How many hours a day do you spend on your feet? Four, six, eight hours? If you spend a good chunk of the day standing, then you are probably used to having sore feet every now and then.
People who are suffering from plantar fasciitis are, on the other hand, used to being in pain with every step, especially in the morning.
Feeling great discomfort while doing basic daily chores will make you realize how important our feet are. They help us stay mobile and help us stay alive. When the flight instinct kicks in, it is up to our feet to get us out of dangerous situation.
The painful symptoms of plantar fasciitis can be relieved using therapeutic essential oils. Keep on reading to find out what essential oils are particularly great at relieving pain and improving physical performance.
Understanding Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes heel pain in about 10% of the population. The pain is triggered by inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a thick connective tissue running across the sole of the foot.
People who are affected by plantar fasciitis typically experience pain with first steps in the morning. Tenderness usually subsides with movement; however, being in motion for too long and getting up from the chair can trigger discomfort once again.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by repetitive pressure and strain placed on the soul of the foot. Little tears in the fascia lead to inflammation which is the root cause of the sharp pain. There are several risk factors that may cause or contribute to this reoccurring trauma.
- Plantar fasciitis is more prevalent in people above 40 years of age.
- Doing exercises that put a lot of pressure on the arch of your foot such as long distance running and ballistic jumping increase the risk of tearing.
- Being flat-footed or having a high arch or abnormal walking pattern may cause your weight to distribute unevenly.
- Wearing ill-fitted footwear that does not offer enough support can put pressure on your feet.
- Being overweight puts pressure on the connective tissue.
- Cooks, construction workers, teachers, and other professions that require standing on hard surfaces increase the risks of developing plantar fasciitis.
At Home Treatment Options:
The best long-term cure for plantar fasciitis would be eliminating risk factors; however, that is easier said than done, and in some cases, it is not even possible. Medical experts suggest that plantar fasciitis can be improved or reversed with foot stretches and leg exercises. Those will improve the flexibility and strength of your feet.
You may be wondering where essential oils come into play.
Well, not a single scientific research has evaluated the effects of essential oils on plantar fasciitis yet. However, there is plenty of research confirming the strong anti-inflammatory activity of certain essential oils. Lack of scientific evidence has not stopped people from enjoying the therapeutic effects of different plant extracts.
In fact, people have been using analgesic essential oils to treat a variety of pain-causing ailments for centuries. Common knowledge and personal success stories have kept the traditional medicine alive.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is a versatile natural remedy found in people’s personal medical cabinets and survival kits across the world. Lavender oil has gained worldwide recognition for a good reason. It is effective in treating a number of physical and mental illnesses. The oil obtained from the lavender plant is has shown great results in relieving pain and inflammation.
The research suggests that topically applied lavender oil provides similar pain-relief effects as tramadol, an opioid medication used for treating moderately severe pain. Lavender essential oil is a natural analgesic that successfully relieves inflammation and swelling.
Your aching feet could positively benefit from lavender oil massage. Without the pain, your body will be physically prepared for daily challenges and emergencies.
Bergamot Essential Oil
There is a whole spectrum of different citrus essential oil available on the market, one of them being bergamot essential oil. The oil obtained from bergamot fruit has its own unique therapeutic effects that could help you alleviate your discomfort.
Bergamot essential oil counteracts inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms, so much so, that its aromatherapy is used for treating neuropathic pain, a chronic medical condition often caused by nerve damage.
It is believed that the compound called linalool gives bergamot essential oil its powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Linalool is also found in lavender and rosewood essential oils, so feel free to make your own unique blend that will help you alleviate tension in your feet and muscles.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil is obtained from the resin of the Boswellia tree native to Somalia and Arabian Peninsula. Frankincense oil is has shown to be effective in treating a number of illnesses, from depression to arthritis pain. For that very reason, you should consider adding frankincense essential oil to your survival kit.
The research suggests that frankincense essential oil is capable of inhibiting leukotrienes which are inflammatory mediators responsible for painful conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis, colitis, and asthma.
Frankincense oil blocks the synthesis of these inflammatory molecules which ultimately relieves the pain. It is recommended that you massage diluted frankincense oil on the aching parts of your body, including soles of your feet, muscles, tendons, and joints.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is another natural painkiller that can help alleviate your troubling foot strain and better physical performance. Research suggests that topical application of peppermint oil can provide pain relief for people suffering from fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome.
Both medical conditions are characterized either by widespread musculoskeletal or chronic pain. The same research also recommends using eucalyptus oil and capsaicin ointments for relieving pain.
Regular peppermint oil based massages should help you reverse the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Just two or three drops of peppermint essential oil diluted in a tablespoon of carrier oil should provide enough cooling sensation to your strained connective tissue. And, feel free to apply diluted peppermint oil to your temples and forehead whenever you feel a migraine kicking in after a long day of standing.
Basil Essential Oil
You are probably used to adding fresh and dried basil herb to your dishes, but have you ever used basil essential oil as a remedy for restoring your health?
Oil extracted from this widely used culinary herb has an impressive anti-inflammatory activity that you can use for aiding cold and flu and for relieving the tension of strained muscles and connective tissue. Topical application of basil oil can help you ease inflammation responsible for your heel pain.
Basil essential oil can be used for relieving different kinds of discomfort. You can use it on your sore muscles after an intense workout, on your feet to relieve plantar fasciitis, on bug bites to reduce redness and swelling and much more. The versatility of basil essential oil would most definitely add value and practicality to your survival kit.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Oil derived from the leaves of a tree beloved by every koala is mostly used for treating respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, asthma, and sinusitis.
But did you know that eucalyptus essential oil is a natural analgesic which could help you ease your stinging heel pain in a natural way?
The effectiveness of eucalyptus oil aromatherapy has been tested on patients with total knee replacement surgery. The results showed that patients who inhaled eucalyptus oil experienced less pain than the control group in all three tested days. This study highlights the true medicinal potential of eucalyptus essential oil.
Your body can benefit from aromatherapy and topical application as well. Rubbing diluted eucalyptus oil on your feet will not only help you relieve plantar fasciitis but also help you treat blisters and athlete’s foot.
Ginger Essential Oil
Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases including plantar fasciitis. A great way to reduce tenderness of your foot connective tissue would be by using ginger essential oil. Ginger essential oil is packed with all the right antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties necessary for the reduction of acute inflammation.
Fresh ginger and other products derived from this medicinal root are known to be effective at reducing inflammation and improving circulation. In fact, a highly concentrated ginger extract has been tested on patients affected by knee osteoporosis.
During the evaluation, participants reported a reduction in pain and the need for painkillers. You can use this analgesic value of ginger oil to your advantage as well. Both inhalation and topical application should help you alleviate the painful symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Note: Following essential oil remedies are not a substitute for the treatment provided by your medical specialist!
Pain-Relief Massage Blend
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Massage your feet with the blend for at least 5 minutes.
- Feel free to use this massage oil blend after foot stretching exercises or before going to bed.
- Add essential oils to aloe vera gel and mix well.
- Store the salve in a tinted glass jar.
- Apply the remedy on your feet, aching muscles and joints.
- Add boiling water to your basin and steep 6 chamomile tea bags in it for about 5-10 minutes.
- In a small bowl mix Epsom salt and lavender essential oil.
- Add the salt-oil mixture and honey to the water. Make sure all ingredients are well dispersed.
- Soak your feet in warm water for about 20 minutes.
- Once done, pat your feet dry and moisturize them with olive oil or coconut oil.
- 10 drops of bergamot essential oil (or any other analgesic essential oil)
- ½ cup carrier oil of your choice (coconut oil, olive oil etc.)
- ½ cup of raw sugar
- Mix all ingredients in a glass jar.
- Scrub your feet with the remedy for roughly 10 minutes to improve the blood flow. Stimulated blood circulation will help you reduce the swelling and pain by bringing vital oxygen and nutrients to the affected area.
Sharp pain first thing in the morning can certainly ruin one’s frame of mind. The easiest solution to this problem would be popping a painkiller and moving on with the day; however synthetic analgesics are attached to the long list of side effects.
Good news! Essential oils are safe, and they effectively reduce inflammation and pain. Essential oil aromatherapies, massages, and foot soaks can elevate and improve the results of your foot stretching workout.
Last but not least, restoring the health of your feet should be your number one priority. You can rely on them whenever your instinctual fight response bails on you.
Take a look at these last safety tips to ensure the effectiveness of your home therapy:
- It is recommended that you do foot stretches and leg exercises to build up the strength and flexibility. Feel free to use listed essential oil in your post-workout routine to relieve the soreness and tension in your leg muscles.
- Always dilute essential oils before topical application. 2% dilution is sufficient for adults. Add 12 drops of essential oil per every fl. oz. of carrier oil.
- Do a skin patch test to make sure you are not sensitive or allergic to the homemade remedy.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your doctor prior to use of essential oils.
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