Feet are under-appreciated. We use them every day all day, forgetting what loyal servants they are until a problem arises—and then it’s typically a big problem. Heel pain tends to be one of those big problems because it prevents us from enjoying the activity we are used to. Exercises are often necessary, but not typically enough. This is where homeopathy comes to the rescue.
To manage pain, inflammation and to initiate healing—homeopathy will be the best option in my experience, even when other treatments have not worked. The trick with homeopathy is to find the remedy which best suits the symptoms you have, and luckily with heel pain, it’s usually one of the following three choices:
Heal your Injury with these homeopathic remedies:
Arnica montana 30ch: If the heel pain occurs due to a brand new injury, it’s best to start off with Arnica. Arnica 30ch has a natural anti-inflammatory action and often prevents the need for further remedies. Take a 30ch potency 3-5 pills three times daily for three days and then as needed as long as it’s helping. Once the symptoms improve 90%, stop altogether, even if it’s after the first dose. If symptoms do not improve or stop improving, switch to a better fit.
Rhus toxicodendron 30ch: If after an injury, Arnica has helped but isn’t quite enough, often the next choice is Rhus tox. The symptoms that suggest you switch to this medicine is as follows: the heel is stiff and painful on first getting up in the morning or rising from a chair but improves with continued motion or limbers up after some walking. In fact, you may feel a kind of restlessness, like you have to keep the injured foot moving or you can’t find a comfortable position for long. Rhus tox is one of the most common remedies for plantar fasciitis as long as the symptoms fit. Always, once the muscles limber up, the stiffness and pain improve. Application of heat also brings some temporary relief. Like the Arnica, take Rhus tox 30ch 3 times daily for 3 days and then as needed. If symptoms improve earlier, stop the remedy, repeating only as symptoms return. If there is no change after a few days to a week, switch to Ruta.
Ruta graveolens 30ch: If the heel pain is due to an old injury, or has been a lingering repetitive strain, Ruta 30ch is usually the best bet. I have had some great results with this remedy, for injuries that refuse to heal after a sprain or muscle pull as it’s an excellent remedy for tendon and ligament injuries. Just recently I had a patient with lingering heel pain that was preventing her from getting any exercise at all and she was feeling super frustrated at her lack of ability to walk. Within a week of the Ruta, the heel pain was improved to the point where she could walk comfortably again and only needed the remedy occasionally after an unusually long walk. The symptoms which suggest Ruta 30ch are so similar to when Rhus tox is indicated that it’s sometimes hard to tell the two apart. If you’re not sure, I’d try the Rhus tox first if symptoms are due to a more recent injury, and Ruta if it’s been a problem for several weeks.
What to expect in homeopathy:
Homeopathic medicines depend on the body’s ability to heal itself. When symptoms are intense or the injury is new and not serious, you should see results very quickly, even within minutes to hours of the injury. However, if the injury is old and the symptoms are mild but more chronic, then it takes longer for the body to heal itself, so expect the remedies to work much more slowly in those cases.
For instance, if after an injury, you find that Arnica does not help the pain and inflammation, it’s often a sign that the problem may be more serious than you first thought. If ever in doubt, do have a medical professional diagnose the injury properly.
Here’s the research:
In one clinical trial on heel pain, published in the British Journal of Podiatry, Ruta graveolens showed an improvement over placebo. Another study on heel pain and heel spurs published in the Indian Journal of Homeopathy, using a number of different remedies, showed a clear improvement in pain and inflammation when the correct remedy was chosen.
Heel spurs involve the deposition of calcium and require additional remedies. See the next blog for more information!
In homeopathy, the remedy must be a good fit in order for it to be effective. Heel pain is usually a simple problem and the remedies above will often bring quick relief. On the other hand, sometimes cases aren’t as simple as they appear and require more diligence for a good fit to be found. So if you find these remedies are just not helping or the problem is a more complex one involving more symptoms, then it’s time to visit your local homeopath.