HEEL SPURS- Symptom, Treatment, cure, and surgery of Heel Spur or Heel Bone Spur, Causes and remedies for Heel Spurs
A heel spur is a growth of bone that extends from the heel bone (calcaneous). The spur itself has no feeling. However, these bony outgrowths usually extend from the heel bone into the soft tissue surrounding the bottom of the foot, causing inflammation of the plantar fascia (fasciitis) and pain throughout the heel of the foot.
The heel bone is the largest bone in the foot and absorbs the most amount of shock and pressure. A heel spur develops as an abnormal growth of the heel bone. Calcium deposits form when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel area, causing a bony protrusion, or heel spur to develop. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue located along the bottom surface of the foot that runs from the heel to the forefoot. Heel spurs can cause extreme pain in the rearfoot, especially while standing or walking
A heel spur is a bony projection on the sole (plantar) region of the heel bone (also known as the calcaneous). This condition may accompany or result from severe cases of inflammation to the structure called plantar fascia. This associated plantar fascia is a fibrous band of connective tissue on the sole of the foot, extending from the heel to the toes.
Heel spurs are commonly seen in patients who have a history of foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
In the setting of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs are most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but can be found in all age groups. The heel spur itself is not thought to be the primary cause of pain, rather inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia is thought to be the primary problem. The diagnosis of a heel spur is made when an X-ray shows a hook of bone protruding from the bottom of the foot at the point where the plantar fascia is attached to the heel bone
Symptoms of Heel Spurs
A sharp, stabbing pain under or on the inside of the heel.
The pain is typically relieved during rest, but is worse after getting up again.
As a rule of thumb, it is most painful first thing in the morning.
The pain is made worse by walking on a hard surface or carrying something heavy, such as a suitcase.
The pain can become so severe that it becomes difficult to continue your daily work.
Causes of Heel spurs
Heel spurs develop as an abnormal growth in the heel bone due to calcium deposits that form when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel. This stretching of the plantar fascia is usually the result of over-pronation (flat feet), but people with unusually high arches can also develop heel spurs. Women have a significantly higher incidence of heel spurs due to the types of footwear often worn on a regular basis.
Other common causes are as follows:
Excessive load on the foot from obesity is a major cause of plantar fascitis. Which is why this condition is common in middle aged and over weight adults.
A sudden increase in weight, such as pregnancy can also lead to plantar fascitis.
A sudden increase in walking or a sporting activity can also be a contributing factor
Diagnosis of Heel Spurs
A heel spur can be diagnosed by looking at an X-ray. In most cases the spur is not the main cause of the heel pain, so the spur is generally left alone and the cause of the heel pain is treated. For instance, a painful and inflamed tendon near the spur (plantar fasciitis) may need treatment. If a spur is found to be the main cause of the heel pain, surgery or injections may be needed.
Treatment of Heel Spurs
Treatment may consist of a number of physical therapies, such as diathermy, ultrasound waves and whirlpool baths.
Diathermy treatment uses an electrical current to produce heat that sedates the inflamed tissues. The ultrasound device sends sound waves into the heel and sets up a massaging action that stimulates blood circulation. Treatment with a whirlpool bath involves placing the foot directly into the jetting stream.
Orthopedic molds and appliances, such as orthotics, are designed by foot specialists for use inside the shoe to eliminate irritation to the heel when the patient stands or walks. When those appliances are used, the spur (in effect) floats on air. At the same time, the body's weight is transferred forward from the tender spot.
Surgery, which is a more radical treatment, can be a permanent correction to remove the spur itself. Heel surgery can provide relief of pain and restore mobility. The type of procedure used is based on examination and usually consists of releasing the excessive tightness of the plantar fascia, called a plantar fascia release. Depending on the presence of excess bony build up, the procedure may or may not include removal of heel spurs. Similar to other surgical interventions, there are various modifications and surgical enhancements regarding surgery of the heel.
Risk Factors For Heel Spurs
AGE : The calcaneal spur is seen most often in persons over the age of 40.
DISEASES : The condition can also be associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, poor circulation of the blood and other degenerative diseases.
SEX : Men and women are equally likely to have them.
Prevention For Heel Spurs
To prevent this condition, wearing shoes with proper arches and support is very important. Proper stretching is always a necessity, especially when there is an increase in activities or a change in running technique. It is not recommended to attempt working through the pain, as this can change a mild case of heel spurs and plantar fascitis into a long lasting and painful episode of this condition.
Take into consideration the following simple things to prevent heel spur:
Consult a physician before beginning an exercise program.
Begin exercising slowly.
Stretch properly before and after exercise.
Avoid uneven walking surfaces and stepping on rocks as much as possible.
Avoid going barefoot on hard surfaces.
Vary the incline while walking or running on a treadmill.
If heel pain occurs, stop immediately. Do not try to exercise through the pain.
General Care and Remedies For heel Spurs
If the pain caused by inflammation is constant, keeping the foot raised above the heart and/or compressed by wrapping with an ace bandage will help.
Decreasing or changing activities, losing excess weight, are measures to decrease this common source of foot pain
If you have pain in the bottom of your foot and you do not have diabetes or a vascular problem, some of the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory products are helpful in eradicating the pain.
Pain creams, can help to relieve pain and help increase circulation.
Apply Ice Packs
Ice compresses, stretching exercises, night splint for traction of the leg muscles to stretch the muscle in the back of the leg, and massage of the back of the leg, along with padding and heel cushions are also things that you can do at home.
Modification of footwear
But the most important aspect of heel pain or any painful condition of the foot is wearing good shoe gear. Good shoe gear usually consists of a sturdy, solid shoe. Heel pain is not relieved by a soft, ill supported shoe. Modification of footwear includes shoes with a raised heel and better arch support
Avoiding the precipitating activity; for example, take a few day off jogging or prolonged standing/walking. Just resting usually helps to eliminate the most severe pain, and will allow the inflammation to begin to cool down.
Night splints are worn to keep the heel stretched out when you sleep. By doing so, the arch of the foot does not become contracted at night, and is hopefully not as painful in the morning.
Call The Doctor Now
Make an appointment to see a health care professional if you have significant heel pain that does not improve within a few days.
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