Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs The Biggest Mistake

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 09/11/2023

Ever woke up and felt like a sharp knife was digging into your heel? If you have, you might be familiar with the notorious Plantar Fasciitis. This common foot ailment can turn a simple morning walk to the bathroom into an agonizing journey. What if I said that your diet could have a major influence on controlling this affliction?

In exploring Plantar Fasciitis treatment, we'll explore how everyday factors like microtrauma and even spinach on your dinner plate can contribute to relentless foot pain. We will also bust some myths about heel spurs along the way.

We won't stop there! Get ready for practical tips on dietary adjustments that could offer relief and techniques for stretching those troublesome areas without causing more harm than good. Curious yet? Let's dive right in!

Plantar fasciitis, a common source of foot pain, is often misunderstood. This condition involves the inflammation of the plantar fascia - a connective tissue sheath that stretches from your heel to your toes. If you've ever experienced sharp pains in your heel or mid-foot area, you might have encountered this troublesome ailment.

The Causes and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The main cause of plantar fasciitis is strain injury, causing micro-tears to the ligament as it attaches to the heel bone or other areas of tightness on its path across the bottom of the foot. A sudden increase in weight-bearing activities like running can trigger symptoms, but so too can less strenuous actions if repeated enough times without proper rest.

Interestingly, some individuals may be more prone to developing this condition due to lifestyle habits or physiological characteristics such as flat feet or high arches. The typical symptom for those suffering from plantar fasciitis is intense stabbing pain near their heels, usually after a long rest.

Role Of The Plantar Fascia In Foot Pain

In understanding why this condition causes such discomfort, we need to look no further than our anatomy: The plantar fascia acts like a bowstring that supports our arch's curve and absorbs shock when we walk.

If tension becomes too great upon it – through excessive pressure exerted during physical activity, for example – small tears may occur within these tissues, leading them towards inflammation, thus triggering symptoms associated specifically with 'fasciitis' (inflammation).

Microtrauma and Plantar Fasciitis

The concept of microtrauma is key to understanding plantar fasciitis. Microtraumas are small injuries to the tissue that may not cause noticeable pain at first but can accumulate over time and lead to inflammation.

The truth is that constantly stressing your foot can lead to small rips in the plantar fascia - something we call microtearing. These minuscule rips may not appear to be a major issue in isolation;

The Role of Microtrauma and Dietary Factors in Plantar Fasciitis

Beneath the surface, microtrauma and dietary factors may be at play in plantar fasciitis; let us explore how these oft-overlooked culprits can contribute to foot pain. Let's uncover how these unsuspecting factors play a significant role in causing foot pain.

Microtrauma in Plantar Fasciitis

Imagine your foot as an intricate web, with the plantar fascia acting like the sturdy center strand that holds everything together. Think about walking on this web for miles daily; eventually, tiny tears or 'microtraumas' start forming.

This exactly happens within our feet when we overuse them without proper care or support. These microtears cause inflammation and lead to the intense heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Research shows that prolonged standing, wearing improper footwear, and obesity can contribute to increasing microtrauma risk.

Oxalates and Foot Pain

Moving onto diet - ever thought spinach could be causing your foot pain? As strange as it may sound, foods high in oxalates, such as spinach, almonds, parsley, chocolate, peanuts, and kiwi, might fuel your discomfort. How, you ask?

Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds found abundantly across many food groups but aren't always our friends. In excess amounts, they can form sharp oxalate crystals, like tiny shards of glass that irritate tissues and cause pain.

Those pesky crystal build-ups? They're not just tough on your kidneys, but they can also cause foot pain. But don't rush to cut out all high-oxalate foods. There's no need to ditch them from your diet completely. Instead, try balancing them with calcium-rich foods. Why? These substances bind with oxalates in the intestines, preventing their absorption.

Misconceptions About Heel Spurs and Stretching Techniques

Many folks believe heel spurs are the primary culprit behind foot pain. That's wrong - it's a misbelief. It's like blaming your innocent neighbor for a crime committed by someone else in town. Yes, heel spurs often appear on X-rays of people with plantar fasciitis, but they're not directly causing your agony.

The real offender? Inflamed connective tissue is the plantar fascia at the bottom of your foot. Imagine it like an overstretched rubber band – pull too hard, and you get tiny microtears leading to inflammation and pain. Now, picture these tears being aggravated when you stretch incorrectly or overdo certain activities – doesn't sound fun.

The Correct Stretching Technique for Plantar Fasciitis

A wrong turn can lead us miles away from our destination; similarly, incorrect stretching techniques can exacerbate plantar fasciitis rather than provide relief. It's more about how you stretch than what you stretch.

If I asked you to start stretching right now to ease foot pain, chances are high that most would instinctively reach down towards their toes to elongate calf muscles. This isn’t necessarily bad (unless we’re talking about style points), but there’s a better way: targeting specific muscles on top of your feet along with shin muscles instead.

You’ll see that this technique can be a game-changer. Remember that it won't be a miracle cure – you'll have to remain consistent and show perseverance for the best results. By focusing on these muscles rather than your calf, you are more likely to alleviate pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Just like cleaning up after cooking is less fun but necessary for a clean kitchen, this might seem tedious initially but will surely pay off in the long run.

Alleviating Plantar Fasciitis Through Dietary Adjustments

The food we eat has a direct impact on our health and well-being, including the management of conditions like plantar fasciitis. By making certain dietary modifications, it is possible to alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Avoiding Oxalate-Rich Foods

Oxalates are naturally occurring substances in many foods that our bodies need to break down properly. When they aren't processed effectively, they form crystals, which may irritate tissues and cause pain.

If you're dealing with foot discomfort due to plantar fasciitis, minimizing your intake of high-oxalate foods might be beneficial. Examples include spinach, almonds, parsley, dark chocolate, peanuts, and kiwi - all known for their high levels of this substance.

Incorporating Calcium in Your Diet

Eating calcium-rich foods or taking supplements while consuming meals containing oxalates can help reduce irritation caused by these compounds. Research shows calcium binds with oxalates in the digestive tract before reaching your kidneys or other areas, which could lead to crystal formation. This is because once bound together, they're excreted from your body via urine rather than deposited as irritating crystals within tissues.

Maintaining an Alkaline Body State

Acidic bodily environments provide ideal conditions for uric acid deposition as painful crystals—a factor linked with gout and foot pain resulting from conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Maintaining an alkalized state through diet modifications can play a crucial role in preventing this.

Chow down on green leafy veggies and other non-starchy ones to help alkalize your body. You could also try potassium citrate supplements; they're great for neutralizing acid in your system. Research shows a diet rich in fruits and vegetables does wonders.

If you're looking to lower your uric acid levels naturally and reduce the risk of foot pain, there are a few strategies you can try:

  1. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps flush out excess uric acid from your body.

  2. Eat a nutritious diet: Avoid foods high in purines, such as red meat, organic meats, and seafood. Instead, opt for foods with low purine content, such as fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.

  3. Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol can increase uric acid levels, so it's best to drink in moderation or avoid it altogether.

  4. Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts extra pressure on your joints, increasing the risk of foot pain. Attempt 1: Accomplish a balanced weight through habitual activity and an even diet.

  5. Manage stress: Stress can trigger inflammation and worsen foot pain. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise or hobbies.

  6. Wear supportive shoes: Choose shoes with proper arch support and cushioning to reduce strain on your feet.

  7. Stretch and strengthen: Regular stretching and strengthening exercises for your feet and calves can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of foot pain.

Incorporating these self-care tips into your daily routine can help lower uric acid levels and potentially reduce the risk of foot pain associated with gout and arthritis.

Plantar Fasciitis Healing Period

If you're dealing with the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis, you might wonder how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week. While this may seem like a tall order, there are certain steps you can take to speed up your recovery process.

Treatment Strategies for Plantar Fasciitis

The first thing that comes into mind is rest. Reducing or even stopping activities that make your foot hurt will help relieve the pressure on your heel. Another beneficial treatment strategy includes stretching exercises. Stretching not only helps alleviate the pain but also strengthens the muscles supporting your arch, preventing future injuries.

You should also consider wearing shoes with good support and cushioning or using shoe inserts to distribute pressure across your feet evenly. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can also aid in reducing inflammation and relieving pain temporarily.

Nutrition's Role in Healing Plantar Fasciitis

Beyond these measures, it's also important to pay attention to nutrition. Certain foods have been shown to reduce inflammation - an essential part of healing from plantar fasciitis. These include fatty fish rich in omega-3s, berries full of antioxidants, and green leafy vegetables packed with vitamins A and K. The Arthritis Foundation provides more details about how diet impacts inflammation levels within our bodies.

A Holistic Approach to Healing

While these strategies may help speed your recovery, healing from plantar fasciitis usually takes time. It's not unusual for symptoms to last several months with treatment. However, taking a holistic approach—combining rest and physical therapy exercises with proper nutrition and footwear—can certainly put you on the path toward feeling better faster.

Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment or diet plan. They can provide personalized advice based on your condition and overall health status.


Plantar Fasciitis can feel like a curse, but understanding its causes and triggers is half the battle. Microtrauma and high-oxalate foods are key contributors to foot pain.

The role of uric acid in your body isn't to be overlooked either. Remember, balance is crucial!

And let's not forget those misconceptions about heel spurs and stretching techniques. Heel spurs aren't directly culprits for pain; improper stretches might fuel the fire. Dietary adjustments could be your secret weapon for Plantar Fasciitis treatment; avoiding oxalates while embracing alkalizing options may help you keep this pesky ailment at bay.

To sum it up, knowledge is power when dealing with Plantar Fasciitis! With these insights, you're now equipped with practical strategies for combating foot pain head-on!

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