Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot problems experienced by Americans. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that approximately 2 million people in the United States receive treatment for this health problem each year. In most cases, conservative treatment methods can help resolve the pain and other symptoms associated with this condition. Certain foods may be helpful in treating your plantar fasciitis, but you should always speak with your doctor before using this natural treatment approach.
About Plantar Fasciitis
Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that is located on the underside of your foot. This tissue helps you absorb the shock associated with walking, running and other activities. As you age, your plantar fascia may lose some of its shock-absorbing effects, which can cause this tissue to become inflamed and painful. In some cases, notes the Family Doctor website, your plantar fascia may tear, causing severe pain and debilitation. Being overweight and diabetic are two other major risk factors for developing this condition.
A Helpful Dietary Approach
Because some cases of plantar fasciitis involve inflammation of your plantar fascia, you may benefit from consuming foods that help reduce inflammation and swelling throughout your body. According to certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," some of the most helpful foods in reducing inflammation are rich in essential fatty acids, such as herring, mackerel, salmon and sardines. Other beneficial foods for this health problem may include papaya, pineapple, spinach, blueberries and strawberries.
A Beneficial Food
Sardines may be a beneficial food in reducing inflammation throughout your body, including your plantar fascia. Sardines are one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most potent anti-inflammatory agents and have long been used in treating a variety of inflammatory conditions. Sardines are also a rich source of vitamin B-12, selenium, vitamin D and protein.
Plantar fasciitis is not a life-threatening health problem, although it can significantly impair your ability to perform your usual and customary daily activities, including work and recreational activities. Avoid self-treating your plantar fasciitis using natural treatment measures such as diet and nutrition until you speak with a licensed health care professional about the risks, benefits and limitations of this approach. Further scientific research evidence may be necessary to examine the true efficacy of foods historically used in treating plantar fasciitis.