An essential oil is a natural oil obtained by distillation from plants possessing the odor and amazing health benefits. For many centuries, various cultures have used essential oils to treat diseases and improve quality of life. They are also used for beauty purposes, perfumes, you name it. A little-known fact is that essential oils can help people with plantar fasciitis. How do they work? How to use them? Find answers to these questions and other valuable info about plantar fasciitis essential oils below.
Can Essential Oils Help Plantar Fasciitis?
Essential oils have a wide array of uses, and it is not such a surprise they are considered beneficial for heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. These natural oils contain active ingredients with amazing health potential that makes them effective in the treatment of pain, inflammation, and discomfort.
Although at this point there are no scientific studies that investigated the role of essential oils for plantar fasciitis, people who use these oils report remarkable improvements. After all, science needs to catch up with traditional medicine, and for hundreds of years, people relied on plants, essential oils, and other natural approaches to treating heel pain and plantar fasciitis.
How Do They Help?
The use of essential oils for foot pain works in different ways. Essential oils are applied topically which is why they work fast. You see, when you ingest the pill, it needs some time for your digestive system to absorb it. On the flip side, essential oils have a lightweight texture your skin absorbs easily. Transdermal use doesn't involve digestive process, and it explains why people experience pain relief instantly.
Essential oils work by exhibiting anti-inflammatory effects to alleviate inflammation which is involved in plantar fasciitis. Some oils have analgesic or pain relieving properties, as well. Besides anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, essential oils help decrease swelling and promote blood flow to the affected area when properly massaged into the skin.
Let’s not forget that essential oils have a pleasant scent that relaxes your mind and helps you get some sleep. This is particularly beneficial for people whose heel pain is intense enough to stress them out and prevent them from getting enough good night’s rest. As a side note, also consider the use of a plantar fasciitis night splint for when it's time to sleep or rest.
Essential oils that help people with plantar fasciitis are:
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Exhibits anti-inflammatory effects, but make sure to dilute it with coconut oil or something similar because it is too strong on its own.
Lavender Essential Oil
One of the most widely used essential oils thanks to its ability to reduce the tension, alleviate pain, and improve blood circulation.
Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and stimulant properties.
Anti-inflammatory, relaxing, and analgesic properties.
Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antispasmodic effects.
Calming, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic characteristics.
Antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Astringent, adaptogenic, stimulating effects.
Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Analgesic, anti-inflammatory characteristics.
The 5 Best Essential Oils for Plantar Fasciitis
Below, you can see top five essential oils to use for plantar fasciitis.
DoTerra is one of the best brands of essential oils out there. Sometimes people don’t really pay attention to the quality of essential oil they buy because they think all oils are the same. Some brands make oils that aren’t pure, but that way you can’t use their full potential.
The best thing about DoTerra essential oils for foot pain such as lemongrass so useful is their potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. They help address inflammation, pain, heel spurs, and other problems that people with plantar fasciitis experience. At the same time, lemongrass oil has a pungent, smoky aroma that soothes and benefits your skin too, which can be incredibly beneficial for tired, achy heels.
PanAway oil, created by a popular brand Young Living Essential Oils, is a combination of wintergreen, clove, helichrysum, and peppermint essential oils. This powerful combination has a soothing, yet stimulating aroma that helps you relax, but feel refreshed and more resilient to pain and other symptoms at the same time.
The best thing about PanAway for plantar fasciitis is that its benefits extend beyond pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. PanAway helps tired muscles, and joints relax, especially after exercise or any other activity that put too much pressure on your feet, ankles, knees, you name it.
Peppermint oils have a nice, refreshing scent that your airways love, but they also have an incredible potential to address plantar fasciitis. This essential oil allows men and women with this common condition to relieve pain and inflammation. Plus, mild stimulant properties make it easier to cope with symptoms of plantar fasciitis more effectively. What makes Premium Peppermint beneficial is its 100% purity which isn’t that easy to find today.
Marjoram essential oil has a positive influence on the nervous system, and it exhibits calming effects. This powerful oil strengthens the immune system, and it benefits your heart health too. Similarly to other essential oils on this list, marjoram has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits that make it an effective tool for plantar fasciitis treatment. Marjoram essential oil dilates your blood vessels to improve blood circulation which you need to alleviate pain and other symptoms of this common condition.
When term “essential oil” comes to mind chances are black pepper isn’t the first thing you think about. In fact, many people don’t even know there is a black pepper essential oil. Black pepper oil has antioxidant activity that protects your body from oxidative stress. Its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties make black pepper oil beneficial for relief of pains and aches. Also, this essential oil has a warming sensation when applied to the affected area.
How to Use Essential Oils for Plantar Fasciitis
What makes essential oils for plantar fasciitis so amazing is their versatility. You can use them to alleviate pain and discomfort in many ways. Instead of sticking for one type of use at all times, you can mix things up and try out different approaches. That is the best way to determine the most effective approach for your condition. Below, you can see different ways to use essential oils to address plantar fasciitis:
Healing Foot Soak
Probably one of the most relaxing ways to use essential oils for heel pain. The process is easy; just draw a warm bath and add a small amount of Epsom salt together with 10 to 20 drops of essential oil (or multiple oils) you’ve chosen. Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes.
You can make a foot soak with apple cider vinegar as well. After all, apple cider vinegar plantar fasciitis relationship is based on anti-inflammatory properties and it’s also good for heel skin. Some people also use apple cider vinegar to dilute some essential oils.
The greatest advantage of massage is the improved blood flow which is necessary for proper recovery. It’s easy to use essential oils in this manner. Just apply them on the affected areas and rub gently in circular motions. There are different types of essential oil recipes for plantar fasciitis. You can just choose one or combine a few oils to massage your feet for 15 to 20 minutes or you can make a fascia massage blend and deep tissue massage both of which are discussed below.
Fascia Massage Blend
Combine 8tsp of helichrysum, 8tsp of wintergreen, 8tsp of lemongrass, 4tsp of geranium, 4tsp of clove, 2tsp of black pepper in an 8oz bottle. Store the blend in a fridge and you can use the mixture multiple times. Just dilute the amount you need at that moment and you’re ready to massage your feet. You can use this blend for deep tissue massage too.
Deep Tissue Massage
Combine 8 to 10 drops of fascia massage blend and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Then, dip fingers into a bowl, apply the mixture on your feet and start rubbing soles of your feet using long, stroking motions. Using thumb and other fingers, start pressing your feet in a squeezing motion. Using knuckles start “kneading” soles of your feet, but make sure you stop if you find it painful.
Tips for Using PF Essential Oils
Before you start using plantar fasciitis essential oils, you should read the following tips and tricks to get the maximum out of this treatment option for heel pain:
- Test the oil on your skin first in order to make sure you won’t have allergic reaction. Rub a drop of oil onto the skin and wait for a few hours to see whether irritation will show up.
- Although it may seem like a good idea, you should never heat up the essential oil on your stove or microwave. Why? Oils can burn and cause even more pain. If you want to experience warm sensation, just rub a few drops of oil in your hands before applying it on your feet.
- Essential oils are not meant to be consumed internally. They are for external i.e. topical use only. While it may be tempting to put a few drops in a beverage, you should stay away from this practice.
Essential oils can be of huge help for people with plantar fasciitis. They decrease inflammation and pain while keeping you calm, improving blood circulation, and providing many other health benefits. Purity of the essential oil matters the most. To get the most out of your massage or foot soak with essential oil you can opt for DoTerra oils or consider other products on the above-mentioned list.