If you feel stabbing pain in front of your heel when you put weight on your feet, you might have plantar fasciitis. This common foot condition can become incredibly painful over time, and most plantar fasciitis treatments are dangerous or have serious side effects. In this guide, learn why so many people are using CBD for plantar fasciitis and find out if this non-intoxicating cannabinoid can help you overcome your chronic foot pain.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis usually occurs as the result of repetitive stress to a band of muscle on the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia. This muscle stretches from the ball of your heel all the way to your toes, but the area where your plantar fascia connects to your heel is the most susceptible to inflammation.
Like most types of inflammatory conditions, plantar fasciitis becomes progressively worse the more strain you put on the bottom of your foot. Since simple, unavoidable acts like walking naturally put a strain on your plantar fascia, avoiding further strain on this muscle is practically impossible.
Plantar fasciitis is often the most painful in the morning when you haven’t put weight on your feet for a while. However, advanced forms of this condition remain painful throughout the day. Activities like strenuous walking, running, or going on hikes can make plantar fasciitis worse.
What are some common treatments for plantar fasciitis?
In most cases, plantar fasciitis is treated with physical therapy or shoe inserts. Certain basic plantar fasciitis physical therapy exercises can be performed from home, but others may require professional assistance. While orthopedic shoe inserts are commonly prescribed for plantar fasciitis, it’s possible that unreasonable shoe cushioning may be one of the root causes of this condition, calling into question the usefulness of shoe inserts for plantar fasciitis.
Advanced forms of plantar fasciitis may be treated by steroid injections or surgical intervention, both of which can cause serious unintended effects. Steroid injections can permanently damage surrounding tissues, and surgery for plantar fasciitis can cause irreversible damage to the structure of your foot.
Do people use CBD for plantar fasciitis?
Due to the lack of safe, reliable treatments for plantar fasciitis, many people have recently turned to natural alternatives like CBD. People around the world have used CBD for various types of painful conditions for more than a decade, and this non-intoxicating cannabinoid is gradually making its way into the mainstream of natural health.
There are quite a few types of CBD products on the market that have either been explicitly designed to treat plantar fasciitis or that have been formulated to treat pain in general. For instance, many types of topical CBD products are advertised as being pain-fighting, and applying a CBD cream or lotion to the bottom of your foot may efficiently deliver the effects of this cannabinoid directly to the painful area with high efficiency.
CBD-infused shoe inserts for plantar-fasciitis have also been designed, but the efficacy of these products is called into question for a variety of reasons. It’s unclear, for instance, whether shoe inserts truly help with plantar fasciitis, and the usefulness of CBD shoe inserts is quite obviously reduced by the simple act of wearing socks.
Some CBD users take a more direct route by smoking CBD flower or using CBD vape cartridges. While inhaling CBD doesn’t target your feet directly, this CBD ingestion method offers the highest bioavailability, and inhaling CBD provides immediate effects that rapidly progress throughout your entire body.
CBD and plantar fasciitis studies
At present, no studies have been conducted into the benefits of CBD for plantar fasciitis specifically. In 2015, the publicly-traded marijuana company Endexx announced that it was conducting a pilot study into the benefits of CBD for plantar fasciitis, but this study was either abandoned or has not been completed yet. No other companies or educational institutions have embarked on studies into CBD and plantar fasciitis.
CBD has, however, been widely researched for its overall effects on pain. For instance, research has been conducted into potential interactions between CBD and your nervous system’s 5-HT1A and TRPV1 receptors, both of which are involved in the sensation of pain. Regardless of where pain occurs in your body, it is most likely governed by one or both of these critical neuroreceptors, so if CBD were determined to be effective for pain in one area of your body, it would also be useful for pain in your feet.
As an inflammatory condition, the type of pain caused by plantar fasciitis is primarily inflammatory, and it is therefore governed by TRPV1 and the other members of the TRP neuroreceptor family. Over time, however, the inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis can cause nerve damage, leading to neuropathic pain, which is primarily governed by the 5-HT1A receptors.
CBD for other types of foot pain
CBD has also been investigated for its potential impact on other types of foot conditions. Diabetic neuropathy, for instance, is commonly comorbid with plantar fasciitis since both conditions are exacerbated by sedentary lifestyles.
In 2020, a study was published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies detailing efforts to determine the impact of CBD on the pain caused by diabetic neuropathy in the feet and lower extremities. Unlike the vast majority of studies conducted into CBD to date, this study was clinical, and it involved 29 patients with diabetic neuropathy. In the end, the researchers found that the potential benefits of CBD for diabetic neuropathy were substantial enough to merit further research.
If CBD works for diabetic neuropathy, it would make sense if this cannabinoid also worked for plantar fasciitis. Since there is no available research on this topic, it is impossible to provide any substantive speculation. Since both conditions involve tissue degradation in the lower extremities, however, research into CBD for diabetic neuropathy in the feet could serve as a stepping stone for future studies into CBD for plantar fasciitis.
Should you try CBD for plantar fasciitis?
It’s unfortunate that direct research into CBD for plantar fasciitis has not been conducted yet. As the global CBD industry becomes more normalized and further funding for CBD research becomes available, we hope that scientists will take a close look at the specific relationship between this non-intoxicating cannabinoid and plantar fasciitis.
In the meantime, however, there are plenty of reasons that you might want to use CBD for plantar fasciitis anyway. Just because there is no official research on this subject doesn’t mean the benefits of CBD for plantar fasciitis haven’t been investigated, and we already know a great deal about the safety and general effects of this cannabinoid.
According to online testimony, a multitude of doctors have recommended CBD for plantar fasciitis, and many hemp users have reported success using CBD for this condition. While anecdotal testimony is inherently less valuable than clinical or laboratory research, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely worthless.
You also have very little to lose by trying CBD for plantar fasciitis. Unlike other common plantar fasciitis treatments, using CBD is non-invasive, and this cannabinoid does not appear to have any serious side effects. Furthermore, CBD is non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high regardless of whether you apply this cannabinoid topically or inhale it in the form of a hemp pre-roll or CBD vape cartridge.
Take a natural approach to plantar fasciitis pain today
Plantar fasciitis is incredibly painful, and since this condition often gets worse with time, suffering from plantar fasciitis pain can also be immensely discouraging. Whether you’ve tried mainline treatments for plantar fasciitis or you’ve just started researching solutions to this painful condition, CBD is a natural, gentle alternative that’s worthy of further consideration. If you have any questions about CBD for plantar fasciitis, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and visit the Secret Nature blog for more in-depth guides to CBD and this cannabinoid’s benefits for common medical conditions.