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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Healing the Heel Pain With Homeopathy

Healing the Heel Pain With Homeopathy 

Pain in the heel is one of the most common ailments of the foot. The most common form of heel pain is pain at the bottom of the heel. It tends to occur for no apparent reason and is often worse when first placing weight on the foot.
Patients often complain of pain in the morning, or after getting up to stand after sitting for a while.

The pain can be a sharp, shooting pain or present as a tearing feeling at the bottom of the heel.
As the condition progresses, there may be a throbbing pain or there may be soreness that radiates up the back of the leg. Pain may also radiate into the arch of the foot.
To understand the cause of the pain one must understand the anatomy of the foot and some basic mechanics in the functioning of the foot. A thick ligament, called the plantar fascia, is attached to the bottom of the heel and spread out into the ball of the foot, attaching to the base of the toes. The plantar fascia is made of dense, fibrous connective tissue that will stretch very little. It acts like a shock absorber.
As the foot presses the ground with each step, it flattens out, lengthening the foot, making the plantar fascia stretch slightly. When the heel comes off the ground, the tension on the ligament is released. Force from above tends to make the foot elongate, making flat the foot. Pain can result when these tissues become irritated or inflamed, or when small spurs grow on the heel bone. Adults, regardless of occupation or activity level, develop heel pain most frequently.

Causes: The main causes for pain in the heel are repeated stress,

falling arches, being overweight, fractures, cysts, infections, wearing shoes with poor foot beds, arthritis, collagen diseases, overuse trauma and nerve entrapments. However, the majority of heel pain can be due to abnormal walking position with corns, high heels and arthritis. Abnormal posture in rest and sleep – locking the ankle one with another – also causes heel pain. The ankle position of long-drive drivers may also become a cause. It may be due to infection, reaction to infection, rheumatoid, rheumatic, porous bone or thinning of bones which are very common in ageing due to hormonal deficiency.
Calcium depletion and taking drugs like steroids and thyroid hormones will also induce thinning of the bones. Changes in joints caused by osteoarthritis are thinning of cartilages, thickening of joint surfaces, new bone formation, loose bodies inside the joint, weakening of the muscles, swelling and fluid collection. All these lead to pain, swelling and restricted movement of joints. They may also cause heel pain.

Types of pain in the heel

Plantar fascitis – Plantar fascitis, also known as heel pain syndrome, is an inflammation in the plantar fascia at the bottom of the foot. The inflammation of plantar fascia at its origin at the heel bone causes the classic symptom of pain at the bottom and side of the heel. In course of infection and inflammation, the plantar fascia gets tightened as a course of natural protection mechanism to avoid movement and thus pain. When it is stretched against natural tightness, it pains. The plantar fascia

resists this force. If there is more force on the plantar fascia than it can handle, one of two things that can happen is either tiny plantar fascia fibres tear, or it pulls too strongly on the heel bone.
The injury of the plantar fascia begins a process of heel inflammation. Inflammation is characterised by swelling but this is not so visible in plantar fascitis. Some of the inflammatory fluids brought to an injured area stimulate pain nerves. This is nature’s way of slowing down after an injury to allow the tissues to heal. Heel pain syndrome can be caused by shoes with heels that are too low, a thinned out fat pad in the heel area, or from a sudden increase in activity. Some of the factors to plantar fascitis include flat foot, pronated feet; high-arched rigid feet; inappropriate shoes; running on the toe or hill-running, running on sand, and ageing.

Calcaneal spurs (Calcium spurs) – The abnormal stress placed on the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel usually causes pain, inflammation and swelling. If this process continues, the plantar fascia partially tears away from the heel. The body will fill this torn area with calcium, developing it as a bone, resulting in a heel spur. Constant abnormal pulling of the plantar fascia irritates the heel bone and the body lays down a bone spur as a protective mechanism. The projection or growth of bone may be called a spur and it grows where the muscles of the foot attach to the bone. While some heel spurs are painless, others that are determined are the cause of chronic heel pain and may require medical treatment or surgical removal.
When small tears occur, a very small amount of bleeding may

occur. Pain experienced in the bottom of the heel is not produced by the presence of the spur. The pain is due to excessive tension of the plantar fascia as it tears from its attachment into the heel bone and not from the spur. Heel spur formation is secondary to the excessive pull of the plantar fascia. Many people have heel spurs at the attachment of the plantar fascia without having any symptoms or pain. The spurs may not appear on the X-rays of patients with acute heel pain. Conversely, heel spurs of all sizes are often seen on X-rays of patients who do not have any heel pain. If a spur exist, it is only a shelf of bone rather than a small, sharp protrusion. Therefore, initial treatment is directed at decreasing the pulling and tightness of the plantar fascia and supporting the fascia during weight-bearing to decrease inflammation. If a nerve is initiated by the spur or inflamed due to swollen fascia the pain may radiate into the arch of the ankle.

Achilles tendonitis
– Another heel problem faced mainly by athletes is Achilles tendonitis. Over stretching the Achilles tendon causes a burning sensation behind the heel. The Achilles tendons are the very largest, tough tissue found in lower legs and connect the calf muscles to the heel. The calf muscles are responsible for strengthening the feet at the ankles when walking. When the calf muscle is tight, it limits the movement of the ankle joint. When ankle joint motion is limited by the tightness of the calf muscle, it forces the subtalar joint to pronate excessively. Excessive subtalar joint pronation can cause several different problems to occur in the foot. Exercise, such as walking or jogging will cause the calf muscle to tighten. Inactivity or prolonged rest will also cause the calf muscle to tighten. Women who wear high heels and men who wear western style cowboy boots will, over time, develop tightness in the calf muscles. Support beneath the heel providing proper shock absorption and anatomical balance helps alleviate this pain.

Pronation and supination
– Pronation can cause the plantar fascia to be excessively stretched and inflamed. While pronated the foot rolls inward, causing a break down of the inner side of the shoe, the arch falls excessively, and this causes an abnormal stretching of the relatively inflexible plantar fascia, which in turn pulls abnormally hard on the heel. In pronation, the foot collapses and becomes very flexible. This flexibility allows the foot to adapt to changes in terrain. As the opposite foot swings by the planted foot, the foot begins to supinate into a foot rigid enough to support push-off. A supinated foot is very stable and not prone to plantar fascitis. The pathology occurs with “supination” is the rolling of the foot outward, causing a breakdown of the outer side of the shoe. Supinated feet are relatively inflexible, usually have a high arch, and a short or tight plantar fascia. Thus, as weight is transferred from the heel to the remainder of the foot, the tight plantar fascia does not stretch at all, and pulls with great force on its attachment to the heel.

Treatment – Treatment should not only relieve the pain but it should also prevent it from recurrences. Treatment may include self-care, medications, therapy.
Self-care - Self-care includes cushion and lubrication. Treatment must be directed towards realigning the foot as it goes through the gait cycle, and reversing the abnormal effects of pronation and supination on the plantar fascia and heel. In doing this, the abnormal pull of the plantar fascia on the heel will be made to disappear. This, in turn, alleviates the pain and inflammation at the heel. Realignment or proper positioning of the foot by cushioning the heel provides an immediate decrease in pain.

Preventive measures – Avoid sports and other vigorous activities while healing. Avoid uneven walking surfaces or stepping on rocks as much as possible Relax and walk; relax and stand, Begin exercise programmes slowly; don’t go too far or too fast. Avoid going barefoot on hard surfaces.
Stand on your toes at full stretch with supports on hands. Do this type of exercise up to 10 times. Try gentle calf stretches for 20 to 30 seconds on each leg. This is best done barefoot, leaning forward towards a wall with one foot forward and one foot back. All exercise should be done slowly and the posture should be maintained for some time for efficacy
Before stepping down after sleeping or resting, make movements of toes and ankle in all the way to warm up and relax the foot. If the pain becomes intense, applying ice will reduce it. Place the ice directly on the heel and arch for at least 10-20 minutes. Elevating the heel will reduce the pull of the plantar fascia, thus reducing the pain.
Weight Reduction – Decreasing pressure on the heel by reducing body weight can often be quite beneficial when it is appropriate and indicated

Diet – In case of arthritis and bone disorders, treatment can be supplemented with calcium vitamin-D, vitamin-C, iron, hormonal replacement and exercises Balanced diet with plenty of greens, dates, cereals, vegetables, dairy products, meat, egg and fruits ensure adequate supply of calcium and minerals. For vitamin-C – fruits like orange, lemon, gooseberry, tomatoes, potatoes and vegetables. It is also necessary to absorb iron from meat.
Shoes: Wear shoes with heels made from soft rubber instead of leather and replace them regularly. Footwear selection is also an important criteria when treating heel pain. The right shoes can play a major role in relieving discomfort.
Heel cushions . These are usually of very little value unless the heel pain was caused by a bruise. In heel pain, the heel cushions treat only a small portion of the symptoms. Physio-therapy-Stretching exercises are most effective. Night splints also give some relief.

Medication – In Allopathy: Heel pain is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications cannot be taken by patients who are allergic to aspirin or suffering from ulcers.
Injections of a mixture of local anaesthetic and cortisone: Although relief of pain and inflammation is usually very good with injections, this treatment does not treat the cause of the problem. Multiple injections in the same location can weaken the tissue and cause atrophy of the tissue and fat in the heel area.
Instantly killing pain with pain killer tablet and injection is like putting off the light when you don’t want to see the things; surely the day will come to light up where you cannot switch off the pain.
Surgery: Surgery is used when conservative measures have not been successful or as a last resort.

Homoeopathic approach to heel pain

Homoeopathy is the finger-post on the cross-roads of healing which directs the way to safe and permanent cure. It comforts modern living. It is very safe, effective and easy way to attain cure. The most common medicines are Antim-crud, Rhus tox, Thuja, Bryonia, Pulsatilla, Ruta, Ledum, Kalmia, Lycopodium and Apis mel. The medicines should be taken under the advice and diagnosis of a Homoeopath. The Homoeopathy medicines not only relieve the pain but also treat the condition permanently. In case of deformed foot it comforts the living by alleviating the pain

Homeopathic Remedies 

 CYCLAMEN - one of best and first medicine for  for burning boring pain in heels, better by moving about , massage, warmth , worse sitting or standing and by a cold bath, rest and eveing walking a

VALERIANA - One of best medicine for pain in heel  when stinging pain in heels is present while sitting , acute and sudden pain while walking .
 RANUNCULUS BULBOSUS - for acute pain in heels. There is pulsative stitches in the left heel on standing ,walking and rest ,
 LATHYRUS SATIVUS - when heels do not touch the ground due to pain on walking. The patient walks on the front part of the feet ,night aggrivation
Cramps in the feet. Pains in the instep, in the ankle bones, in the soles of the feet, and in the toes, on walking. Neuralgic pains in the soles of the feet. Contraction in the instep, with tensive pain when stepping. Coldness of the feet. Swelling of the feet. Pains in the varices. Tingling in the soles of the feet. Festering vesicles and ulcerations on the heels.
Adapted to persons with dark hair and rigid fibre; weakly, psoric, with excessively yellow, sallow complexion; subject to affections of respiratory and urinary tracts.
Congestion in the legs and in the feet, when standing upright. Swelling of the legs and of the feet, with hardness and shooting pain. Stiffness of the instep. Shooting pain, like that of an ulcer, in the heel and in the soles of the feet, on rising from the sitting posture. Cold feet, even in the evening in bed. Feet burning. Fetid sweat on the feet. Contraction of the toes. Swelling and distortion of the toes.
Suited to – Excessive cautiousness; timid, hesitates; unable to decide about anything. Fidgety while sitting at work. Sad, despondent; music makes her weep; thinks of nothing but death.
Burning in feet, wants them uncovered and fanned. Cold feet with chills all over. Oedema of feet followed and better by diarrhea. Soreness in ball of foot under toes. Cold, sweating feet.
For the constitutional effects of mal-treated and suppressed Gonorrhoea.
For persons suffering from gout, rheumatism, neuralgia and diseases of the spinal cord and its membranes- even organic lesions ending in paralysis- which can be traced to a sycotic origin.
Painful sensation of numbness in soles of feet and in balls of the toes. Red-hot swelling of feet, extending up to calf, with stinging pain. Swelling of top of foot. Oedematous swelling of feet, worse in evening. Piercing shootings and incisive pains in heels (towards evening). Shootings in soles of feet and extremities of toes. The complaints are worse when one allows the feet to hang down.
Adapted to persons of indecisive, slow, phlegmatic temperament; sandy hair, blue eyes, pale face, easily moved to laughter or tears; affectionate, mild, gentle, timid, yielding disposition- the woman’s remedy. Weeps easily: almost impossible to detail her ailments without weeping.
Shootings in feet. Coldness in feet, especially in evening, in bed, or burning sensation, chiefly in soles of feet. Burning in feet, wants to find a cool place for them, puts them out of bed to cool them off. Burning in soles, on stepping after sitting a long time, and itching, especially on walking, wants them uncovered. Cramp in soles at every step. Soles cold and sweating. Sweat on right foot. Swelling of feet, and especially of the ankles. Gnawing vesicles on soles. Ulcer on instep.
Adapted to persons of a scrofulous diathesis, subject to venous congestion; especially of portal system. Persons of nervous temperament, quick motioned, quick tempered, plethoric, skin excessively sensitive to atmospheric changes. For lean, stoop-shouldered persons who walk and sit stooping like old men. Standing is the worst position for sulphur patients; they cannot stand; every standing position is uncomfortable. Dirty, filthy people, prone to skin affections. Aversion to being washed; always <. after a bath.
Zincum met
Stiffness of joint of the foot after being seated for some time. Wrenching pain in joints of feet and toes. Burning sensation in feet. Inflammatory swelling of feet. Weakness and trembling of feet. Feet sweaty and sore about toes, fetid suppressed foot-sweat with much nervous excitement. Coldness of the feet at night. Nervous, fidgety movement of the feet, after retiring and during sleep. Tearing in margin of right foot. Ulcerative, boring pains in heels, worse when walking than when sitting. Profuse sweat on the feet.
Persons suffering from cerebral and nervous exhaustion; defective vitality; brain or nerve power wanting; too weak to develop exanthemata or menstrual function, to expectorate, to urinate; to comprehend, to memorize. Incessant and violent fidgety feeling in feet or lower extremities; must move them constantly

                          further reading for more homeopathy remedies  calcanius spur

Saturday, March 10, 2018



Your TMJ is located in the area right in front of your ears on either side. This is where the upper jaw and lower jaw meet. It is a hinge joint with a small disc of cartilage separating the two bony surfaces which prevents one bone from rubbing against the other. We use this joint numerous times a day for chewing food, yawning, talking, biting. There are a number of muscles, tendons involved in these movements and together with the joint it enables us to perform all these tasks. Normally all these components are functioning well and there is no pain but if you are experiencing discomfort, pain, headaches, clicking sounds, or locked jaw then you have TMJ disorder.

There are many different causes for developing a TMJ disorder. Here are a few of the common ones.
1. BRUXISM - teeth clenching or grinding subconsciously causes a wear and tear on the disc of cartilage between the two bony surfaces. Usually the person is completely unaware of this and is noticed by someone else. Sometimes the only way it is found out is when your dentist notices the wear and tear effect on the teeth. Grinding of teeth or jaw clenching is a sign of tension and anxiety leading to overuse of the muscles. Myofascial Pain Syndrome is caused by nocturnal bruxism. In Homoeopathy we have a special remedy known as Chamomilla which helps in such cases of Bruxism especially when the child is highly irritable and clenches his teeth subconciously giving rise to pain which he cannot bear.

2. TRAUMA OR INJURY TO THE TMJ - if there is any history of fracture or trauma to the TMJ then this can cause immobility or limitation in movements. For such traumatic injuries Arnica would help the patient a great deal.
3. DENTAL PROBLEMS - people who have a misalignment of teeth suffer from TMJ problems. If the person experiences difficulty in finding a comfortable bite or the way the teeth fit together then they should get a dental check up. Sometimes chewing excessively only on one side of the jaw can cause TMJ disorder.
4. ARTHRITIS - various different types of arthritis can affect the TM joint. Infectious arthritis is not very common but can occur when a blood borne infection localizes in the joint or it can happen as a direct extension of an adjacent infection. The area gets inflamed, there is tenderness, and restriction of movement. Traumatic arthritis can set in after an injury or fracture of the TMJ. Osteoarthritis can affect the TMJ too. It is usually seen in older people. They complaint of stiffness, mild pain while eating, cracking sounds. This is all due to wear and tear of the joint and its cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis of the TMJ is encountered in adults and children who are suffering from RA in more than 50% of the cases. Pain, swelling, inflammation are the common findings.
6. OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS - telephone operators use to suffer from this earlier as they had the habit of holding the phone between the head and shoulder.

The signs and symptoms depend on the cause of the problem but there are a few which are common to almost all the causes.
1. Tenderness of your jaw muscles. There may be soreness when you wake up in the morning or after movement of the jaw.
2. Headache is one of the most common complaints experienced. Facial pain is another. Moving the joint while opening and closing the jaw causes pain. Facial pain can also be aggravated by cold weather or the draft of the air condition as this causes the muscle to contract.
3. A clicking, crunching, popping or grinding sound is a symptom of TMJ disorder which a lot of people experience.
4. If Ear pain is present inspite of there being no infection in the ears or sinuses then TMJ should be strongly suspected especially if the pain is situated in front the ear.
5. Limitation of movement and locking of the jaw occur in some TMJ disorders. This makes it difficult to open and close the mouth while eating, talking, yawning.
6. Some patients do complaint of dizziness though this is not very common with TMJ disorders. The dizziness is vague and there is a slight sense of imbalance. It is very different from the dizziness felt in vertigo.

Treatment is usually determined by the cause of the problem. Along with medication there are a number of ways in which the person can take care of her or his TMJ. Here are a few self-care tips given below.
a. Stress is one of the main risk factors for developing TMJ. It causes excessive grinding of the teeth and the person is not even aware as it is usually present during sleep. Women seem to suffer from this more than men and especially during their early 20's or during perimenopause. Dealing with this stress, tension or anxiety is essential. You can effectively cope with stress by doing simple things like deep breathing, meditation, Yoga, relaxation of the muscles by certain exercises, dancing, playing sports, art etc…
b. Taking care of what you eat is essential. Stay away from hard, chewy, crunchy food. No chewing gum or eating hard sweets and chocolates. Raw vegetables like carrots, radish, cucumber, fruits like apple, pear all should be either chopped or grated and eaten.
c. Ask your dentist to check your bite and give you something called a Biteplate (also called a splint). This is needed if your jaws are wrongly aligned.
d. If you are in the habit of grinding your teeth at night you should get a little device known as a night guard. You have to insert it over your teeth so that they are protected from wear and tear.
e. When the pain is acute then ICE therapy will give tremendous relief. The ice helps to reduce the inflammation and pain. Sometimes doctors advise alternate Ice and Heat therapy as it helps to reduce the muscle tension and spasm.

As a homoeopathic physician we always first try to ascertain what is the cause of the symptoms that the patient is suffering from. Is it just mechanical like an injury or chewing gum continuously or is there a deep seated underlying cause. The patient's personality and nature are extremely important, is she the anxious, nervous kind who gets tense easily which causes the grinding at night. Here are a few remedies which have given great results in TMJ disorders.

A 40 year old woman came to me complaining of severe throbbing headaches. She felt as if someone was hammering her head and could not bear to be touched. Even the slightest noise brings on the terrible pain. Her husband added that her nature had changed drastically. She was normally a very jovial, happy person but now extremely irritable and even violent sometimes.
Another point he made was that she had started grinding her teeth at night which she was not aware of. On further case taking she told me that she was going through lot of stress and emotional problems. This was the cause of the grinding of teeth leading to terrible headaches.
She was only better by pressure and sitting semi-erect. Eating or chewing is painful and worsens the pain.
This woman's symptoms matched those of Belladonna and she was given Belladonna 200, 5 pills four times a day which gave her tremendous physical and mental relief.

This remedy works wonders on the affections of the Jaws especially if the problem is caused by an injury to the bone. Hecla lava also is a remedy for necrosis and caries of the jaw bone. The TMJ area is very sensitive and painful. The Hecla lava patient will not allow the area to be touched.
There is normally a swelling along with the pain. Hecla lava is also extremely useful in abscesses of the gums, gum boils, toothache.

Rhustox has a great affinity for affections of all joints in the body including the temporomandibular joint. All the pains are worse at night-time. The patient complaints of severe tearing, shooting pains which are worse from touch. The first movement of the joint is especially painful but the pain gradually reduces on subsequent movement.
There is also a cracking sound on chewing or moving the jaws. These patients are affected by cold, wet weather and drafts of air.
They get relief by heat and rubbing the area. Rhustox is one of the remedies for different types of arthritis and other affections of the bones, tendons, ligaments and joints.

A mother brought her 5 year old boy to me saying that her son was complaining of headaches especially after getting up in the morning. At first she thought it was an excuse to miss school but even on holidays he would say the same thing. She also added that he constantly itches his anus and picks at his nose. The boy was cranky and constantly tugging at his mother to carry him. When asked about his appetite the mother said he ate very well and was constantly hungry though he had not put on too much weight. This child was suffering from worms which causes grinding of the teeth in some people.
I prescribed Cina 200, 5 pills four times a day and also advised the mother about hygiene, boiling water and not to give raw uncooked food .

I really thanks Dr Shirin Wadia for sharing her work and taken her work to this blog 

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