Q: I am suffering from heel pain. Is there a cure for this in Ayurveda?

Heel pain is rarely a symptom of any serious condition; however, it can interfere with our normal activities, standing and walking. The most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.

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In plantar fasciitis, pain will be felt on the bottom of heel and in Achilles’ tendinitis, pain is felt in the back of the heel. Heel spurs, bursitis, osteomyelitis, peripheral neuropathy, reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, stress fractures, rarsal tunnel syndrome can be other causes of heel pain and the Ayurveda treatment varies according to the cause. The Ayurveda prognosis of a heel pain is also based on the cause and severity of the condition.

Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia). Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs when you take your first steps in the morning. The pain normally decreases with movement, but it might return after long periods of standing or walking.

People who are overweight and those who wear improper shoes have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.

Heel spurs occur in at least half the people who have plantar fasciitis. A heel spur is a calcium deposit causing a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. Most of such cases get better with non-surgical treatments.

Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the backside of the heel bone. It can be treated with relatively simple medicines and self-care.

Here is an Ayurveda procedure to reduce heel pains related to plantar fasciitis, Achilles’ tendinitis and calcaneal spur: Mix 1-2 tbsp horse gram powder or dill seed powder, 2-3 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rock salt and 1 tsp vinegar with enough yogurt to make a paste. Apply this around the heel, bandage overnight and remove in the morning. Try this for 5-7 days.

Take a second Ayurveda opinion before you plan a surgical repair.

Wearing well-fitting shoes, shock-absorbent soles, warming up and doing stretching exercises; losing weight are important self-care measures to reduce heel pain.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.