Plantar fasciitis is the No. 1 cause of plantar pain, or pain in the sole of your foot. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that about 2 million Americans visit a doctor every year to have this condition treated. This health problem is characterized by inflammation, pain and stiffness in your heel. Before using calcium to help treat or prevent plantar fasciitis, ask your physician about the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of this natural healing approach.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that may be caused by collagen degeneration at the point where your plantar fascia connects to your heel bone. Collagen is a type of connective tissue, and your plantar fasciae are thick bands of tissue located on the undersides of your feet. A heel spur, a bony growth at the front of your heel bone, may cause plantar pain. Other risk factors for this condition include leg length inequalities and misalignment of the tibia, or shin bone, notes the American Academy of Family Physicians.
An abundant mineral in your body, calcium participates in the regulation of many of your body's processes. Calcium, which is primarily stored in your bones and teeth, is involved in the process of muscle contraction, helps activate certain enzymes and assists in your body's blood clotting processes. Certain individuals may develop a calcium deficiency due to decreased consumption of calcium-containing foods, reduced stomach acid, increased protein consumption, decreased vitamin D levels and poor gastrointestinal function.
Calcium and Plantar Fasciitis
Heel spurs may be associated with plantar fasciitis and are the result, in some cases, of unwanted calcium deposits. According to certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," your body requires a proper balance of calcium and magnesium to help prevent abnormal calcium deposition on your bones, including your heel bones. Further clinical research is required to determine the optimal daily dosage of these dietary supplements in preventing heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.
Because plantar fasciitis may be caused by numerous factors, you should always have your foot pain assessed by a licensed healthcare provider. Your physician can evaluate your condition, order any necessary imaging studies or refer you to another healthcare provider for treatment. Your doctor can also counsel you on the role of calcium in causing or preventing heel spur formation and plantar fasciitis. Dietary supplements, including calcium, should always be treated with the same respect and caution used when taking prescription medications.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs
- American Academy of Family Physicians: Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.; 2010