My terrible heel pain went away after about three weeks of taking vitamin B6. Now I suggest the vitamin to anyone who tells me they have heel pain. Would you be kind enough to tell me if 100 mg daily of B6 could be harmful? A coworker’s mother tried B6 and ended up having to go to the doctor, who told her she had overdosed. I never found out how much she took. Also, could it be related to my Parkinson’s disease? I am under the care of a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders.
In general, consuming up to 100 mg of vitamin B6 in supplements and foods every day is considered safe. The important nutrient supports the nervous and immune systems and helps maintain blood sugar within a normal range. It may, however, interact with a drug used for Parkinson’s disease called L-dopa. In addition, very high doses may damage nerves in the arms and legs.
Experts note that this type of nerve damage may be reversible, and stopping the supplements is a simple way to test for ill effects. Foods that add B6 to one’s diet include fortified breakfast cereals, salmon, pork, chicken, bananas, beans, peanut butter, and many vegetables.
Other B vitamins are key to overall health, too. Folic acid is recognized as a major player in protecting babies from devastating birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. Post readers tell us that taking extra B12 boosts energy levels and mood. No overdoses of B12 pills, shots, or nasal spray have been reported in the medical literature.
Reader Suggestion: I will tell you what has completely healed my foot. Clarks shoes! These are slip-on shoes with no strap around the back of the heel. Buy one size larger than usual so the foot rests flat. Good luck. The shoes are a great answer to a terrible problem.
Reader Suggestion:An orthopedic foot specialist advised wearing a knee-high cast prior to doing surgery for severe heel pain. Instead, I purchased a Velcro-type ankle brace to wear every moment except when showering. I also purchased some high-top athletic shoes that I lined with an IsoArch support. Within two weeks I noted improvement, but it took almost six weeks to get rid of the pain completely. Others have had the same success with this therapy. Good luck.
Reader Suggestion: Reading the July/August 2008 edition of Medical Mailbox, I was very empathetic with Edith, who is suffering from bone spurs in her heels. I, too, suffered for about a year. Shots did no good, and neither did very thin orthotics. Finally, a foot doctor made me a pair of good orthotics to be worn with New Balance tennis shoes, model #1123. I was pain free in about eight weeks, and after three years not an ounce of pain. I wear regular flat shoes once in a while, but I pretty much stick to the tennis shoes.
Reader Suggestion:I had a similar problem with heel pain as Edith M. Wubben. It was cured by six acupuncture treatments, and I never had a problem again.
Reader Suggestion: When I had heel spurs, someone advised me to drink one water glass of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice three times a day. This worked for me after about six weeks. I continued for another six weeks just to be sure they were gone. They have not returned for 12 years. Hope this helps reader Edith Wubben from Virginia. I love this magazine and your column.
Medical Mailbox supplements the advice of your healthcare provider, whom you should consult for personal medical problems.