Recently several clients & friends have complained of foot pain from plantar fascitis. It's the end of the summer, & we've been wearing flip-flops & going barefoot (which I, personally, love!) & the soles of our feet may be complaining a bit.
Here's a recap some treatment ideas for plantar fascitis that I put together for my friends, & a link with an overview of P F
warning: information contained here is not intended to replace consultation with a Medical Professional
AM - self massage or use a golf ball or 'foot roller' upon arising BEFORE stepping on your foot! Do this every day! You can use a small tool (long slim rock, etc) to apply pressure to the sore areas. (You can ice after this if you want, but don't 'have' to :)
During the day, rest, massage, support, ice, . . . Notice which shoes feel better, change your shoes mid-day, put your feet up when you can. (my mom took an afternoon nap, & always put on her second pair when she got up. Even if they're 'the same,' they'll feel better!)
Shoes - be sure you have adequate support! Your feet shouldn't hurt when you put them on! Those little gel heel supports sold in Bi-mart (locally owned in the NW) & other places are fairly inexpensive, & are often enough! Get several, & don't wear shoes without them for awhile.
Dancing - I'm a dancer, & find that the exercises in ballet & other dance forms give my feet a good work-out. One foot bothers me a bit*, so I'm watching how it feels, & so far, dance class seems 'good' for it :) Ballet slippers have minimal 'heel support,' but many of the exercises invite a lot of foot movement. If it did bother me after a class, I'd ice, & maybe use an anti-inflammatory cream!
(*OK, I had shoes I liked, but if I wore them a couple of days in a row, I'd notice one foot would bother me. I got rid of the shoes :(
PM - Ice - you can use a water bottle 'roller' or direct ice - hold an ice cube in a wash cloth & massage up & down the length of the sole of the foot.
note: Ice will bring in more circulation for TWO HOURS after you've used it, & is helpful when things hurt!
Heat feels great, but tells the body 'everything's OK!' while the message from ice is "send out the troups! Something's wrong here!" hence the boost in circulation. If you couple this with drinking more water, which will speed the release & elimination of toxins, you're on your way to healing.
Soak the feet in hot water with 1/2 C Epsom salts (natural muscle relaxant) you can massage & Ice in the PM - but do be sure to ice. A paraffin dip is another yummy 'feel good' treatment.
Keep slippers with heel supports by the bed for middle of the night trips, so the foot can stay relaxed.
Clay - spread a thin layer of clay on the bottom of your foot & cover with a tissue & sock, you can leave on overnight, & wash off or reapply in AM.
I adore clay, & keep some made up to slather on things! Mix dry powder with water - = amounts, let sit & absorb naturally when you have time. Mix in glass or ceramic container, & cover. You can add a bit of epsom salts if you wish.
Arnica gel, emu oil, MSN/arnica cream & other anti-inflammatory can be used as desired, you can put a thin layer of one of these on first, then the clay. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great source, if you can't find any locally. You can use a 'facial' clay that's pre-mixed if you have that available. A pound will last you YEARS, & you can give clay to your friends! Green Clay is the 'standard' for healing, but any clay is helpful! & yes, if you have nice local 'mud,' try that!
A friend with her second ingrown toe-nail mentioned she felt she'd need to get it removed, & I gave her a little pot of clay & sug. she try that after her nightly Epsom salts soak. By the end of the week she showed me her pink & healing toe - "It doesn't hurt anymore, & LOOK at it!!" Needless to say, she was tickled! (When I was 13 I'd had a toenail removed, & was glad to help save her that pain & slow healing process, without compromising her health!)
Water: divide your weight in half, & that's the number of ounces to strive for daily (ie: 140# / 2 = 70 oz) Some of that can be in the form of veggies - salads & steamed greens - but try for more water. Herbal teas can also be counted as well. Steer clear of diet drinks! & many nutritionists feel coffee & juice don't support cleansing hydration.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, & helps ease a lot of aches & pains, also helps calcium deposits 'normalize' (ie, things like heal spurs) You can also soak in Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) (Dr Radzik, a local nutritionally oriented MD, suggests = amounts Ca & Mag for optimal health)
Vitamin D - helps absorb minerals. If you haven't had it tested, prob at least 1000 IU -Our office now routinely tests, & many folks need 5000 daily, or even 50,000 for a few weeks if their levels are extremely low! One of the NDs commented that she'd attended a conference that included info on Vit D therapy, & that at 10,000 IU a day docs are seeing minimal Ca or osteoporosis!! So have your Vitamin D level tested, if you can; especially if you live N of the 35th parallel! (there's not enough winter sun for ideal production of Vit D)
If you suspect heel spurs, a simple 'folk remedy' that I've seen work time & again (usually less pain in a week or two!) is to take 1 Tbsp Apple Cider vinegar (or any vinegar in a pinch :) in a cup of water with each meal! (Dr Jarvis: Folk Medicine) You can add a bit of honey or molasses, & it will taste like lemonade! (& three 8 oz classes supplies 24 oz of water)
"Dr. Jarvis reasoned that vinegar must be dissolving calcium into the bloodstream, for when he gave cows with milk fever some vinegar, they too recovered immediately. This lent support to his premise that calcium deposits could be dissolved from the joints of the body in arthritic persons."
Yes, you can 'count' the vinegar in salad dressing - you might sprinkle on more vinegar to be sure you have a Tbsp. In a restaurant you can use the 'salad' vinegar in your water as well (rice, balsamic or malt vinegar).
An added bonus, vinegar in water is a great 'pick-me up' for that after lunch drowsiness!! I'd use it at Breitenbush before going into my 1 1/2 hour session @ 2:30, & rarely get sleepy! (since switching to coconut oil, I rarely feel drowsy after lunch!)
You can use the Emergen-C with cider vinegar in water at meals, tastes good & gives the system a nice boost.
Heel spurs are very painful - I've had client after client who decided 'what the heck' & gave the vinegar a try - & a week or two later say "you know, that pain in my heels is almost gone now!"
Vitamin C: 1000 mg or more - this is a general anti-inflammatory.
An adult male goat weighs ~ 145# & produces 7 grams of C daily (7,000 mg)- like the other primates, humans DON'T produce our own vit. C*, so need to get it through food & possibly supplements! Rose hips are one of the simple sources of Vit C, & can easily be added to tea.
A packet or two of Emergen-C is a great way to get a gram or two, & helpful immune system booster to boot.
* Humans & primates lack ONE liver enzyme which is essential for making Vit. C. When exposed to illness or toxins, our livers gear up for production, but fail at the point that enzyme would do its job! Guinea pigs share this lack, one reason they've been used for testing.
Interesting that coconut is used by such a large portion of the population in areas where it grows - fresh coconut does provide some vitamin C, & its antioxidant properties could reduce the need for other antioxidants.
The Chinese feel we're healthier if our feet are flexible & healthy, so play with ways to move your feet during the day - pick up marbles with your toes, flex, rotate your ankles, have fun!