What are Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs are anatomical abnormalities that occur on either the bottom or back of the heel bone. These nail like projections protrude into the surrounding tissues and tendons attached to the heel bone itself. As you subject the bottom of your feet to constant pounding and stress, your heel becomes inflamed. The bone spur is a result of the body attempting to heal itself, when ligaments attached to the heel are strained.
Who are at Risk for Heel Spurs?
This foot disorder is typically found in men and women over the age of 40 who are predominantly predisposed to health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, diabetes and other diseases affected by poor blood circulation. Here are other risk factors commonly associated with heel spurs:
- Athletes who frequently strain their heel with rigorous training
- Individuals with high or flat arches
- Those who suffer from obesity
- Pregnant women
- Persons who prefer walking barefoot
What are the Symptoms of Heel Spurs?
The thing about heel spurs is that they take a while to develop but when they do, the patient immediately succumbs to unbearable pain. This is largely owed to the fact that heel spurs form considerably close to the tendons thereby triggering shooting pains with each move. Aptly described as the foot’s version of the toothache, heel spurs can ignite intense pain that can render you immobile.
Pain arising from heel spurs is more pronounced when walking after a momentary rest. As you take the weight off your soles, its surrounding nerves tend to relax but the minute you stand up to take a step, these capillaries react by overstressing your blood vessels thus triggering immediate pain.
How is a Heel Spur Diagnosed?
Apart from its symptoms, heel spurs are best diagnosed through an X-ray to allow the doctor to accurately assess the degree of protrusion affecting the heel.
Heel Spur Treatment
- Elevation – lifting your affected foot can temporarily relieve the intense pain triggered by this condition.
- Heat – a heat compress can also help dilate your blood vessels to halt the pain.
- Heel Pads – if you cannot afford to take a few hours off work, it would be wise to invest in heel pads that are made of rubber or foam to help protect your heel’s already aggravated tissues and muscles.
- Physical Therapies – in addressing heel spurs, medical experts can utilize a number of methods to correct this deformity. Diathermy, for instant, makes use of electrical currents that numbs the irritated tissues to assuage the pain.
- Orthotics – orthopedic devices such as orthotics can also help keep you mobile in spite of your heel spur.
- Surgery – advised only for the most severe heel spurs, surgically removal of this abnormality is the last type of treatment to attempt.
The first step for heel spur pain relief is to make sure that the 4 arches on each of your feet are properly supported and you are wearing shoes that fit properly.
Ideal Feet Helps Treat Heel Spurs
When your heels hurt from Heel Spurs or Plantar Fasciitis, it is important to keep stress and excessive pressure off of your heels to allow the fascia to heal properly. The fascia generally becomes inflamed when the bones, joints and arches of the feet are not properly aligned. Ideal Feet products balance the foot on all four arches, taking the pressure off of the heel, which gives you relief from heel pain.