Over the past few decades, the toxins that we are regularly exposed to through our diet and environment have increased dramatically. The free radicals in the body have increased, as a result, putting much stress on the immune system. The lacking homeostasis of the body can cause inflammation to wreak havoc on every system. The feet are no exception. Podiatrists are seeing patients with foot, particularly heel pain, at an earlier age than even one generation ago.
The plantar fascia is a ligament continuous with the Achilles tendon that supports the arch of the foot. It is recognized to be one of the most chronic foot problems and most difficult to heal. Any stress on this ligament requires the assistance of the immune system to detoxify the cells and repair the damaged ones. With a less-than-efficient immune system in aid, inflammation occurs.*
A podiatrist should first address any functional influence on the foot, such as structural deformities or repetitive stress injuries. Next, the inflamed and injured tissue can begin the healing process, once the cause of the stress is removed or alleviated. Dr. Lang, Chief Podiatrist at New Orleans Podiatry Associates, uses a variety of interventions in his practice creating an 86% success rate for heel pain relief. These include: plantar fasciitis exercises, modern medications with a proven track record for efficacy, and an anti-inflammatory diet including anti-inflammatory herbs. Dr. Lang frequently prescribes a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties known as turmeric for inflammation. Healing may be affected by metabolic deficiencies of the patient, therefore, it is important that diet, lifestyle, and environment influences are addressed. If required nutrients for healing are lacking, additional natural supplements can be recommended including omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, and probiotics.*
At The Center for Heel Pain Relief located at New Orleans Podiatry Associates, Dr. Edward Lang integrates the whole system. The entire body is connected, so the feet cannot be isolated for treatment. Dr. Lang understands this concept and uses a balance of conventional and holistic methods in his patient care.
Kornfield, R. DPM (2011). Natural Therapy for Chronic Plantar Fasciitis. Annals of Psychotherapy & Integrative Health. Summer 2011 ed, p 52-55.