You wake up in the morning and take your first step out of bed, only to be met with a sharp pain in your heel. You wince and try to put your weight back on your other foot but the pain persists. If you are experiencing this type of foot pain, it is highly likely that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis.
It is a condition in which the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed, thus causing heel pain and foot arch pain. In fact, plantar fasciitis accounts for nearly 80% of the cases related to heel pain.
Plantar Fasciitis can be effectively treated with Ayurvedic Medicine. With Ayurveda, you can find relief from your symptoms and also heal the underlying condition.
Plantar fasciitis Ayurvedic treatment options include massage, stretching, and the use of Ayurvedic medicines internally and externally.
Understanding Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel and arch pain. In this the plantar fascia ligament, a band of tissue that connects the heel to the front of the foot, becomes weak, inflamed and swollen.
Plantar fasciitis can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, and can make it difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time.
Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament, too.
Stages of Plantar Fasciitis
There are three main stages of Plantar Fasciitis – acute, sub-acute, and chronic.
- Acute Plantar Fasciitis is defined as severe heel pain that has been present for less than 6 weeks. It is treated with rest, ice, and anti inflammatory medication to reduce the pain.
- Sub-acute Plantar Fasciitis is heel pain that has been present for 6-12 weeks.
- Chronic Plantar Fasciitis is defined as heel pain that has been present for more than 12 weeks. The chronic stage is further divided into two categories:
- chronic Plantar Fasciitis pain with calcaneal spurs (heel spur)
- chronic Plantar Fasciitis pain without calcaneal spur
Sub-acute and chronic Plantar Fasciitis are treated with a combination of stretching exercises, night splints, orthotics, and physical therapy. In some cases (as low as 5%), surgery may be required.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The most common symptom of Plantar Fasciitis is heel pain. The pain is often worse in the morning when you take your first steps out of bed. The pain may also be worse after long periods of standing or after exercise. Other symptoms include:
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- Swelling in the foot
- Stiffness in the foot
- Heel numbness
- Calf muscle stiffness
- Difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time
- Burning pain in the heel or under the foot, specifically in the morning
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor to rule out other possible causes of heel pain, such as Achilles tendinitis or a stress fracture.
Plantar Fasciitis is diagnosed through a combination of medical history, a physical examination, and imaging tests. The most common imaging test used to diagnose Plantar Fasciitis is an MRI.
Causes and Triggers of Plantar Fasciitis
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis, including overuse, tight muscles in the foot and leg, high impact activities, and wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support.
Basically, repetitive motion or anything that puts a lot of pressure on the arch of your foot might cause it.
Plantar fasciitis is most commonly seen in runners, but can also occur in people who are not physically active. This can lead to degeneration of the muscles, which often give in when used eventually.
You may also have heel pain and foot pain in metabolic and hormone imbalance disorders such as Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity and PCOS.
Ayurvedic Perspective of Heel Pain
In Ayurveda, pain and stiffness in the heel and foot as experienced can be compared to vatakantaka. This is a disease that is caused by the vata dosha, which is responsible for movement and circulation in the body.
- When the vata dosha is out of balance, it can lead to severe pain and cramps in the foot.
- When vata dosha disturbs pitta dosha, it leads to inflammation, burning sensation, redness and pricking pain.
- Involvement of kapha dosha leads to stiffness, water retention and swelling in the affected area.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
The goal of Ayurvedic treatment is to treat the root cause of pain and inflammation that is triggering plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Ayurveda treatment helps to reduce pain and inflammation in the short term with the help of anti-inflammatory and pain relieving herbs and medicines.
Additionally, Ayurvedic therapies, balanced nutrition, stretching exercises and yoga help to detoxify, reduce inflammation in the body and strengthen the muscles in the foot, thus preventing future occurrence.
Rest and cold therapy with ice (in case of burning sensation) are often recommended for the first few days after the pain begins. Stretching exercises and yoga are also be helpful in treating Plantar Fasciitis.
Ayurvedic Herbs and Medicines for Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
There are a variety of herbs and spices that have anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to treat Plantar Fasciitis. These include turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, and garlic.
- Dashmoolarishta: It is a highly effective Ayurvedic medicine for treatment of vata dosha disorders such as rheumatic arthritis, bronchitis, calcaneal spur, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon bursitis. The main ingredient in this medicine is dashmoola, which is a combination of ten different herbs. This medicine also contains other ingredients like honey, ginger, and cardamom, which help to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Guggulu: Guggulu is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including Plantar Fasciitis. This herb contains substances that help to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Panchakola churna: Panchakola churna is an Ayurvedic powder that contains a combination of five different herbs. These herbs include ginger, black pepper, long pepper, and asafoetida. This powder is used to boost digestive fire, reduce inflammation and pain.
- Boswellia: Boswellia is an herb for the growth and strength of the musculoskeletal system. It also has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.
- Chitraka: Chitraka is an Ayurvedic herb that helps in the detoxification of the body. It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. These are just some of the many herbs and spices that can be used to treat Plantar Fasciitis.
- Eranda: Eranda is an Ayurvedic herb that helps in the treatment of inflammatory conditions. It also has pain relieving properties.
These are just some of the many Ayurvedic medicines that can be used to treat Plantar Fasciitis. If you are suffering from this condition, it is important to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to find out which treatment is right for you.
Ayurvedic Therapies for Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
In addition to herbs and spices, there are a number of other Ayurvedic treatments that can be used to effectively treat Plantar Fasciitis. These treatments help to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and pain, and promote healing in the body.
- Abhyanga: Abhyanga is a form of Ayurvedic massage that uses warm oil to penetrate deep into the tissues. This helps to improve the strength and tone of the muscles and bones. Foot massage in abhyanga also helps to improve balance and promotes circulation in the affected body parts.
- Pinda Swedana: In this treatment boluses of medicated herbs are applied to the body. It helps to relieve heaviness, stiffness and improves circulation in the body parts.
- Basti: Basti is a treatment in which medicated oil is poured into the rectum. It helps to balance the vata dosha, cleanse the colon and relieve constipation.
- Virechana: Virechana is a Purgation therapy which helps to cleanse the body of toxins. It is particularly useful in treating conditions like Plantar Fasciitis where there is accumulation of toxins in the tissues.
- Nasya: Nasya is a therapy in which medicated oil is poured into the nostrils. It helps to clear the sinuses and relieve congestion. It also helps to improve mental clarity and concentration.
Yoga Poses for Heel & Foot Arch Pain
There are a number of Yoga poses that can help to treat Plantar Fasciitis. These poses help to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the foot and leg, which can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Here are helpful yoga poses that help with Plantar Fasciitis Treatment:
- Downward Facing Dog Pose can help to stretch the tissue in the foot and provide pain relief.
- Camel Pose can help to stretch the Achilles tendon and Plantar fascia.
- Garland Pose can help to stretch the Plantar fascia and provide relief from heel pain.
- Extended Triangle Pose can help to stretch the muscles in the calf and foot, which can reduce pain and inflammation.
- Upward Salute Pose can help to stretch the Plantar fascia and provide relief from heel pain.
Ayurvedic Lifestyle Tips to Prevent & Treat Heel Pain
There are a number of lifestyle changes that can help to prevent and treat Plantar Fasciitis. These include:
• Wearing shoes that provide adequate support for the foot and arch.
• Stretching the muscles in the foot and leg before exercise or physical activity.
• Avoiding high impact activities if you are at risk for Plantar Fasciitis.
• Taking breaks during extended periods of standing or walking.
• Applying ice to the foot after exercise or physical activity.
• Wearing a night splint to stretch the Plantar fascia while you sleep.
• Practicing Yoga or other forms of exercise that help to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the foot and leg.
While plantar fasciitis can be a very painful condition, Ayurveda treatment can effectively cure the problem at the root cause level. In nearly 95% of the cases, heel pain and stiffness goes away within 2-3 weeks after adopting the right treatment.
Delay in treatment can lead to chronic cases of heel pain with much more degeneration of the muscles ad tendons. This also delays the recovery.
Do not ignore your symptoms if you are suffering from heel pain or arch pain. Early treatment can save you from pain and despair going forward.
Consult with Medhya’s Ayurvedic Doctor to get your personalised health plan involving prescription for Ayurvedic medicine, diet, yoga and lifestyle guidelines.
1. What causes heel pain Ayurveda?
Heel pain is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. In Ayurveda, heel pain is often caused by an imbalance in the body’s three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. When these doshas are out of balance, they can cause blockages in the channels that carry nutrients and energy to the tissues. This can lead to inflammation and pain in the heels. Ayurvedic treatment for heel pain focuses on restoring balance to the doshas. This may be done through diet, lifestyle changes, and herbs or supplements. With proper treatment, heel pain can be reduced or even eliminated altogether.
Heel pain is often caused by imbalances in the Pitta and Vata doshas. When these doshas are out of balance, they can cause inflammation and pain in the heel. Ayurveda recommends several lifestyle changes to help heal heel pain. These include eating a balanced diet, reducing stress, and getting regular exercise. Ayurvedic treatments such as abhyanga massage and acupuncture can also help to reduce heel pain. By following these Ayurvedic recommendations, you can heal your heel pain and prevent it from returning.
2. Can Ayurveda cure plantar fasciitis?
Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that has been practiced in India for thousands of years. One of the many conditions that Ayurveda can treat is plantar fasciitis, a condition characterized by pain and inflammation in the arch of the foot. While there is no cure for plantar fasciitis, Ayurvedic treatment can help to reduce pain and promote healing. Treatment typically involves massaging the foot with warm oil, applying heat packs, and performing stretches and exercises. In addition, Ayurvedic practitioners may recommend taking supplements to support the healing process. With proper treatment, most people with plantar fasciitis experience significant relief within a few weeks. In some cases, the condition may even resolve completely.
3. What exercises help plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia ligament is a band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, and when it becomes inflamed, it can lead to pain and discomfort. There are a number of exercises that can help to treat plantar fasciitis and ease the pain. One simple exercise is to roll a tennis ball under the foot, using gentle pressure to do foot massage. Another helpful exercise is to stretch the calf muscles by doing heel raises. It is also important to strengthen the muscles in the feet and ankles, as weakness can contribute to plantar fasciitis. One way to do this is by doing toe raises, which involve standing on your toes and then lowering back down. These exercises can help to reduce pain and inflammation, and ultimately help treat plantar fasciitis.
4. Is heel pain due to uric acid?
There are many causes of heel pain, and it can be difficult to determine the precise cause without a professional evaluation. However, one possible cause of heel pain is uric acid buildup. Uric acid is a waste product that is produced when the body breaks down purines. Purines are found in many foods, including meat, fish, and some vegetables. When uric acid levels become too high, it can cause crystals to form in the joints, resulting in pain and inflammation. In addition, uric acid can also accumulate in the tissues around the joints, causing similar symptoms. If you are experiencing heel pain, it is important to consult with a medical professional to determine the underlying cause. Treatment for uric acid buildup may include lifestyle changes, such as reducing purine-rich foods in your diet, and medications to help lower uric acid levels.
5. Is walking good for heel pain?
Walking is an excellent way to alleviate heel pain. The act of walking helps to massage the feet and loosen up the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Walking also helps to increase blood flow to the feet, which can help to reduce inflammation. In addition, walking helps to stretch the calves and Achilles tendons, which can also lead to relief from heel pain. If you have heel pain, try incorporating a daily walk into your routine. You may find that your pain gradually diminishes over time.
- Bursitis of the heel
- Plantar Fasciitis
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- International Journal of Herbal Medicine 2016; 4(5): 97-101Pramodani et al. A Clinical Study To Evaluate The Efficacy of Selected Treatment Modality In The Management of Vata Kantaka.
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