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Arnica Gels and Creams for Plantar Fasciitis: Do They Work?

Learn more about how arnica gels and creams can be used to treat plantar fasciitis and what the risk factors and side effects are.

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By Janik Sundstrom
Romi Hector
Edited by Romi Hector

Updated February 17, 2023.

Arnica gels and creams are a safe and cost-effective homeopathic remedy for treating sore muscles and bruises. Arnica gel is derived from the Arnica montana flower. This herb has been used for centuries by different cultures for its various health benefits. Homeopathic arnica is safe when following product descriptions and correct dosing, but the herb itself is considered unsafe to consume due to its poisonous characteristics. 

Can Arnica Gels and Creams Relieve Plantar Fasciitis Pain?

Arnica gels and creams can be applied to the areas of pain and inflammation through gentle self-massage. The arnica ointment is said to lower inflammation and thus aid in pain management for plantar fasciitis. The massage will also reduce pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia. Homeopathic arnica is an effective alternative to typical pharmaceutical pain management options which can prevent addiction to painkillers in the general population. 

How to Use Arnica Gels and Creams for Plantar Fasciitis

Arnica gel can be applied to the skin two to three times a day for no longer than 2 weeks. Should a rash or signs of skin irritation occur, discontinue use immediately and consult with a medical professional if the symptoms do not clear up thereafter. 

Arnica is absorbed through the skin and large amounts can cause side effects such as vomiting, increased heart rate, and even organ damage in severe cases. Refrain from using arnica in any form while pregnant or breastfeeding. Arnica has blood thinning properties and should not be used after surgery to manage pain and inflammation as this may aggravate bleeding further. Stop using arnica for at least two weeks before undergoing surgery. 

Speak with a healthcare provider if you are unsure about dosing or potential side effects. It is a general rule that a small amount goes a long way. Be mindful to use arnica sparingly and read the product instructions for any recommendations for diluting the product before use. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out which product might be best for a specific condition.