Because heel pain has such a huge impact on everyday activities like standing, walking, and running, people will go to drastic lengths and spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars trying to find a cure.
Plantar fasciitis is the number one most common heel pain condition, which can cause severe pain in the foot and heel. It is most common in people who are athletes, overweight, or elderly, and people who work long hours on their feet.
Medical treatments for plantar fasciitis include ultrasound, ESWT, and surgery, while traditional home remedies for plantar fasciitis might involve rest, ice, stretching, and gentle foot exercises. However there is no one size fits all treatment, so when common cures don't work, some people take more drastic measures.
Here are five whacky home treatments that are sometimes used for plantar fasciitis pain:
Picking Up Marbles With Your Toes
It makes sense that strengthening your feet might help reduce and prevent foot pain, but here's an exercise you may not have heard of: picking up marbles (or small rocks) with your toes.
How it works: Sit in a chair with your feet out in front of you. Scatter marbles on the floor by your feet, and place a water glass a few inches in front. Pick up the marbles with your toes, and place them in the glass.
What it's supposed to do: This exercise strengthens the muscles of your feet, creating better stabilization of the plantar fascia ligament, and improving your gait.
Covering Your Feet With Cabbage
It's no joke - some people recommend the topical use of cabbage to reduce heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
How it works: Soften a few cabbage leaves (preferably red) over a low flame so that they do not break as you form them to your feet. Secure the leaves into place with gauze or a bandage, and allow it to sit overnight. Some people recommend pouring honey on the cabbage leaves before fastening them.
What it's supposed to do: Cabbage contains a pigment called anthocyanin, which may help to reduce joint pain and inflammation.
Soaking Your Feet in Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a common home remedy for a wide variety of ailments - including plantar fasciitis.
How it works: Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar and 6 cups of warm water in a tub or container. Submerge aching feet and soak for 30 minutes.
What it's supposed to do: Apple cider vinegar is rich in nutrients and minerals, including magnesium which can be absorbed through the skin.
Rubbing Mustard Oil on Your Feet
Massage is often recommended to temporarily relieve plantar fasciitis pain, but some people claim that using warm mustard oil makes your massage even more effective.
How it works: Warm a teaspoon of mustard oil my microwaving for a few seconds, and massage it into the sole and heel of your foot in a circular motion.
What it's supposed to do: By doing a warm mustard oil massage you will help the muscles of your feet relax and bring blood flow to the area. Like apple cider vinegar, mustard oil has magnesium, and it is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Using Aloe Vera Topically or Internally
Aloe vera seems to be growing in popularity as a cure-all and superfood (or super drink in some cases). Research seems to support some of its benefits, including its antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and benefits to the skin.
How it works: Aloe vera can be consumed or massaged into the skin topically.
What it's supposed to do: Aloe vera contains mucopolysaccharides, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Will any of these wacky home treatments magically cure your plantar fasciitis? Probably not - but if you have struggled to find a solution that works, they may be worth a shot!