One of the very common ailments of the foot is plantar fasciitis. It is usually caused because of sports like running, hiking, walking and soccer. Dancing or standing on a hard surface for a long time can cause plantar fasciitis which causes hurting heels. People who are overweight or have flat feet or high arches, and those who don’t wear shoes that provide proper support to feet are prone to risks of plantar fasciitis. Elderly women too are at higher risks. Plantar fascia is a flexible band of the tissue underneath the sole. It forms the arch of the foot and connects bones of toes with heel bone. Constant wear and tear or any damage can cause inflammation in the plantar fascia, which ends up in pain, stiffness and burning sensation at the bottom of the foot. If you have plantar fasciitis, you will notice that the pain is worse in the morning – the time when you use your feet after a prolonged period of rest. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are usually not severe, but the condition can restrict your movement. Calcium deposit on the heel bone can also be risk fact of plantar fasciitis – in this case you might need a surgery.
In this article, we talk about some natural remedies for plantar fasciitis:
1. Wear the right shoes
Avoid wearing shoes that strain your plantar fascia. Wear moderate or low heels and prefer wearing laced footwear. Avoid wearing high heels or flats. Opt for shoes which offer support and cushion to your heels and arches. Those who involve themselves in regular physical activity should change their footwear regularly.
2. Deep tissue massage
Getting a deep tissue massage can be helpful in easing pain caused by plantar fasciitis. It involves application of pressure on deeper muscle tissues like fascia, Achilles heel and calf muscles. This technique of massaging helps in releasing muscle tension and reduces pain. Initially, the massage might make you feel a little sore. The results will be felt after a few days. Deep tissue massage is helpful in terms of improving blood circular in the plantar fascia.
3. Ayurvedic remedies
Eating anti-inflammatory foods like garlic, ginger, berries, turmeric and leafy greens can help in dealing with plantar fasciitis.
You can get splints to relieve pain cause plantar fasciitis. Splints keep your toes pointed when you sleep. You can wear them for quicker recover after a triggered pain. It ensures that the tissue inside the heel is not squeezed. You could also strap your heels with a sports strapping tape in order to relieve pressure.
5. Ice pack after rest
Give your feet some rest and try not to walk for long distances or stand for too long. Do some stretching of the plantar fascia in order to ease the pain. After taking some rest, apply ice pack to the area. You can do this a couple of times in a day for around 15 minutes in order to reduce pain and seek comfort
6. Do a few stretching exercises
Some stretching exercise can help in relieving pain caused in plantar fasciitis. You could do a towel stretch by looping a towel around your foot while trying to pull toes towards you. Avoid bending your knees while doing this exercise.
You could also opt for a wall stretch. This exercise helps in strengthening of calf muscles. Stand with your feet together and put your palms against the wall. Try and take big steps forward will keeping gap between your front and back legs. Shift your weight with the leg which is in the front. While making movement, make sure that your back leg is straight and heels are firmly put on the ground. Then, lean forward and hold for 30 seconds. The stretch should be felt at the back of the rear leg.
Another effective exercise for relieving pain caused by plantar fasciitis is standing on an inclined plane or slanting board so as to allow your calves to stretch properly.
You could also try rolling the arch of your foot over a round object like a rolling pin, a drink can or a tennis ball. Do this exercise while sitting down and use both your legs for rolling. This will help in improving stability and balance.
Balanced protein intake better for health
Researchers suggest that excessive consumption of protein for building muscle mass could have a negative impact on the body. However, wide-range of protein is best to maintain balance. Amino acids have long been touted by the fitness and bodybuilding communities for their muscle building benefits. From ultra-bulk protein powders to lean mass-promoting snack bars, there’s no shortage of products available for those seeking a muscle boost.
However, protein’s popularity has also meant that less attention has been paid to researching its potentially negative side-effects.
According to the study published in the Journal of Nature Metabolism, excessive consumption of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) may reduce lifespan, negatively impact mood and lead to weight gain.
BCAAs stands for branched-chain amino acids. It’s a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine, and are most commonly found in red meat and dairy.
BCAAs great for adding muscle mass, but science says you could pay for it later.
Researchers have investigated the complex role nutrition plays in mediating various aspects of metabolic health, reproduction, appetite and ageing.
“While diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates were shown to be beneficial for reproductive function, they had detrimental effects for health in mid-late life, and also led to a shortened lifespan,” one of the researchers, Dr Samantha Solon explained.
“What this new research has shown is that amino acid balance is important. It’s best to vary sources of protein to ensure you’re getting the best amino acid balance.”
The current research examined the impacts that dietary BCAAs and other essential amino acids such as tryptophan had on the health and body composition of mice.
“Supplementation of BCAAs resulted in high levels of BCAAs in the blood which competed with tryptophan for transport into the brain,” explained one of the researchers, Professor Stephen Simpson.
“Tryptophan is the sole precursor for the hormone serotonin, which is often called the ‘happiness chemical’ for its mood-enhancing effects and its role in promoting sleep. But serotonin does more than this, and therein lay the problem,” he added.
Dietitian and public health nutritionist Dr Rosilene Ribeiro recommend eating a wide range of proteins.
It’s important to vary protein sources in order to get a variety of essential amino acids, through a healthy and balanced diet rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
BCAAs are essential amino acids present in protein-containing foods, with red meat and dairy being the richest sources. Chicken, fish and eggs are also nutritious sources of BCAAs.
Vegetarians can find BCAAs in beans, lentils, nuts and soy proteins.
Know the severity of falling sick in the morning
While sickness comes irrespective of the time, the severity of afflictions ranging from allergies to heart attacks differs in the morning from that in the night highlighted a new study. The study was published in the Journal Trends in Immunology which compiled studies, predominantly in mice, that looked at the connection between circadian rhythms and immune responses.
The body reacts to cues such as light and hormones to anticipate recurring rhythms of sleep, metabolism, and other physiological processes. The numbers of white blood cells, in both humans and mice also oscillate in a circadian manner.
Taking into account the above-mentioned facts, researchers in the study found that:
Heart attacks in humans are known to strike most commonly in the morning, and research suggests that morning heart attacks tend to be more severe than at night.
In mice, the numbers of monocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights off bacteria, viruses, and fungi –are elevated in the blood during the day. At night, monocytes are elevated in infarcted heart tissue, resulting in decreased cardiac protection at that time of day relative to morning.
Parasite infections are time-of-day dependent. Mice infected with the gastrointestinal parasite Trichuris muris in the morning have been able to kill worms significantly faster than those infected in the evening.
Allergic symptoms follow a time-of-day dependent rhythmicity, generally worse between midnight and early morning. Hence, the molecular clock can physiologically drive innate immune cell recruitment and the outcomes of asthma in humans, or airway inflammation in mice, the review notes.
“Investigating circadian rhythms in innate and adaptive immunity is a great tool to generally understand the physiological interplay and time-dependent succession of events in generating immune responses,” said senior author Christoph Scheiermann, University of Geneva.
ICMR develops affordable quick test kits for diagnosing genetic bleeding disorders
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has developed a cost-effective and rapid point-of-care test kit for diagnosing genetic bleeding disorders such as haemophilia A and Von Willebrand disease (VWD).
Diagnostics which are currently available require special equipment and are expensive.
“Both Haemophilia A and VWD are under diagnosed disorders in our country. There are only handful of comprehensive diagnostic centres for bleeding disorders,” an official at ICMR said.
“Lack of awareness and diagnostic facilities, high cost of tests are some of the factors for under-diagnosis of bleeding disorders in our country,” he said.
According to the ICMR, the kit is the world’s first point-of-care test for specific diagnosis of any common bleeding disorder and costs less than Rs 50 in comparison to existing conventional test that cost around Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000.
The newly developed kit would help in diagnosis within 30 minutes of blood sample collection. Also, this will be available at any level of health care system including primary health care centres (PHCs) since it does not require any special expertise or infrastructure.
Worldwide, incidence of Haemophilia A is 1 per 10,000 male births and that of VWD is around 1 per cent of the general population.
“In India, there is no epidemiological data. We may have roughly 80,000-1,00,000 severe Haemophilia cases in our country, but the total number registered with Haemophilia Federation India (HFI) is only around 19,000,” the official said.
Patients with severe Haemophilia A or VWD can have life threatening spontaneous or post-traumatic bleeding like brain haemorrhage and gastrointestinal bleeding. In emergency medical setting, it is important to have a quick diagnosis of bleeding disorders for treatment.
This rapid test kit can be used for the diagnosis of menorrhagia cases/ post-partum haemorrhage (PPH), gynecological complications among others.