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PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Medically known as plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis), heel pain is caused by inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot connecting the heel bone to the toes known as the plantar fascia.

With plantar fasciitis, a stabbing or burning pain occurs. Typically, the pain is worse in the morning because the fascia tightens (contracts) overnight. Once the foot limbers up, the pain normally subsides. However, it may return after standing for long periods or after getting up from a seated position.

Plantar fasciitis usually develops gradually, but it can come on suddenly and be severe. The condition usually occurs in one foot at a time but it can affect both feet.

Typical signs & symptoms include:

- Sharp pain in the inside part of the bottom of the heel

- Heel pain that tends to be worse with the first few steps after awakening, when climbing stairs or when standing on tiptoe

- Heel pain after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position

- Heel pain after, but not usually during, exercise

- Mild swelling in the heel

Under normal circumstances, the plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in the foot. Sometimes however, when tension on that bowstring becomes excessive, it can become irritated or inflamed. The causes of plantar fasciitis can be:

Physical activity overload - Plantar fasciitis is common in long-distance runners but any type of excess pressure can cause the condition.

Arthritis - Some types of arthritis can cause inflammation in the tendons in the bottom of the foot, which may lead to plantar fasciitis.

Diabetes - While experts are still unsure of why, plantar fasciitis occurs more often in people with diabetes.

Faulty foot mechanics - People who have flat feet, a high arch or even having an abnormal pattern of walking are more at risk because any one of these factors can adversely affect the way weight is distributed when a person is standing up, putting added stress on the plantar fascia.

Improper shoes - Shoes with thin soles, are loose or lack arch support or the ability to absorb shock offer no protection for the feet.

The regimen below includes a holistic approach to treating & preventing plantar fasciitis.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Drink only high quality, pure water. 

Intake of citrus fruits, especially oranges, should be reduced to improve mineral balance.

Alcohol, caffeine and processed sugars should be eliminated to improve the body's own healing capabilities.

A two week colon and liver cleansing may also be beneficial.

Intermittent hot and cold foot baths and ice massages are also recommended.

Wear well-made, comfortable shoes whenever possible. Consider getting  cushioned inserts, which absorb more shock.

Bicycling and swimming, rather than running or walking, may be better exercise choices as they lessen stress and strain on the feet.

Try stretching your Achilles tendon by lying down and bending your leg until you can reach your toes. Use both your hands and pull your toes toward your shin and hold this position for 20 seconds. This can relieve the plantar fasciiti.

The supplements listed below may also be helpful:

Betaine Hydrochloride (HCI) (take as directed on label) - Necessary for proper calcium uptake.

Calcium (1,500 mg daily) and Magnesium (750 mg daily) - Help prevent abnormal calcium deposition.

Proteolytic Enzymes (take as directed on label) - Aid nutrient absorption and control inflammation.

Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids (2,000 - 4,000 mg daily) - Acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) (take as directed on label. It can be applied as a cream topically or taken orally in pill form) - Reduces pain and inflammation.

Arnica and Chamomile (take as directed on label) - May be used to bathe the foot or massaged into the affected area.

Bromelain and Turmeric (take as directed on label) - Reduce pain and inflammation.

 

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