It’s so funny how, as a budding herbalist, I often have these “duhhhhhh” moments, where I forget all of the herbal resources I have available to me!
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
I have had plantar fascia pain in my right foot on and off for over 20 years now as a result of an old plantar fasciitis injury. If you don’t know what plantar fasciitis is, it’s an incredibly painful condition where the ligament that supports the arch of the foot has been partially torn. This ligament connects the heel to the front of the foot and is particularly useful in your ability to pivot quickly. When the ligament is torn walking on the foot is impossible without the aid of some sort of apparatus. However, as the tear heals, the area becomes stiff and painful due to the inflamed tissues of and around the ligament. To treat plantar fasciitis pain, it’s important to first alleviate the inflammation, and then to get the ligament accustomed to stretching and retracting back again. Exercises consist of gentle massage to loosen up the ligament and gentle stretching to train the ligament to contract and release without pain. Unfortunately, I am not at all consistent about doing either.
An Effective Massage Treatment
I’ve recently started taking yoga classes and get killer cramps in my toes and arch of my foot while doing the poses. This morning, about an hour before yoga, I decided that I couldn’t take another class with my foot hurting like this and decided to massage my foot by rolling it over a hand weight. It hurt like heck! It was so tender and inflamed that I couldn’t get in a full minute. Then the lightbulb went off — ding! I should rub some Arnica oil onto the area to penetrate to the ligament and relieve the inflammation. I let the oil soak into my foot and off to yoga class I went.
Wouldn’t you know that my foot didn’t cramp up once during the entire class! No pain during the down dogs, eagle pose, chair pose, or even the high lunges! Nothing. And afterwards, I felt great. I was able to go home and massage my foot with the hand weight. Now why didn’t I think of this weeks ago!?