Let's Talk Feet ~ Aches & Sharp Pains
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
One of my favorite things in this entire world is a foot massage. You can ask my husband. He is the best foot-rubber in my book! All of the highly tuned nerve endings condensed in my narrow size 8 feet all jump for joy when a therapeutic foot massage begins! I used to experience plantar fasciitis, from running, walking barefoot, and working on cold floors. I smartened up and began to pay extra attention to my feet so I did not have to be limited in my activities by sharp pains and screaming arches.
Dozens of my clients experience the dreadful pain of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and even bunions which can be terribly painful. I have found a few natural and non-invasive methods to be extremely helpful to these conditions. However, be aware that these are not a 'fix it once and forget it'. You need to apply these interventions faithfully until you feel the healing taking place in your entire foot (or feet). Please read on as I discuss symptoms of these conditions, as well as natural foot care actions (including the special essential oil blends I use on clients with foot pain):
COMMON FOOT PAIN-RELATED CONDITIONS:
➡ Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Bunions, Morton’s Toe
CAUSES OF THESE CONDITIONS:
Plantar Fasciitis- Inflammation on the fibrous band of tissue on the sole of the foot. Tension in the fascia occurs when overloaded, and can cause small tears in the tissue creating pain, tightness, and inflammation. People with super high arches or the opposing (flat feet) are more prone to plantar fasciitis. Foot structure, overuse/foot strain (i.e. rigorous regular walking or jogging, working on cement floors), poor footwear, and injury can all contribute to this condition.
Heel Spurs- Created by the growth of calcium around tendons and ligaments of the foot that grow outward from the bone and into the soft tissue. Sometimes these calcium deposits can break into pieces, creating a glass-like cutting effect.
Bunions - Formed when the bone at the joint of the big toe moves out of place. Years of abnormal motion (such as running, wearing improper shoes, etc) and pressure on the joint forces the big toe to bend toward the others. This causes an often-painful lump on the joint, creating inflammation. Another cause is simple foot anatomy. Some people are more prone to bunions due to the shape of their feet. Unfortunately, surgery is the main intervention for this condition. To make the matter worse, I have heard many personal testimonies that surgery did not improve the level of discomfort. Most often the bunions are treated by a 'bone shaving or breaking' surgical method. Not pleasant.
Morton’s Toe- The second toe is taller than the first. Caused by genetics.
BONE SPUR FYI:
A bone spur (osteophyte) is a bony growth formed on normal bone where chronic wear and tear creates pain by pressing and rubbing against other bones or soft tissues such as ligaments tendons or nerves in the body.
Although the definite cause of bone spurs is unknown most experts agree that they have an association with osteoarthritis especially due to the breakdown and deterioration of cartilage around the joints. Bone spurs are commonly seen in the aging population so specialists also believe it is a part of the aging process due to changes in the way the body works. Bone spurs also occur as a consequence of other conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Other causes of bone spurs include Degenerative Disc Disease and traumatic injury, and/or poor posture.
Limit or omit sugars, dairy, caffeine, and processed foods.
Increase veggies, water, healthy fats- walnuts, flax, avocado, salmon.
Eat alkaline with greens, fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, beans, legumes, herbal tea.
Water is crucial to be sure you are not dehydrating your muscle tissue. They need moisture in order to move, stretch, and repair.
Omega 3’s from Krill, Cod, Salmon, Flax, Borage, Anchovy
MSM & Glucosamine
Magnesium complex (500-1000 mg per day)
New Chapter, Zyflamend & Fermented Turmeric https://www.newchapter.com/products/zyflamend-whole-body/
Wild Alaskan Salmon Whole Omega 3's (these are in tiny caps, which I prefer): https://bit.ly/2IZoUNt
Life Extension Extended Release Magnesium https://www.lifeextension.com/vitamins-supplements/item02107/extend-release-magnesium
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR ARCH PAIN (TOPICAL ONLY):
Plantar Fasciitis Oil Blend Recipe (Foot Therapy)
Cypress or Rosemary
Clove or Nutmeg
Always use a base/carrier oil to dilute pure essential oils.
Rule of thumb: 1 oz. base oil per approx. 10 drops of essential oil.
Do a skin test first! Some people can be sensitive to specific essential oils.
Base/carrier oil suggestions: coconut, jojoba, almond, avocado, sesame oil.
Magnesium Oil can have a warm/stinging sensation to it, so be sure to dilute it well with a base oil.
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEEL SPURS (TOPICAL ONLY):
You can soak your feet in these oils. This soaking can help loosen foot tension as well as any 'stuck' spurs. The above oil blends will assist in soothing general pain/inflammation. Epsom salts (magnesium) is also an effective way to release tension and calm inflammation. A warm Epsom salt bath is a wonderful therapy to not only the feet but the whole body! You can buy Epsom salts at any drugstore. If your plantar fasciitis is acting up daily, I suggest a foot soak daily (or nightly) until the pain calms.
OTHER RESOURCES & TIPS:
Stretch it out: Doing the yoga pose of Downward Facing Dog can help a great deal- this exercise opens up the leg muscles but more specifically, the gastrocnemius muscles (calves) as well as the ankle ligaments and foot fascia. Once in Downward Facing Dog, begin 'walking the dog' which is basically pedaling your feet by alternating knee bends and gently pushing down the heels into the mat, one heel at a time. Do this daily and as often as you can.
A tip that I found relief with: Freezing a plastic water bottle and rolling it under my foot each night. This is so refreshing to tired feet, and the ice can calm swelling and discomfort. Be sure to roll the bottle slowly back and forth from the ball of the foot to heel, gently stretching out the fascia in the foot soles.
Supportive shoes: One size (or brand) certainly does not fit all. I have some clients that swear by specific brands, while others say they cannot wear them. I know many people have a preferred sneaker or boot brand, and that is understandable. However, make sure it's not your footwear that is possibly causing or contributing to the above conditions.
Fit Flops: Just recently a lady told me of Fit Flops that helped take away the pain in her feet, specifically bunions. This got me curious! I found them at their online store: https://www.fitflop.com/ Currently (as of today when I checked 10/4/19) they are running a sale on the Fit Flops ($20-$30 range) in IQUSHION line.
Do you have any extra thoughts on making feet happy & ready to dance?