Heel spur, Plantar fasciitis, is pain and inflammation of the foot. Patients come to the clinic after trying to relieve the pain with unhealthy pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications and after spending a lot of money on expensive shoes and special insoles.
A simple and natural treatment for plantar fasciitis will heal the leg instead of constantly avoiding putting pressure on the affected area as a solution. In this article, we will review the most effective natural treatments for heel spur.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a common phenomenon. About 10% of the population suffers from it. High prevalence is mainly in men, runners, and middle-aged women. The phenomenon is sometimes called heel spur since, in some cases, an X-ray shows a slight protrusion of a bone that looks like a spur thorn, and because of the pain, it is like a stinging thorn.
The role of plantar Fascia is to maintain the arch of the foot. It is a connective tissue that connects the heel with the beginning of the toes. Although the source of the pain is not always this protrusion, we will find inflammation in the plantar Fascia.
The Plantar Fascia is made up of muscles and tendons and is basically like a cable system whose job is to maintain the foot’s arch. The foot comprises three arches with a shock absorber’s function. Imagine the load that this tissue has to absorb every day. When there is an overload on the plantar Fascia, minor tears are formed in the tissues that create inflammation in the area. The pain creates a feeling of a thorn in the foot in the heel area. The pain is especially severe in the morning after the leg rests at night, which creates a shortening of the Fascia, and suddenly it requires effort when standing. Similarly, it can cause pain when getting up from an extended sitting, after prolonged standing, or during a long run.
Risk factors for Plantar Fasciitis
* Obesity or sudden weight gain.
* Sudden physical exertion for people who are not used to it.
* Shoes that do not absorb shocks in the heel area.
* Changes in running habits (frequency, duration, and surface).
* Work involving prolonged standing.
* Achilles tendon shortening and limitation in the dorsal flexion of the foot –
It is the most significant risk factor of all the above.
Plantar Fasciitis treatment, according to Western Medicine
The treatment in conventional medicine is mainly a conservative treatment, of wearing suitable shoes, special insoles, and giving rest to the feet. In addition, if necessary, painkillers, steroid injections, sound waves, or shock waves are provided, and in severe cases, applying surgery.
Plantar Fasciitis treatment methods in Alternative Medicine.
Many people seek natural treatment because the Western medicine approach often does not give results or requires dependence on special and expensive insoles or shoes. The use of medication over time is not justified in the case of a simple problem like a heel spur. 100,000 Americans die each year from prescription drugs, and living on painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroids is unhealthy. What are natural treatment methods recommended for treating heel spur or foot pain?
Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis
Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis or similar foot pain is performed at points that open up the energetic blockages and restore the harmonious flow to the body. Acupuncture points for treating foot pain are found mainly in the palms of the hand, ankles, and sometimes in the foot itself. Acupuncture effectively reduces inflammation, and pain relief usually comes in the first session.
Release and extension of the ankle muscles, Achilles tendon, and foot muscles are necessary to heal inflammation and prevent pain recurrence after healing.
According to Chinese medicine, the area of the heel and foot is controlled by the kidney meridian. According to Chinese Medicine, the kidneys store the energy of the body. Over the years, they may become weak due to an incorrect lifestyle. This approach explains the high prevalence of middle-aged women spur. Other areas associated with the kidneys are the bones in general and the lower back and knees, where weakness is also seen in old age.
An overload explains the fact that runners suffer from heel spur on the foot and Achilles tendon. It can happen due to too much training, wrong shoes, or lack of stretching and releasing the muscles.
Sometimes due to mental stress, there is a lot of tension in the muscles and tendons throughout the body, which interferes with the proper nutrition of the muscles and tendons. In this case, the acupuncturist will use points that relax the muscles and tendons and nourish the joints. This helps in recovery but mainly will prevent further injuries.
It is recommended to come for Acupuncture treatment twice a week. One will usually feel some relief after each treatment when each time the relief period is longer. In case of kidney weakness, acupuncture should also be used to strengthen the kidneys. You can also add special herbs to support the kidneys (From a Chinese Medidnce point of view) given after a personal diagnosis. All this is to prevent the recurrence of the spur but also to avoid additional symptoms related to kidney weakness.
Massaging the feet
Tui na, reflexology, Shiatsu, or any other massage will help treat the foot and heal the inflammation. These treatments can be combined with acupuncture. The massage is usually localized on the foot, ankle, thigh, and lower back.
Tui na is the Chinese method of physical therapy. Unlike physiotherapy or Western massage, in Tui an, there is a reference to the Chinese diagnosis and massaging along the meridians and the acupuncture points.
Some Chinese medicine practitioners prefer to treat Shiatsu, a Japanese method that works on Chinese medicine’s principles. Shiatsu treatment is slower and gentler. Shiatsu treatment is also suitable for foot problems.
Reflexology specializes in treating the feet so that it will be helpful for plantar fasciitis.