was kinda goofy but was going to give it a try. I have eliminated all of my avoid foods and have been eating mostly my beneficial foods for my blood type.

I am noticing that I am not feeling bloated and my joints and feet feel way better! I am going to keep trying this eating plan to see if it's just a fluke or if there is something to this eating plan.

I will update in a few weeks to let everyone know how things are going.

Replied by Pc

[YEA]   The blood Type works like a dream. May I suggest that you read the Book "live right for your type" its more up to date and takes into account many more things. although the first book is still brilliant. Secretor status is one of the most important things. This can change the foods that are beneficial. The blood test is not expensive. Feel free to contact me if you need further info.

While you are at it I would also get an "MN" blood group test done to see if you are MM, NN or MN... that can make a bif difference to especially if you are "MM or NN". Good luck and lucky you for finding the blood type diet.

Replied by Thehandyman1947

People don't pay attention to the blood type diet, because nobody makes money on the diet, but it works. I have the blood type diet typed on paper, so it's easy to follow, trying to copy and paste, if I can figure it out I'll send it.
Replied by Susan

I bought two books on the blood type diet and also found the cards that you can carry in your purse. I'm learning pretty fast what foods to avoid but hate not eating some of my favorites such as bananas, oranges, mangos and coconut!

It's a good thing I love eating more vegetarian but I need to figure out how to get in my carbs, protein and good fats. I also try to avoid eating anything processed so the blood type food plan should be easy once I get the hang of it!

Thanks for offering to forward your info but don't worry if you can't copy and paste it.

Replied by Susan

I was told by my Naturopath dr to start eating vegetarian years ago because I had A+ blood. He also ran tests on me and showed me that my alkaline phosphatase was so low that it didn't even register on the lab charts! Type As have low levels to begin with.

I tried it but it got hard to make two different meals so I went back to making healthy but not good for your type foods. Now I am noticing that my body feels lighter and I am not hurting as much. It seems like a fluke but I am going with my gut feeling and will stick to eating more vegetarian for the time being. I also notice that I'm not clearing the phlegm from my throat!

I'm going to order the secretor test from the Eat Right For Your Type web site. Thanks for all of the ideas!

Foam Roller   1  0   

Posted by Laura (Woodberry, Nsw) on 06/22/2011

[YEA]  re plantar fasciitis and heel spur...

the only long time relief I have found are those new walker rocker shoes..... i had tried a lot of things... the stretches, massage, pain killers....these shoes work and if I chose I could again use my other shoes... not sure for how long though...these are the shoes with the curved sole.... they stop the heel strike....

Posted by Anna (Austin, TX) on 05/08/2009

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  I've had the plantar fasciitis pretty bad for over a month. I couldn't even walk around the house without being in real pain. I used a firm, foam roller and had one of my kids add a little weight to roll out my calves from the knees down. The very next day the pain was very managable. It's like getting a deep massage. Much more effective than just stretching. The heels still hurt when I stand or sit in one spot for too long. I'm guessing that's the calcium deposit. I'm going to try the ACV treatment. I'm a runner and I'm tired of being sidelined.

Replied by Cathy
Roanoke, Va

Sketchers have now come out with a newly designed shoe that is awesome! If purchasing the heavier, larger profile "rocker", please use caution with wearing these - you need to break them in gradually - meaning gradually wear them longer each time you put them on. I've talked to a few people who have had pulled tendons and other problems from putting them on and wearing them for long periods of time without slowly breaking them in.

The newest shoes are softer, the sole is split to make it very flexible, and they weigh next to nothing. I am very pleased with them and didn't have to break them in much as the profile is smaller. After my raves, two other friends of mine bought them and love them as well. I am hopeful that this will help me continue to walk regularly and that they soft soles will hold up and not break down quickly. Koodos to Sketcher for coming up with these shoes!!

I am dealing the a heel spur now along with tendonitis in my elbow. Both occured at the same time after a minor accident from getting trapped beneath a large trash can that was filled to the brim with rocks, soil, and grass clumps. I figured the shock to my system may have been the cause of the two. I am going to give some of the ideas here a try and will post my results as things progress. After reading many suggestions, and because I am cautious as to what I put into and onto my body, I believe I'll begin with taking the AVC (hope I can handle the taste! ) and increase my calcium, magnesium (aids in calcium absorption), and vita D - all of which you need more of as you age anyway. I will strongly suggest purchasing only good quality suppliments and stay away from drug store, grocery store brands. Do your homework when shopping for suppliments and consider only using those purchased from natural food stores or Shak.... products (don't know if I can name specific companies or not).

Replied by Pumpkin
Middle Of, Indiana

To Cathy from Roanoke: I also developed plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow around the same time, early last year. I am 45 now.

I asked, but the doctor and physical therapist told me that these two conditions had nothing to do with each other, but I just felt that they did.

It seems that all my connective tissues have suddenly taken a turn for the worse, without an obvious reason. I feel that my entire body is more fragile than it was, and don't know why. Maybe I'm lacking some substance (mineral or vitamin etc. ), or maybe I have taken too much of something in the past few years (I do take quite a few supplements), or maybe there is something going wrong within my physical structure.

The physical therapist said that it was just aging, but I don't know if aging (in the early 40s) happens that fast, like from going to feeling just fine and pretty resilient physically, to feeling like things were quickly breaking down due to only minor stresses and strains being put upon them -- from one month to the next. And then not getting any better, even after a year of living very healthfully and trying several treatments.

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DISCLAIMER: 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.

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