A heel spur is a small bony formation that arises in the heel as a result of inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick tissue of the sole of the foot. It is a condition that usually causes stabbing pain in the damaged area that, in addition to being very annoying, can greatly hinder the performance of daily activities and tasks. It is for this reason that it is so important to consult a podiatrist or specialist at the first symptoms, since it will be necessary to follow a fairly extensive recovery procedure in which perseverance will be essential. At FastlyHealwe explain in detail the causes and treatment of heel spurs.
Causes of heel spur
The formation of the calcaneal spur is, in most cases, a direct consequence of plantar fasciitis , which is the inflammation and irritation of the tissue that joins the heel with the beginning of the toes and which has the function of supporting the arch of the foot. .
The inflammation of the plantar fascia occurs due to overloads that end up causing small and continuous tears. When this inflammation persists and becomes chronic, a spontaneous healing process begins: in order to repair these small tears, the body tries to protect the damaged area through an inflammatory process that then calcifies. In this way, the spur appears at the bottom of the heel bone.
There are several factors that cause this overload that could end up leading to a calcaneal spur, and these are:
- Play sports with high intensity. Especially if high-impact activities that compromise the foot joint are performed such as athletics, handball, basketball, soccer, etc.
- Walking a lot or standing for long periods of time.
- Wear unsuitable footwear.
- Have flat feet.
- Being overweight or obese.
Heel spur symptoms
When the formation of the heel spur occurs, its main symptom is a shooting pain in the heel that can vary in intensity. It is common for people with this condition to feel more pain in the morning as soon as they get out of bed, since by lying down and inactive for so long, the first steps can be really very painful. If the discomfort is severe, the ability to carry out everyday tasks may be limited.
In some cases, the pressure exerted by the shoes on that small bone formation can make the area appear more red and swollen than usual.
Treatment for heel spur
Due to the pain and the limitation to play sports or travel long distances on foot that the calcaneal spur can lead to, it is essential to go to a podiatrist as soon as possible to start the appropriate treatment in each case.
In most cases, reducing the overload in the area already leads to great improvements and the treatments for heel spurs that can be recommended, depending on the severity, are the following:
- Application of ointments composed of local anesthetic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs. These help relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the damaged area. It is important that the drugs used are prescribed by the doctor and carefully follow their instructions.
- Use of special orthopedic insoles and / or night splints that will improve the footprint, protect the area both in active and at rest and help reduce swelling.
- Ultrasound therapy: a treatment is carried out with high-energy ultrasound waves, which promote the growth of blood vessels, reduce inflammation, in addition to helping to dissolve calcifications.
- Application of cold or heat: alternating the placement of hot and cold compresses is a good natural treatment to reduce discomfort and reduce inflammation of the spur area.
Although it is not common, it may be the case that the calcaneal spur requires a surgical intervention. It will be an option that the doctor will assess if after 9 or 12 months following the prescribed treatments, there is no improvement. It is an operation through which the spur and a section of the plantar fascia are removed.
In addition to the previous treatments, it will be convenient to take into account some recommendations that will improve the patient’s quality of life on a day-to-day basis and prevent the calcaneal spur from worsening and the pain from being stronger.
On the one hand, it is important to use suitable footwear , which must support the foot well, be padded, have a preferably thick sole and allow good mobility. Those shoes that are too tight, with a thin sole or with a high heel should be discarded.
On the other hand, you should reduce the practice of physical exercise and completely avoid those high-impact activities. In fact, during the first days it is recommended to rest to get the inflammation to reduce and the area can begin to improve with the treatments.
Proper exercises for heel spurs
It is also possible to promote the healing of the heel spur by performing some simple exercises that will help maintain good mobility of the foot. The most advisable are the following:
- Sit on the couch or in a chair with your back straight. Then, place a towel on the floor and try to catch it with your toes and raise it slightly.
- Lean on the edge of a table and position yourself by bending one knee and straightening the other. Lean forward as if you wanted to push the table to stretch the heel area slightly. Hold the position for 5 minutes.
- Place a tennis or rubber ball under the sole of the foot and start rolling it by moving the foot forward, backward, and then sideways.
Many more great natural treatments for this condition are listed in the Home Remedies for Heel Spur article .
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Calcaneal spur: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.