Alternative medicine for the relief of plantar fasciitis

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April 8, 2023
Joy Hsueh

If you're one of the millions of Americans suffering from plantar fasciitis, you know how debilitating the heel pain can be. You've probably tried everything from over-the-counter pain relievers to cortisone injections, and while these treatments may provide temporary relief, they don't usually fix the root problem. If you're looking for something different, there are a few alternative medicine options that may help. Acupuncture, herbal medicines, massage, and diet can all help to relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that can cause heel pain. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It connects the heel bone to the toes and helps support the arch of the foot. When this tissue becomes irritated or inflamed, it can cause plantar fasciitis.

There are several things that can contribute to plantar fasciitis, such as overuse, tight muscles, high arches, flat feet, or shoes that don’t provide enough support. The condition is common in runners and people who are on their feet a lot.

There are several treatment options for plantar fasciitis. Rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce inflammation and pain. If conservative measures fail to provide relief, there are a number of surgical options that can be considered. These include release of the plantar fascia, removal of bone spurs, and nerve decompression. Recovery from surgery can take several weeks or months, but the results are often very effective in relieving pain and restoring normal function.


Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to achieve therapeutic effect. Acupuncture is based on the belief that there is an energy force or "life force" (known as qi or chi) flowing through the body. This life force is said to be responsible for our health and well-being. When this flow of energy becomes disrupted, it can lead to disease or illness.

Acupuncture works to restore balance in the flow of energy by stimulating specific points on the body known as acupuncture points or acupoints. These points are located along what are known as meridians, which are believed to be channels through which our life force flows.

A study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine found that acupuncture was effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with plantar fasciitis. The study included 100 patients who were treated with acupuncture twice a week for four weeks. After four weeks, the patients who received acupuncture had significantly less pain and better function than those who did not receive acupuncture. Another study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that acupuncture was an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis when used in conjunction with traditional medical treatment.


There are many different diets that can help with plantar fasciitis. Some people find that a vegan or vegetarian diet helps to reduce inflammation. Others find that a Paleo diet, which is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, helps to reduce pain and improve healing time. There are also specific plant-based diets that have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Herbal remedies

One popular herbal remedy for plantar fasciitis is ginger. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce pain and swelling. You can take ginger supplements or add fresh ginger to your food.

Another herb that may be helpful is turmeric. Like ginger, turmeric also has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be taken in supplement form or added to food.

If you’re considering trying an herbal remedy for plantar fasciitis, talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.


Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes heel pain. Although there is no cure for plantar fasciitis, there are treatments that can help relieve the pain. Alternative medicine is one treatment option that may be effective in reducing pain and improving function. Contact us at for more information.

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