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Heel Pain / Vathakantaka

             Nowadays a common complaint in our OPD is heel pain or foot pain. In a sense, we may think that heels are just a small portion of our body but the whole body weight of a person comes to the heels directly. Hence the pain and difficulties will upset the affected one very badly.

             A study conducted in 2019 revealed that 9.6% of populations have plantar heel pain and 7.9% have disabling plantar heel pain. Among that females are more prone to get affected.

             The presenting complaint will be heel pain, but the underlying cause has to be ruled out. Hence a detailed consultation with a qualified physician is a necessary step. As per the condition of the patient, with the help of certain additional investigations like blood test, X- Ray etc physician can suggest more accurate treatment modality.

Common symptoms

  • Pricking/burning pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Reddish discoloration of soles
  • Burning sensation of soles
  • Limping

Due to these the affected person’s day to day activities and in severe conditions sleep also get deranged.

Underlying causative factors

  • Direct trauma
  • Fracture
  • Plantar fascitis
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Retro calcaneal bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Calcaneal spur
  • Diabetes Mellitus complication

Ayurvedic approach towards heel pain

              Vathakantaka is the general term used to describe heel pain. In every system of medicine ruling /out the reason is the inevitable step. Based on the reason and severity treatment method may change.

Ayurveda treatment for vathakantaka / heel pain

As an initial step internal medication for a period of time will give considerable relief. If it is not subsiding with that additional Ayurvedic panchakarma treatments, physiotherapy and yoga will improve the status.

Ayurvedic panchakarma treatments

  • Lepana
  • Upanaha/veshtana/bandage
  • Pindam sveda – Kizhi application (saindhava, cps-R, cps-s, jPs, special kizhi etc.)
  • Avagaha (kashaya, thaila etc.)
  • Agni karma
  • Jalookavacharana (leech therapy)


  • Stretching exercises (towel stretch, standing calf stretch, restricted plantar flexion etc.)
  • Frozen can roll
  • Ultrasound for pain relief etc.


  • Sookshma vyayama
  • Standing posture – Thadasana
  • Sitting posture – Vajrasana, sasankasana etc.

An integrative approach has a very good result in a short period of time. Taking treatment in the initial stage can reduce it’s complications.