Vitamins and Minerals to help with Heel Pain & Foot Pain

The treatment for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs does not have to only include rest, stretching and heel cups. There are other “out of the box” ways to approach the pain and inflammation that comes along with a tight plantar fascia. A simple vitamin could be the key to treating your plantar fasciitis and prevent its return.

Certain vitamins and minerals are known throughout the medical and homeopathic communities for their less invasive qualities with suprising results. Take a quick look at the vitamins and minerals below and see if you can add one to your daily routine of treatment for your plantar fasciitis.

Calcium and Magnesium are two minerals that help prevent the abnormal calcium deposits that cause heel spurs. Heel spurs can occur in conjunction with plantar fasciitis and can cause more pain than plantar fasciitis alone. The heel spur, which is made up of hardened calcium, forms in between the plantar fascia ligament and the heel bone. The heel spur is created by your body in response to chronic irritation, inflammation and wear of the connective tissue in the heel. Heel and bone spurs have been linked to a deficiency in calcium and other minerals, so the addition of calcium in your diet can help treat and prevent the spurs.

Magnesium is needed for calcium absorption. Without magnesium, calcium cannot be absorbed by the body, leading to a calcium deficiency, which is linked with the formation of heel and bone spurs. If magnesium is not taken in addition to calcium, the calcium can collect in the soft tissues and create a heel spur. But beware, excessive calcium intake and insufficient magnesium can actually contribute and cause bone and heel spurs, as well as other conditions like arthritis. Magnesium, if taken in proper dosages, can solve the problem of calcium deficiency. Magnesium is present in nuts, whole grains such as brown rice, millet, buckwheat (kasha), whole wheat, triticate, and rye, and legumes including lentils, split peas, and a variety of beans.

Vitamin C with Bioflavanoids
Vitamin C, when taken along with bioflavonoids is known to accelerate healing and have anti-inflammatory properties. New studies have found that people who have more vitamin C in their systems have less of C-reactive protein, which is found in people with a variety of illnesses, including carncinomas, and acts in the inflammatory processes of the body. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines are excellent sources of vitamin C. Other good natural sources of vitamin C are: broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, green peppers, melons, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, strawberries, sweet peppers, potatoes with skin, and alfalfa sprouts. Bioflavonoids are anti-oxidants and have been shown to have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties. They have a unique ability to prevent bruising, control inflammation and maintain healthy blood vessels, and increase the intracellular levels of vitamin C. Bioflavonoids can be found in the rinds of citrus fruits, as well as in green peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, purple grapes, berries and some herbal teas. Rose hips, bilberry, pine bark, grape seed and elderberry also contain flavonoids.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
Methylsulfonylmethane can be taken orally or applied topically in cream or lotion form and reduces pain and inflammation. MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, fish, and grains. Methylsulfonylmethane is found in readily available foods that most humans consume on a daily basis. Unfortunately, as foods are processed, MSM is destroyed, so eating natural foods that have not been processed or overly cooked/prepared can supply needed MSM. Methylsulfonylmethane topical cream can be massaged into the heel and foot for pain reduction and reduced inflammation.

Arnica is used in the treatment of strains, sprains, and bruises. The compound found in the arnica plant is helenalin, which is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of arnica. Helenalin has been shown to slectively inhibit certain inflammatory agents, reducing bruising and swelling. Available in a topical cream, arnica extract has been clinically shown to be effective in dilating blood capillaries, assisting healing from the increased blood flow to the area.

Bromelain is a mixture of protein-digesting enzymes, or proteolytic enzymes. Bromelain supplements are derived from pineapples and contain active proteolytic enzymes that aid digestion, nutrient absorption and control inflammation. Bromelain reduces swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain following surgery and physical injuries. Many surgeons recommend taking bromelain in the weeks prior to surgery to have the enzyme readily available for use in the body. Bromelain supplements can be as effective as some other anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, for reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis and plantar fasciitis. It has been suggested that this enzyme may be helpful as part of the treatment for other connective tissue disorders including scleroderma (the build up of tough scar-like tissue in the skin), bursitis, and tendinitis.

Turmeric reduces pain and inflammation. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Turmeric is available as a spice and can be used when cooking for benefits. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, or curcumin. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin.

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