Some runners think that essential oils for plantar fasciitis when combined with massage can make a real difference. In this post we take a look at how much difference it can make.
Plantar fasciitis is painful, we know, but there’s no need to wallow in self-pity as you endure the enforced rest from your running routine.
You can take action to relieve the pain, aid recovery and get back on your feet with essential oil treatments. In this article, we look at the best choices for treating plantar fasciitis at home.
In simple terms, essential oils are derived from natural botanicals. They are highly concentrated components of aromatic plants such as flowers, leaves, stems or roots, and have been used in alternative medicine and holistic aromatherapy for centuries.
In therapeutic use, essential oils can be inhaled, ingested or applied directly to the skin, and topical application combined with gentle massage is recommended in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. But, with so many oils available, which one should you use?
There is no scientific evidence to back up the effectiveness of essential oils in medicine, but alternative health practitioners and aromatherapists recommend the following essential oils to treat soft tissue inflammation and pain:
The above essential oils can be bought in health food stores or online, with a wide range of combinations available in convenient ready-to-use roll on format.
If making your own combinations, it’s recommended that pure essential oils are mixed with a carrier oil such as avocado, olive, or coconut oil to reduce the potential for skin irritation and to aid absorption as they are massaged into the skin.
It’s important to note that essential oil treatments on their own are not proven to “cure” plantar fasciitis, but they can help to alleviate the symptoms and thereby aid recovery.
The combination of essential oils you use is a matter of personal choice but peppermint oil, renowned for its invigorating and soothing properties in equal measure, is a popular starting point for newcomers to aromatherapy. The steps below should be followed at least once, ideally twice, per day.
Prepare your massage oil by using a ratio of one drop of peppermint oil (or your chosen combination of oils) to one teaspoon of carrier oil. This ratio can be adjusted up to five drops per teaspoon after testing for potential skin irritation.
Without oil, gently massage the sole of your foot and affected heel to warm up the skin and improve the flow of blood through the area. This can also be done through soaking your feet in warm water or applying a heat cushion.
Apply your prepared essential oil combination and continue to massage the affected area with firm circular motions using your thumb and the palm of your hand for around 15 minutes.
Depending on how ticklish your feet are, progress to deeper thumb massage movements in which you press down on the soft tissue forming the arch of your foot in a side-to-side (across the sole) motion.
After massaging, stretch the sole of your foot by using your hand to pull the toes towards your shin. Hold the stretch for around 10 seconds and aim to complete 10 repetitions.
We’ve heard that some runners find that when essential oils are combined with orthotics (make sure you check out our guide to the best insoles for plantar fasciitis they see some pretty speedy recovery times!
Plantar fasciitis is the result of damage to the soft tissue that forms the sole and arch of your foot, often caused by poor support.
For this reason, the only effective treatment in the long-term is to strengthen the affected tissues with a programme of exercises that will help to prevent a reoccurrence.
So, there you have it.
Essential oil treatments can alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis, and relieving the pain will allow you to do the exercises that will get you back on your feet and keep you on your feet.
Stop wallowing – pep yourself up with some peppermint and crack on with fixing your feet by using essential oils for plantar fasciitis recovery!