From sitting and standing to walking and running, the feet take pressure from your body's total weight, so it is easy to see the amount of stress they experience. Because of this constant use and overall level of stress, you may develop foot conditions that are painful and immobilizing. Heel spurs are a common problem that affect many people today even though the condition is not understood by most people. This guide will help you understand the causes, signs, and treatment options for heel spurs.
Heel spurs are basically calcium deposits that build up under the heel bone. These deposits can form over a period of time, but determining the actual reason why the calcium builds up under the heel bone is a bit difficult.
In most cases, the calcium deposits develop after the foot is strained in some manner. If you injured your foot, strained the muscles or ligaments, or injured/tore the plantar fascia, you may develop a heel spur.
For many, pain and discomfort are the first sign of a heel spur. This pain is usually located in the front of heel. While surprising to learn, 50 percent of people experience pain while the other half do not feel any discomfort. These individuals will only learn they have a heel spur after being evaluated by a doctor for another foot injury or condition, such as plantar fasciitis. If you haven't been diagnosed yet, contact a clinic like Mid Nebraska Foot Clinic for more information.
Pain is not the only sign of a heel spur. You may notice swelling and inflammation around the heel. In addition, the tissue around the front of the heel may be warm to the touch because of the inflammation. The swelling and pain may worsen over time, eventually spreading to the arch of your foot.
In some instances, the calcium deposits can cause a bony protrusion on the foot.
The type of treatment for your heel spur will depend on a few factors including its severity, your physical health, and the level of pain the spur is causing.
Anti-inflammatory medications are effective for most people. These medications are injected directly into the heel, easing inflammation and pain for a short period of time.
Your podiatrist may also recommend physical therapy exercises. Stretching exercises will strengthen the foot to improve mobility while easing inflammation and pain.
Orthotic inserts or custom shoes are also beneficial. This type of footwear will be designed for your specific needs, reducing pressure and stress on the heel, easing the pain of your heel spurs.
If you are experiencing one or more signs of a heel spur, talk to your doctor because help is available. Treatment will not only reduce your pain, but also improve your mobility and quality of life.