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9 Natural Cures for Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

From arthritis to compound fractures, pinched nerves and more, there are a number of things that can cause heel pain. In some cases, such as when the pain is caused by cracked skin, heel pain can be a serious cause for concern. And while you might be tempted to reach for an over-the-counter painkiller to help relieve the pain, remember that those medications don't actually solve the root problem. They just trick your body into ignoring the pain signals. Instead, why not take a stand against heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and attack its true cause?

Here are 9 tricks to help you do just that!

1. Cold Compress

shutterstock_95116573 According to Web MD, a cold compress can prevent heel pain from becoming a chronic issue. It works by controlling the inflammation at the root of the pain. To make a cold compress, place some crushed ice in a plastic bag and wrap the bag in a thin towel. Press this on your heel for about 15 minutes. You can repeat this process as often as it's needed.

2. Stretching

The plantar fascia is a flat band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes. When this tissue becomes inflamed, pain intensifies. In fact, according to the Palo Alto Medical Association, plantar fascia inflammation is the most common cause of foot pain in America. To soothe plantar fascia pain, stand about an arm's length away from a wall. Place your right foot behind your left and slowly bend your left leg forward. Hold this stretch for no more than 30 seconds and the release. Repeat this three times and then switch legs.

3. Epsom Salt

shutterstock_347620487 Magnesium is one of the primary components of Epsom salt. Magnesium relaxes the body and flushes lactic acid, the buildup of which can cause heel pain. Magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin. Make a foot soak with it by mixing 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt with a tub of warm water. Soak your feet in the water for 20 minutes and then pat them dry and apply moisturizer. Repeat this 2 to 3 times weekly until you notice the pain has gone.

4. Turmeric

When it comes to natural pain relievers, turmeric is one of the greats. Several studies have shown that turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that your joints and muscles will love. In some cases, it has been found to work better than prescription medication to relieve joint pain. Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a pot with one cup of milk. Let this simmer on low heat for about five minutes and then add a drop of raw honey. Drink this 2 to 3 times daily until you notice your heel pain has gone.

5. Fish Oil

shutterstock_165598070 If your heel pain is caused by arthritis, fish oil supplements can help thanks to high Omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3 reduces the inflammation, pain and swelling caused by arthritis. A 2006 study published in Surgical Neurology found that Omega-3 is safer than prescription medication commonly used to treat arthritis pain. Follow the dosage instructions for whichever fish oil supplement you choose.

6. Ginger

If your heel pain is caused by rigorous exercise, ginger is your friend. That's what a 2010 study in the Journal of Pain found. Ginger works thanks to its anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving properties. The active ingredients in ginger – gingerols – prevent the production of pain hormones. Ginger also improves blood circulation. Harnessing this power can be as simple as drinking ginger tea 3 times daily.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar Wrap

shutterstock_315664766 Apple cider vinegar dissolves pain-inducing acid crystals in the joints. It's also a natural antioxidant that can prevent the long-term tissue damage caused by conditions like arthritis. You can create an apple cider wrap for your foot by mixing 1 and a half cups of water with a quarter cup of ACV. Heat this mixture and soak a clean washcloth in it. Wring out the extra liquid and place the cloth on your heel. Let this sit for 20 minutes. Repeat as needed.

8. Cayenne Pepper

Capsaicin, the same compound that makes cayenne pepper hot, possesses natural pain-relieving properties. It works by controlling the intensity of pain signals in the body. You may notice that the pain increases at first. Don't be alarmed, it will decrease with further use. You can buy capsaicin in cream form here. Follow the application instructions on the box.

9. Alkaline Diet

shutterstock_287253785 Alkaline diets work to relieve chronic inflammation and pain by reducing your body's acidity. As mentioned earlier, lactic acid is a common cause of foot pain, and getting it under control often results in immense relief. Meet me over on this post to learn more about alkaline diets. A few quick tips:
  • Add more fresh fruits and veggies to your diet.
  • Drink 4 cups of green tea each day.
  • Avoid dairy products.
  • Limit your soda, sugar, alcohol and processed food consumption.

Did you know that walking barefoot can provide major benefits for your feet, including pain relief? Check out this video from David to learn more! Sources: Web MD Home Remedies For Life Journal of Pain Surgical Neurology Palo Alto Medical Association