When people hear the words “plantar fasciitis” for the first time–often after months or even years of foot and heel pain–many jump straight to medical intervention.
But there’s good news for your wallet–and your health. An incredible 90% of plantar fasciitis cases can be resolved without expensive (and sometimes painful or risky) medical intervention.
In fact, many of the most useful tools for treating plantar fasciitis can be found right in your own home.
Check out these surprising home remedies for plantar fasciitis using tools and objects you probably already already own!
1. Use a Rolling Pin for Plantar Fasciitis Pain
A simple rolling pin can be a terrific tool for stretching the plantar fascia ligament!
Simply sit in a chair and set the rolling pin on the floor, directly under your bare feet. Then place both feet on the rolling pin and gently roll it back and forth along the bottom of your feet, from the heel to the ball of your foot. Sounds simple, but give it a try–it works!
2. Strengthen Your Feet With a Washcloth
Turns out washcloths are good for more than just cleaning behind your ears.
To do the washcloth stretch, sit on a chair and place a dry washcloth on the floor lying flat, directly in front of your feet. Now, using just your toes, try to pull the washcloth underneath your feet. (Watch this video to see the process).
Sound simple? It is, but it’s also harder than you might think. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, many of the small muscles in your feet are likely weakened. Over time, as you continue to do stretches, those muscles will get stronger–and your plantar fasciitis will improve! Make sure that with this and other foot exercise you do the stretches evenly. An imbalance in muscle strength in your feet can contribute to an unbalanced gait and uneven weight distribution.
3. Roll Your Feet With A Water Bottle
Take a sip from that water bottle in the fridge. Now, turn it into a great tool to treat plantar fasciitis!
The water bottle stretch is an easy, effective home remedy for plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and heel pain that relieves tension in your foot muscles and strengthens the plantar fascia. This stretch can also relieve inflammation if you use a frozen water bottle!
Sit in a chair with both feet on the ground and the water bottle lying in front of you on its side. Place one foot onto the water bottle, so that the water bottle is right under the arch of your foot. Now, similar to the rolling pin stretch, slowly roll it back and forth between the heel and ball of your foot 10 times before switching sides.
Lean forward if you’d like to apply more pressure–but never to the point of pain!
4. Use Your Belt to Stretch Your Feet
Make more than a fashion statement with a simple belt. Any color will do–but try to find one that’s wider than one inch for the best results.
This stretch helps relieve tension in and lengthen your calves and feet. Tight calf and foot muscles are a significant contributor to plantar fasciitis, and stretching them can make a big difference in the healing process.
To do the belt stretch, hold one end of the belt in each hand, the put the center of the belt over the ball of one foot. Keep your knee straight while pulling back on the belt (think of this as a reverse arch stretch). Hold for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat, alternating feet, for 10 minutes. You should repeat this exercise twice a day for a week to start seeing results.
5. Use a Thick Book to Stretch Your Calves
Have a couple of thick books? Then you have more than just a good read!
Stack two thick books about two feet away from a wall. Then, stand on top so that just your heels hang off the back edge. Next, carefully lean forward with your hands in front of you (at face or shoulder height) until your weight is supported against the wall in front of you. Hold this pose for 15 seconds, then straighten your back and lift your feet up and down using the balls of your feet. Next, do this stretch with one foot–then switch sides!
Keep in mind that consistency and correct application are the names of the game when it comes to all of these home remedies for plantar fasciitis. Set up a simple schedule to use these tools several times a day, and within a few weeks you should be feeling much better!
As with any treatment, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor if your pain isn’t responding to treatment, or if your pain seems to be getting worse. It could indicate complications or another underlying problem. But for 90 percent of plantar fasciitis sufferers, these unexpected household items can be lifesavers that don’t cost a cent!