For the past year, I’ve been suffering from severe pain in the heel. What is your advice?
Every time we take a step, one of our heels has to support the entire weight of the body. As we move, the load could be a few times our own body weight. The load is softened by a pillow of fat and muscles under the heel and sole. Too much physical activity, poorly fitting footwear and excess weight can cause pain and inflammation on the heels. There may be several causes of heel pain:
Plantar fasciitis: It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, which runs across the bottom of the foot connecting the heel bone to toes.
Calcaneal spur: It is a small bony projection that is formed on the heel bone. It is caused by putting too much pressure on the pads of the feet, usually over a long period of time causing repeated damage.
Gout: It occurs when uric acid crystals accumulate around the joint, causing inflammation and intense pain.
Bursitis: It is a painful condition that affects the small fluid-filled pads that act as cushions among your bones and tendons and muscles.
Tendinitis: Inflammation of tendons of ankle and feet, and arthritic conditions.
An expert can easily find the cause of heel pain with a complete medical history and physical exam; X-rays or other imaging tests may sometimes be needed. Treatments for heel pain are generally straightforward and would include:
Rest: Reduce activity helps in reducing pressure on your heel.
Anti–inflammatory medicines: Padding heel with Murivenna is very effective. There are a few ayurvedic preparations and therapies that can also help.
Stretching and strengthening exercises.
Use of foot supports such as in-sole.
Reduce excess weight.
Upanaham is an effective procedure for heel pains. Here’s how to prepare it at home: Mix 1 tbsp horse gram powder, 1 tbsp dill seed powder, 1/2 tsp rock salt, 1 tsp vinegar, 2 tsp sesame oil, and sufficient yogurt to make a smooth paste. Apply on the affected heel. Wrap with a cloth and retain overnight. Repeat for 5-7 days. Please consult a qualified ayurvedic expert before starting on any medication or treatment.