Plantar Fasciitis: Home Remedies to Reduce Pain on the Bottom of Your Foot

For those of us that spend a lot of time on our feet, whether it is a job or as an athlete, pain on the bottom of the foot can be a very difficult thing to resolve. Because we walk, every day, are always using our feet, and exert all the pressure of our body onto the bottom of the foot the plantar fascia in the foot can take quite the beating.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is kind of a catch-all term for any pain at the bottom of the foot. However, the plantar fascia is a sheath of connective tissue that runs from the heel of the foot toward the toes. This tissue can become quite inflamed and as a result, create a lot of tension from the back of the foot to the front. The goal with plantar fasciitis is to loosen the tissues and create slack to help the tissues to be mobile and reduce pain.

Keep reading for some remedies to help mobilize the tissues on the bottom of the foot.

1. Ball Smash
Grab a ball, whether it is a tennis ball, golf ball, or lacrosse ball and apply pressure to the bottom of your foot. This is going to hurt! Roll the ball back and forth from the back, at the heel, to the front of the foot. As you roll to make sure to contract and relax the calf muscle. This helps to loosen the tissues in the plantar fascia and break up any scar tissue that may have developed, causing tightness in the foot.

2. Anterior Calf Stretch
The goal here is to stretch the front part of our foot and ankle. If we don’t have full dorsiflexion (pointing your foot to the ground) this creates tension at the bottom of our foot. Standing, push your toes into the ground and pull the front aspect of the ankle toward the ground. Additionally, place the outside of your foot on the ground and stretch the ankle again but pushing your ankle toward the ground. Work this at all angles.

3. Calf Stretch
Tension on the calf muscle will create tension in the bottom of the foot. If the calf is tight, it will pull on the Achilles tendon, thus creating a cascade effect of pulling on the plantar fascia. Therefore place your foot against the wall and lean forward to create a stretching sensation in the calf muscle.

4. Calf Smash
Take your lacrosse ball or golf ball and in a seated position smash and roll a ball into the tissues where the calf muscle attaches to the shin bone. This helps to loosen up the tissue in the calf muscle, releasing that tension and helping to alleviate the cascade of tightness into the bottom of the foot.

5. Pigeon Pose Stretch
This can be difficult to explain. On the ground or on a bed, take your leg and cross it in front of your body with your unaffected leg behind you. You will then lean forward into the leg across your body. Therefore, you should be resting on the inside aspect of the leg that is in front of yours. Again we are trying to reduce the tension in the body that is creating that cascade of tightness down the leg. You will feel this stretch in your glutes or butt muscles.

6. Ice
This one is easy to explain. Just take a bucket of ice water and ice your foot for 5 minutes. This reduces the inflammation in the foot.

Road to Recovery
There you have it! These are some of the best home remedies to help to alleviate the tension and pain at the bottom of your foot. However, if this doesn’t help, give us a call at 7 Springs Orthopedics. You may need more advanced treatment such as an injection or physical therapy if these home remedies don’t get you on the path to recovery.

– Written by Kevin Groh, PA-C, MSPAS