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Curing Heel Pain By Icing

It is common to use icing for curing heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Heel pain is normally due to too much foot activity, like exercise, standing for long periods of time or an inactive lifestyle which result in tears or strain in the ligament of the plantar fascia. Although icing to the plantar fascia can lead to swelling or pain, it ultimately promotes faster healing of the ligament too. Keep on reading for the best method in icing plantar fascia.

The first step is by filling a ziploc bag with cubed or crushed ice, this is the most popular and conventional icing method. The bag can be filled with a little water to shape the ice to contours of your foot.

An alternative is using a frozen food bag. There are also several gel packs which can be frozen or heated. The gel pack can be put in the freezer when the packs warm up.

Another alternative is keeping water within Styrofoam cups within the freezer. The ice can be released by peeling away the cup top. You can then massage the block of ice over the foot using spherical movement. Yet, make sure to avoid frostbite on skin by putting a layer to protect direct contact between the ice and skin. Tea towels or paper towels are the best protectors. Frostbite is a feeling on the skin akin to pinching or having pins and needles. Usually, the skin will warm up after half an hour after icing – if this is not the case, contact your doctor immediately.

The most opportune time to use an icing method is when the plantar fascia first gets strained or flares up- for example, when standing for long periods of time, exercising too much. It is best to use icing within an hour and a half after the activity and two days after the initial effect of icing is diminished.

It is important to keep the ice in circular movement; human skin is not meant to be exposed to extreme cold. Keeping feet elevated and having protection layers between the ice and skin can avoid inflammation. Do not apply ice for more than twenty minutes as there is a risk of frostbite. However, you may repeat the icing method after forty minutes of warming up the skin.

Combining icing with rolling exercises to treat plantar fascia is an extremely effective method. Put some water plastic bottles within the freezer until they are frozen. Place them under the foot arch and roll the bottle under the foot back and forth, from toes to heel.

What is the relationship between diet and Plantar Fasciitis?

According to The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately two million United States residents seek plantar fasciitis treatment on a yearly basis. Plantar fasciitis requires conventional treatment to heal pain, as well as other related symptoms. We recommend patients gain medical advice prior to using any natural treatments.

Consuming Foods Which Can Prevent Anti-Inflammatory

The main cause of the plantar fascia is inflammation. Thus, it is best to consume foods which can help reduce the spread of any kind of swelling or inflammation throughout the body. Among various nutrients, they are:

Veggies and Fruits

We all know that both kinds of foods are beneficial in the curing of diseases and maintaining our health. This is because they are rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Bright, green vegetables include anti inflammatory properties such as; spinach, broccoli, carrots – all kinds of fruits prove healthy and beneficial too. Consuming plenty of these healthy foods on a daily basis improves treatment results.

Oils

Oils that include ‘good’ fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids are recommended, for example; canola oil, oily fish, rice bran oil, walnut oil, and flax seeds or even pumpkin seeds and grape seed oil. Monounsaturated fatty acid, found in nuts, avocados and olive oil are proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Protein

Affordable and easily accessible, protein sources include fish or any kind of seafood, lean poultry, soy food, pecans and many kinds of nuts.

Beverages

The human body must have a plentiful supply of water, whether it is through bottled water, tap, fruit juices, vegetable juice, non-fat milk or herbal tea.

Conversely, there are several food types which should be avoided, namely; sugar, processed foods, junk foods and fatty meats. These food types may worsen inflammation and so it is best to replace them with food like pasta or bread or food containing 100% whole grains. Although you do not need to avoid sugar completely, it is best to reduce your intake of sugar through sugary drinks, desserts, sweets, pastries and so forth

Vegetables containing solanine may also have increase pain, for example; eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes and so are best avoided in order to reduce pain

Tips on Anti-inflammatory Diet

  • Consume fish or red meat which has less fat

  • Consume salad with more fresh veggies

  • Consume fruits for snacks, and keep away from sweets and cookies. Fresh veggies and nuts are also recommended

  • Consume tofu, tempeh and high protein nuts

  • Fry anything with olive or canola oil

What Vitamins and Minerals Needed to Cure Foot and Heel Pain

Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis treatments are not limited to stretching or using heel cups. There are still so many extraordinary methods targeting the inflammation and the pain which goes along with a strain plantar fascia. For example, basic vitamins are commonly used to prevent and treat plantar fasciitis. Actually, due to fewer invasive qualities and good success rates, there are many minerals and vitamins which are popular throughout homeopathic schools,

Calcium and Magnesium

Abnormal levels of calcium can encourage heel spurs and occur in conjunction with plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs, built from toughened calcium, form along the plantar fascia ligament on the heel bone. The human body creates the heel spur in response to chronic inflammation and irritation to the heel’s connective tissue. Heel and bone spurs are effected by calcium as well as several important minerals like magnesium, which is important to the absorption of calcium absorption. Thus, correcting calcium levels and magnesium deficiencies via your diet will help treat and prevent heel spurs.

When the body cannot find magnesium in the process of absorbing calcium, then calcium may gather in the soft tissues for directly creating a heel spur. Yet, be careful because too much calcium intake as well as a deficiency in magnesium may promote spurs on both bone and heel, and can cause arthritis. When a person takes magnesium in the right dosages, there will be no calcium deficiency problems. We can easily find magnesium in whole grains, nuts and beans.

Bioflavanoids within Vitamin

Due to their anti-inflammatory qualities, bioflavonoids – taken with with Vitamin C – are recommended to quicken the healing process. Recent research states that those who consume more vitamin C have fewer C-reactive proteins which are linked to certain kinds of illnesses, like carcinomas. Bioflavonoids within vitamin C is available in various vitamin C natural sources like all kinds of citrus fruits, veggies like cabbage and broccoli, strawberries, kiwi fruit, melons, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, green peppers, cantaloupe, sweet peppers. Bioflavonoids are proven to be the best anti-oxidants and can deliver anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-microbial properites. Importantly, bioflavonoids prevent inflammation and bruising whilst simultaneously maintaining healthy blood vessels.

Turmeric

Although not a popular remedy in the current age, turmeric is an effective traditional pain-relief medicine originating from ancient India and China. The element curcumin within turmeric, is especially known to reduce inflammation. Based on several studies, the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin has equal remedial effects of certain drugs like phenylbutazone, hydrocortisone and Motrin.

Methylsulfonylmethane

Methylsulfonylmethaneis a natural sulphur compound found in fresh vegetables and fruits, grain, fish and milk, MSM may be be applied topically in the form of a lotion or, taken orally, for reducing inflammation and pain. It should be noted that MSM is diminished in processed or prepared food. Thus, consuming natural foods which have not gone through several processes, will better deliver required levels of MSM.

Bromelain

Bromelain is a combination of proteolytic enzymes with protein-digesting ability. This supplement is available within pineapples and is beneficial for increasing nutrient absorption, inflammation control as well as helping digestion to work well. It can also reduce bruising and swelling or heal pain that is the result of injury or surgery. Hence, this substance is recommended by many surgeons before surgery.

Similar to ibruprofen or aspirin, bromelain is very effective as an anti-inflammatory treatment. Bromelain can reduce pain related to plantar fasciitis and osteoarthritis and, along with other supplements, for all kinds of disorders related to connective tissue like tendinitis, bursitis and scleroderma.

Arnica

This plant mostly used in several treatments related to bruises, sprains and strains. Within arnica is a property named helenalin which is proven to inhibit several agents of inflammation as well as reducing both swelling and bruising. Arnica is available in the form of topical creams and as an extract, the latter is proving very effective in expanding blood capillaries which accelerates the healing process.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is performed by using shockwaves to treat localized musculoskeletal pain. A shockwave is a very intense, and very brief, wave of energy that travels faster than the speed of sound; the idea of using this type of energy burst to treat musculoskeletal pain was introduced in Europe in the early nineteen-nineties. The idea evolved from the use of lithotripsy, which is a non-surgical, mechanical method used to break up stones in the kidneys, gallbladder and liver using sound waves.

It was then discovered that it was possible to use ESWT to treat lower limb issues such as plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. This procedure is considered preferable to surgery as it is a highly effective way to treat stubborn conditions without the invasiveness, risk, side-effects, and recovery time that accompany surgical intervention. In fact, the FDA first granted permission for ESWT to be used to treat plantar fasciitis in the United States, which was optimal for podiatrists practicing in North America as up to 15% of all podiatric consultations pertain to plantar fasciitis.

Despite its high level of effectiveness ESWT should only be seriously considered if all other conservative treatments have failed. While it is far preferable treatment method to surgery it is a highly involved process that can be both expensive and time consuming.  Additionally, 80-90% of patients with PF are successfully treated within a six-month period of time using standard conservative practices. ESWT is generally reserved for the 10-20% of plantar fasciitis cases that do not respond to these standard treatments in a reasonable period of time.

Likewise, treating heel pain with ESWT has now been approved, but it is also generally reserved for hard to treat cases that would otherwise be considered for surgical intervention or injections of Botox or alcohol, both of which are considered more invasive options than shockwave therapy.

Although it is not the primary treatment option for either plantar fasciitis or chronic heel pain patients who undergo Electronic Shockwave Therapy are typically able to return to work immediately after treatment, as most patients return to their usual level of activity one to two days after the procedure has been performed.

While there are potential complications that can occur, and patients must be made aware of all associated risks, there are very few documented problems or side-effects with this procedure. This biggest concern that most opponents have to ESWT is that it can be much more costly than other procedures, though the shorter recovery times associated with this procedure may offset upfront expenses over the long run.

An article published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery (JFAS) demonstrated that this procedure has an 82% success rate, which is only 1% less successful than a traditional, minimally invasive plantar fasciotomy, but without the risks, complications, and recovery time that necessarily occurs after a surgical procedure is performed.

Despite these impressive points it is important to remember that Electronic Shockwave Therapy is not a cure and like all other treatments for foot and heel pain, especially those associated with plantar fasciitis, ESWT is most effective when used in tandem with a variety of standard conservative treatments.

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The Role of Orthotics in Treating Heel Spurs and Heel Pain

One of the primary resources in the treatment of heel spurs and heel pain is the use of orthotic devices, which help correct faulty mechanical manoeuvres in the lower body that often lead to this type of discomfort. They are an easy, non-invasive way to correct sub-par foot function and treat conditions such as heel spurs and heel pain.

One of the most common causes of heel pain (and spurs) is over-pronation. This occurs when there is excessive inward rolling of the ankles during the gait cycle, and when it is too deep or lasts for too long of a time it begins to alter the biomechanics of the body and place excessive stress on the plantar tendon. When the plantar tendon eventually becomes irritated the entire foot is affected but the heel is particularly negatively impacted by this deterioration.

Unlike basic shoe inserts designed merely for comfort orthotics are used to correct foot alignment and therefore the mechanical functions of the body. Orthotics are rigid and well constructed devices that distribute weight evenly throughout the extremity, which reduces the amount of strain placed on the ball and heel of the foot.

Likewise, when orthotic devices are used to support the arch of the foot this often reduces tension and inflammation of the heel of the foot. Treating plantar fasciitis through the use of orthotic devices is often a primary solution for treating heel spurs and heel pain, as PF is responsible for a majority of cases of heel pain, and heel spurs rarely (if ever) develop independent of plantar fasciitis.

Orthotic devices are often sufficient in controlling over-pronation and providing proper arch support, which in turns reduces tension on the plantar fascia to such a degree that bone spurs will often be reduced in size and severity, especially when the devices are properly fitted and used consistently within a wider treatment program.

Orthotics are generally used as front-line treatment for heel spurs and heel pain because they are highly effective, affordable, easy to use, and much less invasive than surgical intervention. Well made orthotic devices have an above average success rate when used to treat heel pain, including discomfort caused by heel spurs.

There is also the matter of choice; over the years podiatrists and specialists have created several types and makes of orthotic devices in their quest to heal heel pain. There are several choices of heel cups, heel seats, heel pads, arch supports and insoles on the market today, which means that patients have a much greater chance of finding the orthotic device that fits their particular needs. Orthotic shoe inserts may help to provide or augment treatments used to minimize discomfort caused by issues in the heel as well. While orthotic inserts alone are generally insufficient to correct underlying problems they are often effective when used in tandem with other treatment options.

The role that orthotic devices play in the treatment of heel spurs and heel pain is an important one; because these issues are often the result of poor foot mechanics correcting issues such as over-pronation and fallen arches is often enough to satisfactorily treat the problem, particularly when placed in a broader treatment program.

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