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Plantar Fasciitis Pain: Holistic Treatment

Last Modified on Mar 28, 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:

Apple Cider Vinegar6
Foot Stretch4
Grapefruit Seed Extract3

User Reviews

Apple Cider Vinegar   6  1   

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?

Replied by Janette

[YEA]   You have been my life saver! I tried your remedy and getting relief after two days... Had this condition over a year.... Thank you from the bottom of my heart x

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!

Posted by Maria (Newmarket, Toronto/canada) on 08/18/2011

[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
Sedalia, Missouri

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.

Posted by Mark, (Forest Lake, Minnesota) on 08/06/2011

[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).

Replied by Carla
London, Uk

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 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. Good luck!

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) 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.

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 Dolly
Everett, WA

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.
Replied by Francine
Texas, US

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

Arch Bands   1  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.

Replied by Cheryl
Abilene, Tx

[YEA]   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

Avoid Cortisone Shots   0  1   

Posted by Lisa Dvorak (Sioux Falls, Sd) on 08/11/2013

[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.

Replied by Jc
Midland, Texas, U.s.a.

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.

Replied by Mike Giller
Denver, Colorado

Lisa: I had a heel spur. You are right, very painful. The foot specialist told me the tendon was rubbing against the bone. They gave me a special shoe that kept the foot at a certain angle.That solved the problem immediately.
Replied by Olga
Chicago, IL

I can totally sympathize with what you're going through. In my line of work I'am on my feet all day, everyday. For the past three years I've been in constant pain. I have tried everything that my foot doctor recommended. The expensive foot insoles, cortisone shots and foot exercises. I feel like this is ruining and running my life. Nothing works. I use to be very active. Not anymore. Please tell me that the Apple cider vinager and baking soda has helped.

B-12   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 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!!!

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 Soak   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!!

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   1  0   

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

[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.

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!

Thanks for all of the ideas!

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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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