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Heel pain is a common health complaint. Heel pain, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, may be caused by numerous factors, including a stone bruise, stress fracture, heel spur, arthritis or Achilles tendinitis. One of the most common causes of heel pain, especially pain under your heel, is plantar fasciitis, now commonly known as planter fasciosis. Dietary supplements may be a beneficial adjunct therapy in treating your heel pain, but you should always clear the use of supplements with your doctor before using them.
Plantar fasciitis, states the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, is a condition in which the tissue extending from the front of your heel to your toes, or plantar fascia, becomes inflamed, causing pain underneath your heel. It notes that along with pain under your heel, pain that is worse upon waking and pain that gets progressively worse over several months are the most common symptoms of this condition. Improper footwear may contribute to this condition, too.
Supplements that help quell inflammation and reduce pain may be among the most helpful substances in treating your heel pain. Examples of anti-inflammatory supplements, notes Phyllis A. Balch, author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” include ginger, boswellia, turmeric, grape seed extract and MSM. Dietary supplements that may help to reduce soft tissue pain include feverfew, passionflower, willow and kava kava. Further scientific research may be necessary to support the use of these supplements for this condition.
Turmeric may one of the most frequently prescribed dietary supplements in the treatment of heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, contains curcumin — the principle active ingredient that helps treat your inflammation. Expert herbalist Ed Smith, author of “Therapeutic Herb Manual,” states that turmeric supplements are used in treating a broad range of health complaints, including asthma, arthritis, psoriasis, gallstones and elevated cholesterol levels. Extracts of the dried whole rhizome are used in dietary supplements.
Heel pain is not usually a symptom of a life-threatening condition, although it can significantly affect your ability to walk and carry out your activities of daily living. Dietary supplements, although often safe and effective, should not be used in place of other, more conventional treatment methods suggested by your family physician. Certain dietary supplements may trigger allergic reactions in your body or interfere with the actions of prescription drugs you might be taking.
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