Before we review our top Plantar Fasciitis Treatments that you can do at home...
Let's take a moment to understand what plantar fasciitis is and what causes it!
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that causes pain in the heel and sometimes in the bottom of the foot. It occurs when the plantar fascia - a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes - becomes inflamed.
This inflammation typically arises due to excessive pressure or strain on the foot, often resulting from prolonged standing, walking, or running, especially on hard surfaces. It can also be caused by wearing shoes with inadequate support, having flat feet or high arches, being overweight, or having tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles.
Now that we've got a handle on the problem, let's explore some of the most historically effective DIY treatments for plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Step #1: Invest in Orthotic Inserts
Orthotic inserts are a key component in our DIY "treatment for plantar fasciitis" plan. They don't just cushion your feet; they also help correct alignment, provide support, and distribute weight evenly across your feet, which can alleviate the pressure on your heel and help manage the pain.
While custom-made orthotic inserts from a podiatrist can be effective, they can also be quite expensive and may limit your footwear choices. However, the good news is that most cases of plantar fasciitis can be addressed with over-the-counter plantar fasciitis orthotic inserts. These are not only a fraction of the cost of custom alternatives, but they are also available in many different shapes and sizes, meaning you won't need to part ways with your favorite shoes.
Here are our top 3 picks for plantar fasciitis orthotic inserts:
Top 5 Plantar Fasciitis Orthotic Inserts for 2023
🏆 "Our 2023 Top Pick" 🏆
#1- Samurai Insoles Ninjas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Why are Samurai Insoles Ninjas our top pick for 2023 for plantar fasciitis?
✔️ Great Reviews: "They work", "Amazing", "A Miracle", "A must have"; this is just some of the tremendous feedback Samurai Insoles Ninjas are getting from customers with plantar fasciitis recently.
✔️ Design: Samurai Insoles Ninjas are one of the few products on the market that are an ACTUAL ORTHOTIC that is not super rigid. This gives your feet the support they need to comfortably relieve plantar fasciitis.
They also can be worn in ANY shoe with a removable insole, giving you the flexibility of using them in many types of shoes! And the best part?
Because they aren't an insole made of foam and fabric, they last SO LONG!
There isn't anything to wear out, just put them under the factory insoles of a new pair of shoes and you're good to go.
✔️ Price: At $39.99 these are an absolute steal! (Edit: It looks like these are currently on sale on Amazon for $29.99) Custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis can easily cost more than $500. For less than 1/10 the price, these are nearly as good.
✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Samurai Insoles Ninjas have a 60 day return policy, and a one year warranty! No other product we reviewed even comes CLOSE to a one year warranty. Apparently they'll even accept a return if you've worn them for 59 days and then decide they don't work for you. Wow!
✔️ Made in the USA: Samurai Insoles are made in an orthotic lab in the USA. The fact that an American made orthotic can be purchased for under $40 still amazes us.
Here is the founder of Samurai Insoles demonstrating:
#2- Protalus Insoles T-100 Elite Series
#3- Superfeet Green Insoles
Superfeet have been around a LONG time. They got their start being sold in retail sporting goods stores, and have transitioned to selling online in recent years, but this has presented the company with some challenges.
✔️ Design: If you've checked out the Protalus design, just know that the Superfeet did it first. They were one of the first to incorporate an orthotic plastic layer on the outside of the insole. Once again, this does the job, but it also makes them thicker than the Samurai, reducing the choices of shoes they'll fit well in.
✔️ Price: Superfeet are also in the pricey range, current retail at the time of writing this article is $54.95.
✔️ 60 Day Warranty: Superfeet green insoles come with a 60 day warranty, significantly less than Samurai Insoles Shoguns or Protalus products.
❌ Made in the USA: Superfeet are not made in the USA unfortunately. Once again, for this price we had hoped they would be.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Step #2: Choose the Right Footwear
Footwear plays a crucial role in managing plantar fasciitis. Shoes that provide good arch support and have a slightly elevated heel can relieve pressure off your heel, reducing pain. The cushioning in the shoes can also absorb impact, which can reduce the strain on your plantar fascia.
Brands like New Balance, Brooks, Vionic, and Orthofeet all offer excellent footwear options that provide both comfort and support. A great rule of thumb is to purchase a well-fitting running shoe, with a cost of approximately $100, from a sporting goods store.
Remember to replace your shoes regularly, especially if you're active or a runner. Over time, the support and cushioning in shoes can wear out, reducing their effectiveness in preventing plantar fasciitis pain.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Step #3: Stretch and Strengthen
Incorporating a regular stretching routine into your day can help alleviate and prevent plantar fasciitis. Stretching not only increases flexibility in the foot and calf muscles but also helps strengthen them, reducing the strain on the plantar fascia.
Some effective stretches include:
Calf Stretches: Stand facing a wall, place your hands on the wall at eye level. Step back with one foot, keeping that leg straight, and press the heel into the floor. Bend the other knee, leaning into the wall until you feel a stretch in the back leg.
Towel Stretches: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out. Loop a towel around the ball of one foot. Keep your knee straight, pull back on the towel to stretch the bottom of your foot.
Marble Pickups: While seated, place a few marbles on the floor in front of you. Using your toes, try to pick up the marbles and drop them into a bowl. This exercise can help strengthen your foot muscles.
Remember to do these stretches a few times each day for the best results.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Step #4: Rest and Recuperate
Resting your feet is a critical part of any DIY treatment plan for plantar fasciitis. When you rest, you give your body a chance to heal and recover, reducing inflammation and pain. Try to cut back on activities that put excessive pressure on your heels, like running or jumping.
Instead, opt for low-impact activities like swimming or cycling, which can help keep you active while reducing the strain on your plantar fascia. Incorporating rest into your daily routine can greatly help speed up recovery and prevent further injury.
While these DIY treatments can be effective, severe or persistent plantar fasciitis should not be ignored. If your pain continues despite these measures, it's time to consult a healthcare professional.
Keep these steps in mind, and you'll be well on your way to tackling plantar fasciitis from the comfort of your own home. Happy healing!