Treating Plantar Fasciitis in Ayurveda

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes (Plantar fascia).

Concept of Plantar Fasciitis according to Ayurveda

Ayurveda considers it as Vatakandaka, condition resulting due to vitiation of vata (means air- which governs all the movements of body and mind) along with other doshas (bio energies) and dathus (tissues).  ‘Kandaka’ refers to the point of a needle which is like a thorn and that which produces a sharp, stinging pain at the heel of the foot.

CAUSES OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Main cause is over straining of the Plantar Fascia, straining may occur in different ways and finally lead to inflammation, pain, swelling, etc.

  • Flat foot
  • Calcaneal spur
  • Over straining like long walk, running, ballet dance, aerobic dance, etc. especially on hard surface.
  • Improper shoes
  • High heeled foot wears
  • Over weight
  • Weak calf muscles

SYMPTOMS OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS

  • Stabbing pain in the bottom of foot near the heels.
  • Pain usually worst with first few steps in the morning.
  • Pain after long period of standing or rising from sitting.
  • Running, walking or lifting heavy weight may exacerbate the condition.

COMPLICATIONS OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS

  • ·     Chronic heel pain that hinders the regular activities
  • ·     Gait abnormalities
  • ·     Foot, knee, hip and back problems

PLANTAR FASCIITIS IN AYURVEDA

Ayurveda considers it as Vatakandaka, condition resulting due to kapha (bodily humor) – vata (means air- which governs all the movements of body and mind) vitiation. Vitiated kapha block or alter the normal path of vata, also associated with pitta (fire) and other dhatus (tissues) causing pain and inflammation.  Kandaka’ refers to the point of a needle which is like a thorn and that which produces a sharp, stinging pain at the heel of the foot.

Walking with foot placed on hard, uneven surface and exertion (physical activities like running, jumping, walking , sports and games) leads to the aggravation of vata (means air- which governs all the movements of body and mind). The vitiated vata along with other doshas (pitta and kapha) get localised in ankle- foot and produces this painful condition.

Normally the condition does not cause much trouble, but over exertion and involvement in other activities that causes extra pressure to the foot aggravates this pain and inflammation in heels.

 

How Ayurveda prevent PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

Ayurveda suggests following a healthy regimen that does not lead to the aggravation of doshas (bio energies). As prevention is better than cure, it is suggested to avoid over exertion to the heels and to follow a region that does not vitiate doshas and dhatus. As a part of daily regimen Ayurveda highlights the importance of wearing proper foot wears, daily massage to foot etc. Avoid walking with foot placed on hard, uneven surface and exertion (physical activities like running, jumping, walking , sports and games) leads to the aggravation of vata. Avoid day sleep and night vigil.

AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Main aim of our treatment is to normalise three dosha (bio energies) and to nourish the vitiated dhatus (tissues), also to reduce the pain and inflammation.  Treatment procedures like:

  • ·     Abhyanga – oil massage on the heels
  • ·     Swedana – Fomentation, especially Ishtika Sweda
  • ·     Avagaha – Foot dip in herbal oils
  • ·     Dhara – Dripping of medicated oil.
  • ·     Poultice and Bandaging
  • ·     Agni karma – cauterization

Panchakarma procedure like:

  • ·      Virechana (Purgation) – helps in eliminating vitiated pitta, vata and nourish asthi dhatu (bone)
  • ·     Basti (medicated enema) – using herbal oils or medicated milk helps in healing pain and inflammation by eliminating vata and nourishing asthi dhatu.
  • ·     Rakta mokshana (blood letting) – helps in relieving pain and inflammation.

Internal medications like Rasnadi kashayam, Rasna erandadi kashayam, Guggulu thikthaka kashayam, Varanadi kashayam, Astavargam Kashayam, Gandha taila, Ksheerabala 101, Chandraprabha vati, Yogaraja Guggulu, Kaishoora Guggulu, etc are useful.

External applications like – Pinda taila, Kottamchukadi taila, Dashanga lepa, etc.

Poultice application:  Paste prepared by mixing Parsley seed and milk, kottamcchukkadi choorna mixed with salt, lemon juice and taila can be bandaged and left over night.

Vegetarian Diet

  • Pumpkin seeds, white beans
  • Green leafy vegetable like cabbage, spinach
  • Soya food
  • Ladies finger, beans, carrot, beets, onion

Non- Vegetarian

  • Chicken
  • Egg
  • Rooster and fish

 

OTHER DIET

  • Horse gram, black gram, sesame seed, flax seed
  • Garlic, betel leaves, basil
  • Red coloured rice
  • Fruits like orange, pomegranate, berries, mango
  • Ghee
  • Rasinis, almonds, dates
  • Include cinnamon, long pepper, garlic, ginger in the diet.

 

FOOD TO AVOID IN PLANTAR FASCIITIS

  • Sugar
  • Processed grain
  • Saturated fat
  • Fried and fast food
  • Excess hot, sweet and spicy food
  • Refrigerated food and ice creams
  • Cow pea, pea nut, Indian bean, Bengal gram
  • Beverages and soft drinks

LIFESTYLE ADAPTATION IN PLANTAR FASCIITIS

  • Avoid junk food
  • Avoid hot, spicy, fried and fast food
  • Take proper rest after work
  • Use proper shoes, well fitted
  • Avoid high heeled footwear
  • Wear a soft, comfortable foot wear that has a good arch support to the heels.
  • Use soaks at night time and keep feet warm
  • Regular exercise and yoga practice
  • Diet control
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

NATURAL AYURVEDIC HOME REMEDIES FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS

  • Hot water fomentation with Himalayan salt or salt.
  • Warm brick fomentation
  • Hot n cool
  • Coconut oil massage
  • Apply ice packs on heels
  • Apply flaxseed pack on the affected area
  • Wrap cabbage leaf around the heel region
  • Wrap Calotropis leaf and give fomentation
  • Immerse the sole in sour buttermilk
  • Fomentation using castor leaves mixed with grinded coconut.
  • Paste of garlic and camphor can be applied in heels

 

EFFECTIVE HERBS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS

  • Pluchea lanceolata relieves inflammation and pain. Paste ot this drug can be applied in the heels 20mints at night before bed time.
  • Tamarind leaves paste can be applied in heels.
  • Calotropis leaves wrap and fomentation

 

HERBAL TEA FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS

  • Green tea
  • Dry ginger tea
  • Licorice tea
  • Tea prepared using turmeric, black pepper, clove, ginger and cinnamon.

EXERCISES RECOMMENDED IN PLANTAR FASCIITIS

  • Stretching of Calf Muscles.
  • Rolling Exercises.
  • Out stretching of legs.
  • Towel stretch

YOGA ASANAS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Yoga asanas support the physical, psychological and emotional sufferings that a disease creates. It helps to tone the internal organ functions and improves the blood circulation. Practicing yoga asanas helps in calming the entire body and mind. Stimulates the muscles, increase blood supply, balance the glands and helps in internal purification process. Yoga is effective in lowering the stress level, relieves depression, strengthens immune functions and rejuvenates a person. It keeps your mind and body fresh. Yoga helps in strengthening the ankles, thighs, calves and spine. It reduces flat feet. Some of the Yoga poses beneficial in Plantar Fasciitis are below:

  • ·     Chair pose
  • ·     Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • ·     Thunderbolt pose
  • ·     Straight Leg Raise Pose
  • ·     Mountain Pose

Dr Irfan Poilan

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ABOUT Dr Abdurahman Poilan

Dr. Abdul Rahman Poilan has come from a long line of traditional Ayurveda vaidyas who passed on their knowledge through the generations has an experience of 28 years in the field of Ayurveda. Dr. Poilan is a reputed speaker on international level with invitations to more than 18 countries. He regularly conducts seminars and workshops on Ayurvedic massages and Panchakarma therapy.

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