Living in the modern world means being on the move, and being on the move often means dealing with various kinds of foot pain. While foot pain can occur throughout the foot, it is particularly common in the heels.
While heel pain can be caused by many factors, the most common is Plantar Fasciitis. Today we’ll look at important information about this condition, including its causes, symptoms, as well as natural, non-prescription solutions using essential oils.
In conjunction with essential oils I would also recommend getting a solid shoe insert for heel support and shock absorption. ProFoot is widely considered the best and can be found here on Amazon.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
This common foot condition gets its name from the part of the foot it affects: the Plantar Fascia. The Plantar Fascia is the connective band of ligament (tissue) that connects your toes to your heel-bones.
When the Fascia are strained, they become weak, irritated, and swollen. This irritation and swelling is one of the tell-tale signs of Plantar Fasciitis.
While this condition can affect people from all walks of life (no pun intended), advancing age is one of the most common causes; occurs frequently among the elderly.
This condition, which affects the arch of the foot, can be caused by a variety of culprits. It’s important to note that plantar fasciitis is usually caused by multiple, repetitive strain. In fact, it’s very rare for plantar fasciitis to be brought on by a single injury. Here are the most common causes of this condition:
- An inward roll to your feet when you walk (pronation)
- High arches and flat feet
- Standing, walking, and running for long periods–worsened when done on hard surfaces
- Being above your recommended healthy weight
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes, or shoes without support
- Tightness in the calves and Achilles tendon
- Advancing age
Plantar Fasciitis is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including:
- An intense “stabbing” feeling near your heel.
- Pain triggered by long periods of standing or exercise.
- Pain that worsens when you climb the stairs or stand with weight on your toes.
Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are pretty hard to mistake for other conditions, but it’s always best to know exactly what you’re dealing with. To diagnose Plantar Fasciitis, you should visit a trusted doctor or medical professional who can assess your symptoms, your past medical history, and your current level of activity to determine whether or not you’re suffering from this condition.
By visiting a doctor, you can also rule out the possibility that you’re suffering from a more severe, degenerative condition, before moving on with a natural treatment plan for plantar fasciitis.
While there are many plantar fasciitis treatments available, many of them carry the possibility of contracting a host of unwanted side effects–particularly when combined with other prescriptions.
That’s what makes various essential oils a good treatment–they are derived from natural sources. Please note that these oils can still be very strong and you should only use small amounts, and should always consult your doctor before you begin a homeopathic treatment regimen involving essential oils.
Best Essential Oils for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Wintergreen Oil
In addition to providing a nicer scent than your feet produce, wintergreen essential oil can also deal with the inflammation that causes plantar fasciitis. Its analgesic (mild numbing) properties will make it easier to cope with foot pain as well.
2. Peppermint Oil
Not only does Peppermint oil smell great, it can provide analgesic (pain-relieving) effects and can even provide a mild stimulant quality to help you deal with the symptoms of various foot conditions. Peppermint oil is a popular remedy to fight fasciitis pain that occurs at night, making it difficult to obtain restful sleep.
3. Lemongrass Oil
Popular as an ingredient in many Asian cuisines, Lemongrass smells great and also fights not only plantar fasciitis, but pain and inflammation as well.
4. Basil Oil
This herb, popular in a variety of Mediterranean cuisines, also possesses strong anti-bacterial properties to help fight plantar fasciitis. Basil oil is also an effective weapon in your body’s fight against inflammation of all kinds. It also has anti-bacterial properties, making basil a versatile treatment option.
5. Frankincense Oil
Frankincense, you’ll probably remember, was one of the gifts brought by the three wise men. It’s also a wise way to treat plantar fasciitis, owing to Frankincense’s anti-inflammatory and even its mild stimulant properties. No wonder that frankincense is one of the oldest known medicinal treatments for a number of conditions!
6. Birch Oil
Birches are not just lovely shade trees, the essential oils derived from them contain many detoxifying properties that make it a great treatment for plantar fasciitis. Birch oil fights inflammation, as well, making it one of the most useful natural solutions for dealing with foot conditions.
7. Geranium Oil
The Geranium, also known in different parts of the world as the ‘crane’s-bill’, is a potent medicinal flower. Geranium essential oil has many benefits for people suffering from conditions like Plantar Fasciitis–notably, the ability to fight inflammation. The smell is quite lovely as well, providing a nice boost in mood and even mental function.
8. Clove Oil
Used widely to bring a spicy, sweet flavor to desserts and teas (chai, for example), clove oil has many powerful medicinal benefits. Used topically, it can numb some of the pain associated with plantar fasciitis, as well as preventing the muscle contractions and spasms that make this condition so painful.
9. Helichrysum Oil
The beautiful flowers known as helichrysums are not only fragrant, they possess anti-spasmodic properties that help treat fasciitis by preventing muscle spasms in your feet. Helichrysum oil is mild, but especially useful when combined with stronger essential oils that bolster its Fasciitis-fighting properties.
How to Use Essential Oils for Plantar Fasciitis
Massage & Oil Rub
Rub the affected areas of your feet with a few drops of essential oils of your choice. Be gentle–too much pressure can actually exacerbate the pain, inflammation, and swelling of plantar fasciitis.
One of the most relaxing ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is to prepare a warm bath for your fasciitis-affected feet. Simply draw a warm bath and mix in a small amount of Epsom salts, as well as 10-20 drops of various essential oils you’ve chosen.
Soak your feet in this healthy, invigorating mixture for 15-20 minutes to experience the benefits. Note: this is an especially effective technique when combined with a regimen of foot stretches, rolls, and yoga techniques.
Whichever way you choose to use them, be sure to use the right essential oils to treat your plantar fasciitis symptoms. We love to engage with readers, so let us know if you have any comments, questions, or ideas in the section below. Be well!
Hopefully after reading this post you can see that Essential Oils, if used correctly, can be a great tool in helping you subdue the pain that can come from Fasciitis, but its not the only tool. There are all sorts of braces and shoes made particularly for this painful foot problem. When treating this issue it’s best to use all that you have available.