While the term heel spur may create the impression of a sharp bony projection on the bottom of the heel that pokes the bottom of our foot causing our pain. Painful heel spurs are actually a result of damage to the soft tissue at the bottom of the foot. While this may be confusing, we’ll try to explain. Heel spurs is the more common name for a condition that is medically referred to as plantar fascitiis or heel spur syndrome. Plantar fasciitis is a location oriented term that refers to the bottom of the foot(i.e. plantar warts). Fascia is a tough, inelastic band. ‘itis’is a term used to describe something that is inflamed (i.e. tendonitis, bursitis).
Early signs of heel pain are usually due to plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the plantar fascia. It is probably the most common cause of heel pain seen by the podiatrist. It is seen in all groups of people; runners, athletes, weekend warriors, people who have jobs requiring a fair amount of standing, walking, or lifting, and those who have recently gained weight. The pain most often manifests itself after periods of non-weight bearing when the plantar fascia is given a chance to rest, so your first steps cause a sudden strain to the tissue. Pain is most common with the first steps in the morning and after periods of rest. Fortunately, upwards of 80 percent of those treated early do remarkably well with conservative therapy.
The following symptoms are typical of heel spur. Stabbing pain when treading on the area affected. Dull, irregularly occurring pains in the heel area also without exerting pressure (e.g. in a reclining position) Pain when taking the first steps in the morning (after lying or sitting down for an extended period, especially in the morning) Occasional swelling in the ankle area. For the lower heel spur, extreme sensitivity at the tendon attachment (laterally in the lower heel area) For the upper heel spur, extreme pressure sensitivity of the Achilles tendon, primarily at approximately ankle height.
A Diagnosis of Heel Spur Syndrome is a very common reason for having heel pain. Heel pain may be due to other types of conditions such as tendonitis, Haglund’s Deformity, Stress Fracture, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, or low back problems. A more common condition in children is Sever’s Disease. The diagnosis is usually made with a combination of x-ray examination and symptoms.
Non Surgical Treatment
There are many ways to treat heel spurs. Some remedies you can even do at home once a podiatrist shows you how. Heel spur treatment is very similar to treatment of plantar fasciitis. Here are a few of the most common treatments. First, your doctor will assess which activities are causing your symptoms and suggest rest and time off from these activities. Ice packs are used to control pain and reduce symptoms. Certain exercises and stretches help you to feel relief quickly. Medications that reduce inflammation and decrease pain are also used. Sometimes cortisone injections are given. Often special shoe orthotics can help to take the pressure off of the plantar fascia and reduce symptoms. Night splints that keep your heel stretched are sometimes recommended. Rarely, surgery is an option. A new treatment called extracorporeal shock wave therapy is being studied.
Approximately 2% of people with painful heel spurs need surgery, meaning that 98 out of 100 people do well with the non-surgical treatments previously described. However, these treatments can sometimes be rather long and drawn out, and may become considerably expensive. Surgery should be considered when conservative treatment is unable to control and prevent the pain. If the pain goes away for a while, and continues to come back off and on, despite conservative treatments, surgery should be considered. If the pain really never goes away, but reaches a plateau, beyond which it does not improve despite conservative treatments, surgery should be considered. If the pain requires three or more injections of “cortisone” into the heel within a twelve month period, surgery should be considered.
Prevention of heel spur syndrome may be best by finding a good supportive shoe. Never go barefoot or wear a flat soled shoe. There are many over the counter arch supports that give increased support for your feet. Usually when there is excessive pronation the Achilles Tendon contracts or becomes shortened over time since it is not being used fully. The shortened Achilles Tendon is called an equinus deformity. By keeping this tendon stretched it may decrease some of the tension in the foot. Some theories believe the Achilles Tendon and plantar fascia is continuous. Before you get up from rest, stretch out your Achilles and the plantar fascia. You may attempt to spell the alphabet with your foot and ankle, use a towel against pressure on your foot, or roll a can of soup or sodapop on the ground. Ice may work well at the times of severe pain. For a chronic pain, or longer lasting pain heat therapy may improve the condition.
So to prevent them from happening, you need to equip your legs with the necessary muscles. It is best to do these running stretches after your running training. Static stretches like the ones I am describing here can do damage to cold muscles, reason why you should not do them before your workout. Do them after your run when you are completely warmed up and then these running stretches are going to be very beneficial. It is a well known fact that their is a connection between Over Pronation and Achilles Heel Pain (Achilles Tendonitis). Read what you can do about it. read more
This involved lots of book reading, sifting through endless publications and performing a plethora of Internet searches. From all of the material uncovered I had to establish for myself what would work and what wouldn’t. Some of this took self practice with lots of trial and error and my fair share of false starts (sprinkled with a smattering of goods intentions). Walking The Talk (Literally) Repetitive pounding of the Bottom – jogging and running, abnormally active decline or on asperous surfaces, can aftereffect in disturbing and plantar faschitis inflammation. And getting on your anxiety added can advance to add disturbing in the fascia which after-effects in added deepening and pain.
The treatments for bone spur in shoulders, wrists, elbows and spine are somewhat the same as that for the heel. The main treatment which is recommended for every spur is rest. Rest and only rest can relieve you from the pain. Muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications are recommended to relieve the muscle strain and inflammation. Cortisone injections are given in the affected area. Lastly, when the bone spurs cannot be controlled by non-surgical treatments, they are treated by a surgery. The ones that are found in the spine are usually treated with a surgery. The spinal spurs are mainly caused due to arthritis.
Our heel is made of the largest bone of the foot – the heel bone or the calcaneus. It is this bone that takes the maximum weight of the body as we stand and move around. A thick pad of fat known as the heel pad provides cushion on the underneath as the heel bone bears the impact of walking. Other than this, the heel bone transfers the force of the Achilles tendon to other parts of the foot. In certain conditions, a bony outgrowth may develop from the heel bone. This is known as the heel spur.
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. Some foot surgeons feel that the small nerves that travel under the plantar fascia on their way to the forefoot are also irritated and may contribute to the pain. In many cases, the actual source of the painful heel will never be clearly defined without doubt. Symptoms
These two measures are NSAIDs and ESWT. Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as prescribed by the doctor, helps in controlling the inflammation, thereby providing relief from intense heel pain. The second method, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), is a new procedure for treating heel spur. In this method, the affected area is exposed to focused high or low energy shock waves that induce micro trauma at the site to initiate body’s natural healing mechanism. Though ESWT is a new method but it has been found to be highly effective. Heel pain may return if you return too soon to your previous level of exercise or sports participation. Additional Info
The plantar fascia is a tough band of tissue that extends from the ball of the foot to the heel and assists in giving the foot its arch. Inflammation of this tissue due to traumatic injury or overuse is called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis generally develops over a period of time and affects one foot at a time. According to the Mayo Clinic, the sharp pain near the heel is worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it also can be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up from a seated position. Plantar fasciitis is treated with ice, stretching and activity modification.
So should you exercise with heel spur pain? Yes absolutely. As long as the exercises you’re performing are low impact and easy on the feet. If so, then you’re good to go. Remember, high impact exercises continuously causes trauma to the feet, so shy away from these. The last thing you want is to make your heel spur pain worse. Treating plantar fasciitis begins with the most simple methods available but if they fail to get rid of the inflammation, then a more serious treatment should be tried. These will be recommended by your doctor once he’s diagnosed you with inflammation of the plantar fascia.
Bone spurs are usually just protective measures that the body takes in order to heal properly. In other words, they are the attempts of the body to increase the joint’s surface area that can get damage from arthritis. The bone spurs themselves aren’t sources of pain, though. They just rub nearby nerves, bone and soft tissues, in turn causing pain. Some common places in which bone spurs could occur would be the bones in the spine, the joints where the bones actually meet like the hips and shoulders, and wherever the ligaments and tendons connect to the bones, like the heels.
Heel spurs are bone projections that form on the heel bone. These spurs develop over time, often in people who have a foot condition called plantar fasciosis, according to the online medical library of The Merck Manuals. The plantar fascia is a strip of tissue that connects the heel bone to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciosis occurs when this fascia becomes stressed, damaged or torn, and can cause severe heel pain. The damage to the fascia sometimes leads to the growth of a bone spur. However, heel spurs and plantar fasciosis can sometimes occur independently. You Might Also Like Cervical Spine Spurs.
Traditionally surgical treatment for heel pain consisted of removing the heel spur. Some surgeons continue to have great success with this procedure. However, recent studies have shown that releasing the tight, thickened plantar fascia ligament is just as effective with a much quicker recovery time. Other surgical treatments include excision of the nerve by the heel and even shockwave therapy. Irritation to the plantar fascia is caused by excessive stress on the tissue. Running or walking on uneven surfaces over time can cause this to happen. The pain that you are experiencing in your heel is caused from tears in the plantar fascia, where it attaches to your heel.
If you sit for your job, your breaks should include time to stretch your legs. Taking just a couple of minutes to stretch can make a lot of difference when trying to avoid a heel spur. If you walk or stand for your job, your breaks should include time for stretching and sitting. Sometimes breaks are short so be creative and learn where you can squeeze in a couple of minutes to stretch those ligaments. In Ayurveda it is clearly mentioned as a curable one.and have a tremendous result for chronic or acute one by Ayurveda medicines and therapies.(Ayurveda management)
To make matters worse the pain can and sometimes does extend itself to your Achilles tendonitis. These are two separate conditions yet can be relevant at the same time. A specialist opinion should most certainly be sought for advice if your condition has reached this extreme. The pain from Achilles tendonitis is at the back of the heel and will also have swelling and severe soreness with associated redness possible. Buy well-fitting shoes – for leisure and work! If you are prone, look for a good heel support and a cushioning pad under the heel.
Without the obvious heel injuries it is hard for many to understand why the heel hurts. Without trauma, it is sometimes difficult for the doctor to understand why your heel hurts too. So, x-rays are taken to determine why a patient has pain symptoms in the heel at the sole of the foot or a swollen foot and that is when the doctor detects the heel spur. It is estimated that 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis who do have discomfort will also be found to have a heel spur when observed via x-rays.
This is part one in a series of articles about heel pain. Why do I have this? I like to tell patients that it is caused by telling lies, but they quickly realize that this will not help their foot. So on to the real causes of foot pain. And why you should go to see your Podiatrist and not your neighbor for this problem. One of the easiest home remedies for heel spur is the application of ice pack over the affected area. This home remedy is quite effective and helpful for reducing the pain. It is also helpful in reducing the inflammation of the affected area.