But not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis so a correct diagnosis is an important first step in recovering from the foot pain.
Typically, your plantar fascia ligaments act as shock absorbers, supporting the arch of the foot. However, too much pressure on your feet can damage or tear the ligaments. As a result, the plantar fascia gets inflamed, and the inflammation causes heel pain and stiffness.
This condition is common among runners, people who are overweight, people who wear unsupportive shoes like flats or high heels, and those whose jobs require them to stand for long periods of time.
Here are some factors that can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis:
Excess weight can damage the plantar fascia, making it less able to absorb shock, which can lead to heel pain. Pregnancy also raises your risk as it increases the weight placed on the feet.
People who walk frequently, run, or have to stand all day at work tend to be at higher risk. Research has shown that excessive stretching and the tightness of the Achilles tendon can lead to overstraining of the plantar fascia.
People with overpronation (rolling inward on your arches when you walk or run) or flat feet (also known as low or fallen arches) are at an increased risk for plantar fasciitis because the entire soles of their feet are more likely to touch the ground when standing, per past research.
Similarly, very high arches (cavus foot) raise your risk because an excessive amount of pressure is placed on the heel and the ball of the foot when standing or walking.
An unusual running or walking gait can also increase pressure and tension on the plantar fascia.
If shoes don't fit well, they won't support your feet. Inadequate footwear can impair walking and put additional stress on the plantar fascia.
Shoes can make the difference between good health and potential foot, leg, low-back or general health problems. Shoe choice is especially important for people with diabetes or circulatory problems.
When left untreated, plantar fasciitis can become a chronic condition and leave you more vulnerable to knee, hip and back problems. Here's a look at several natural approaches to treat plantar fasciitis.
Here are six exercises from physical therapists that you can try at home.
Plantar fascia massage. You should not experience pain during this exercise. Apply enough pressure to feel a gentle stretch, but not pain.
Heel raise. This exercise should be done slowly and with controlled movements. Make sure to maintain your balance and hold on to a railing or other support if needed.
Floor sitting ankle inversion with resistance. This exercise requires an elastic exercise band.
Seated toe towel scrunches. Make sure that your whole foot stays on the ground and that only your toes do the work of this exercise.
Seated plantar fascia stretch. Complete this stretch in a slow and controlled manner.
Wall-facing calf stretch. Do this with your hands on the wall at about eye level.
Applying ice to the affected foot for 20 minutes three or four times daily should help lessen plantar fasciitis pain.
Although no studies have explored the effect of ginger on people with plantar fasciitis, some medical experts recommend this herb for relieving plantar fasciitis-related pain and inflammation. (Related: 9 Natural remedies for treating plantar fasciitis pain.)
Magnetic therapy (a form of alternative medicine that involves delivering magnetic fields directly to the body) is often touted as a natural means of easing plantar fasciitis pain. It may be worth noting, however, that a 2003 study of 101 adults revealed that magnetic insoles didn't protect against plantar fasciitis any more than non-magnetic insoles.
To increase your defense against plantar fasciitis, aim to maintain a healthy weight, wear supportive shoes, and replace running shoes after every 500 miles of use.
Visit NaturalMedicine.news for more about natural remedies for pains and illnesses.
Watch the following video to learn about six exercises that can help end chronic foot pain.
This video is from the Daily Videos channel on Brighteon.com.