A bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone is formed from a calcium deposit, which is known as a heel spur. The condition is sometimes known as “heel spur syndrome” without visible X-ray evidence. When looking at it on an X-ray, it can extend forward by as much as a half-inch. They can cause heel pain, but typically, heel spurs are generally painless. Heel spurs are commonly associated with plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation of the fibrous band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the ball of the foot. Exercise, anti-inflammatory medications, custom-made orthotics, and cortisone injections are generally the treatments for heel spurs. At this time, we at Belmont Anderson and Associates would like to discuss the fundamentals of heel spurs.
Causes of Bone Spurs on Back of Heel
A process that usually occurs over a period of many months, heel spurs occur when calcium deposits buildup on the underside of the heel bone. Repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone, stretching of the plantar fascia, along with strains on foot muscles and ligaments are often what causes the heel spurs to form. Heel spurs are especially among athletes whose spend a lot of time running and jumping.
Risk Factors of Heel spurs
– Running/jogging, particularly on hard surfaces.
– Poorly fitted or worn shoes, particularly with no arch support.
– Excess weight and obesity.
– Abnormal walking gait; such as excessive stress on heel bone, ligaments, and nerves near the heel.
Risk Factors in of Heel Spurs & Plantar Fasciitis
– Spending most the day on the feet.
– Increasing age that decreases plantar fascia flexibility.
– Short, but frequent bursts of physical activity.
– Flat feet or high arches.
Heel Spur Pain
There are generally no symptoms of heel spurs, but heel spurs can be associated with either chronic or intermittent pain. The pain can be especially induced while walking, jogging, or running and inflammation develops at the point of the spur formation. The cause of the pain, however, is not the heel spurs itself, but the soft-tissue injury. The pain described by patients of having heel spurs and plantar fasciitis is a knife or pin sticking into the bottom of their feet when they first stand up in the morning, which later evolves into a dull and constant ache. The sharp pain returns after they stand up after sitting for a prolonged period of time.
Natural Remedies for Heel Spurs
If you feel you have heel spurs it is important to see a medical professional as soon as possible to get treatment. The longer it goes on the harder it can become to treat. Non surgical treatment for heel spurs include:
– Taping or strapping to rest stressed muscles and tendons
– Stretching exercises
– Shoe recommendations
– Shoe inserts or orthotic devices
– Physical therapy
– Night splints
Additionally, the heel pain may respond to treatment with over-the-counter medications such as tylenol, ibuprofen or naproxen. In many cases, a functional orthotic device can correct the causes of heel and arch pain. In some cases, an injection with a corticosteroid may be done to relieve inflammation in the area. More than 905 of patients find relief with the nonsurgical treatments within 9-12 months. However, in severe cases, there are surgical methods that in clued the release of the plantar fascia and/or the removal of the spur. The doctor will perform the necessary pre-surgical exams to ensure the patient qualifies and post-surgical care for optimal recovery.
Heel Spur Prevention
You can prevent heel spurs by wearing well-fitting shoes. Ensure these shoes include features such as rigid shanks, shock-absorbent soles, and supportive heel counters. Make sure you are wearing appropriate shoes for the right activities. Always warm up with stretching exercises before engaging in the activities and if you are overweight, try a weight loss plan to prevent the heel spurs.
Heel Spur Surgery Treatment
If you suspect you may have heel spurs, call Belmont Anderson and Associates and let our specialists exam your heels and find the most optimal solutions to relieve you of the pain or discomfort you may be feeling.