Plantar fasciitis, also known as plantar fasciosis, plantar fasciopathy and jogger’s heel is an extremely painful condition, caused by inflammation of the thick fascia tissues of the heels, that affects the heel and bottom of the foot. It is a disorder, usually triggered due to overuse of the feet during exercise, or from working out with poor form. It comes on gradually and is characterized by abnormal foot alignment and failure of the foot to absorb shock properly.
Overtime, small micro tears appear on the fascia, collagen on the foot breaks down and scar tissue is formed at the site. This causes debilitating pain, stiffness and immobility. Roughly 10 percent of the adult population suffers from the type of heel pain known as plantar fasciitisDealing with chronic heel pain from Plantar Fasciitis isn’t easy. The side effects from potential treatments like steroids, prescription medication to reduce inflammation, or even surgery sound as bad as the pain itself. Many people, and with good reason have turned to alternative treatments for Plantar Fasciitis–ones that don’t involve gnarly side effects. And essential oils tops the list of one of the most popular methods of treating Plantar Fasciitis.
While there isn’t any specific research conducted on the effect of essential oils for plantar fasciitis relief, there is research to support some of the general benefits of these oils. For example, German researchers have found that boswellic acid, found in frankincense, interferes with the inflammatory process, thereby reducing inflammatory reactions.
How to Use Essential Oils for Plantar Fasciitis
To heal plantar fasciitis with essential oils, you will need to do a series of stretches, followed by deep tissue massage with essential oils, followed by more foot stretches. Here are some of the ways to use essential oils for plantar fasciitis:
1. Healing Foot Soak
Healing foot soaks performed daily, preferably at night for 15 minutes, are a must for those who want to recover from plantar fasciitis. You can mix a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint, rosemary, frankincense and lavender together with the Epsom salts and warm water in a tub to soak your feet.
2. Deep Tissue Massage with Essential Oils
Use a blend of a few drops of rosemary, helichrysum, peppermint and frankincense mixed with a natural carrier oil like jojoba or argan to give yourself a deep tissue massage 1 – 2 times a day. The massage may be painful but you will feel better at the end.
Many people are turning to essential oils to manage the pain, improve blood circulation and reducing inflammation in the foot. This does not mean that essential oils are proven to cure Plantar Fasciitis, but it is easy to understand potential benefits of oils that may have natural anti-inflammatory properties on this condition
If you happen to love the smell and feel of essential oils, incorporating them into a light massage for your feet, or simply using them in a diffuser or on your pulse points to make you feel more calm or inspired mentally is a great idea. The mind-body connection is a powerful one, and if you find relief and tranquility from using essential oils, by all means continue to use them! If exercising, stretching, and icing isn’t enough to keep your Plantar Fasciitis symptoms at bay, treatments like essential oils, orthotic inserts, and icing are so affordable and low-risk, you can try any combination of them and find what works best for you.