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Heel Spurs and its Treatment Options Explained

What are Heel Spurs?

If you are someone who is physically active and are suffering from heel pain, it is very likely that you have a spur in your heel. A heel spur which is also known as calcaneal spur is a deposit of calcium that builds up under the heel bone. It normally takes a few months before it is fully developed. Heel spurs are commonly associated with the foot condition known as plantar fasciitis which is a painful inflammation of the band of tissue known as the plantar fascia that connects the ball of the foot to the heel bone.

Common Causes of Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are often caused when the muscles and ligaments in our foot are strained, stretched or torn due to:

Excessive and prolonged walking, running or jogging, especially on hard surfaces

Wearing shoes that do not fit properly and that do not have proper arch support

Being overweight or obese

Having either high arches or flat feet

Symptoms of Heel Spurs

Some people who have this bony growth are not even aware of it because heel spurs normally has no symptoms. However, other people suffer from intermittent or chronic pain especially when they walk, run or jog. The pain that they feel is not caused by the heel spur since that the heel spur itself does not hurt. Instead, the pain is caused by soft-tissues around it that are inflamed. People suffering from pain caused by heel spurs describe the pain as a pain that is caused by a pin or knife ticking to the bottom of their feet. Most of them experience this pain the most in the morning when they wake up from bed. This is because the plantar fascia rests while they are sleeping and when they take those first few steps in the morning, it elongates, stretching and pulling on the heel resulting in the pain felt. However, once that initial process is over and they start moving about, they do not feel the pain anymore until they rest their feet again.

Apart from this pain, other symptoms of heel spurs include:

A bump at the back of the heel

A swelling at the back of the heel

Pain where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel

Redness at the back of the heel 

Treatments of Heel Spurs

Heel spur treatments can either be surgical or nonsurgical. If you have just started to feel the pain and it has been confirmed by your health care provider that you have heel spurs, non-surgical treatments are recommended such as:

Stretching exercises

Orthotics

Better shoes

Resting

Strapping or taping the muscles and tendons that are affected

Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen

Injection with corticosteroid to relieve the inflammation

The majority of people suffering from heel spurs get better after trying one or more of the above mentioned nonsurgical treatments; however, if the pain persists after a few months of trying nonsurgical treatments, you might need surgery to either release the plantar fascia or to remove the spur as a whole.

New and Innovative Treatment Options

With the advancement of technology, scientists and doctors are looking into new and innovative treatment options for heel spurs that do not have negative side effects, that are quick and effective and that do not require medications or injections.

Recent studies have shown that accupuncture can be effective for treating heel pain. Acupuncture eliminates the pain caused by heel spur by reducing the inflammation. Combined with sufficient rest, acupuncture is as good a treatment for heel spurs as stretching or using medications and night splints.

One of the latest technology used to treat heel spur is shock-wave therapy which is a gentle but effective treatment. It is the process of applying high energy Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) waves through the surface of the skin of the affected area. These waves reduces the pain and accelerates the healing process. This process only takes a few minutes and within a few days, the pain is reduced.

How do this procedure works?

The doctor uses ultrasound and palpation to find the area that is affected and paining.

The affected area is marked and a contact gel is applied to it.

Using a handheld applicator, the shock waves are delivered to the affected area.

If you are suffering from heel spur or you feel that you are suffering from heel pain, it is important that you obtain as much info as possible on the condition so that you can take the necessary steps to relieve the pain and treat the condition.

 

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Full Fibre gym

"He have recommended Natural Orthotic Solutions Lynn to our clients and we have always had a great result. They have reported relief with their sole pain and come back to regular excersising."

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