The heel pain or heel spur syndrome caused by plantar fasciitis (heel spurs) will go away – if you know what to do. You’ll also want to learn how to prevent that pain from coming back.
Firstly the things you did not know about heel spurs:
- The name heel spur alone sounds sinister, and rightly so – heel spurs are behind foot and ankle inflammations that affect nearly 10 percent of the population and a whopping 50% of the population over 60.
- How can you tell if you are at risk and how to deal with it if you are already suffering from a heel spur? It pays to read the entire article because we have sound advice for you.
- A heel spur is a small bony projection that forms on the heel bone, either at the back of the heel or under the sole of the heel; its medical name is a calcaneal spur. Heel spurs are often painless, but they can cause real pain. Remember pain is the body’s way to signal distress; if inflammation is a fire, then pain is the smoke.
- Doctors frequently associate the pain with plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation that develops in the thick, web-like ligament (plantar fascia) that connects your heel along the bottom of the foot to your toes. It’s that ligament that supports the arch of your foot and helps you walk.
- The problem begins when the plantar fascia becomes irritated, and when it becomes inflamed, then you feel heel pain.
- The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to a faulty structure in the foot. For example, people who have problems such as flat feet or high-arched feet are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
- Quite a few celebrities suffer from heel spur inflammation including Angelina Jolie, and Paris Hilton.
- Who is going to suffer from the inflammation? It may be a dull ache in the heel throughout the day. The high-risk groups are those who spend a great deal of time on their feet – standing or walking, that’s teachers, shop salespeople, and factory workers. Then to that group add those who run a great deal including sportsmen and women from skaters and ping pong players to football stars.
- Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts an abnormal strain on the plantar fascia ligament and may also lead to heel spur syndrome. Then there that may be the cause of a tender spot at the bottom of the heel that makes it hard to walk barefoot
- Those who have diabetes are also high on the list of sufferers and need special attention.
The other factors that increase the risk of heel spurs syndrome.
- For women, the potential for foot problems increases as research shows that the average woman walks 3 miles a day more than a man. That’s while wearing high heels, which can never provide proper support for the feet and adds to the problem.
- Obesity or a sudden increase in weight, which brings about increased strain on that ligament under the heel.
- Wearing shoes with worn or unsuitable soles.
- A sudden increase in physical activity that creates an unexpected load on the feet.
- Stress also plays a role because it stimulates the production of inflammatory hormones in the body.
- The last and most common factor is age. People between the ages of 40 and 60 begin to suffer from the inflammation as the ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes loses its elasticity over the years; with those over 60 suffering the most.
What causes the heel spur?
The spur develops from increased strain on the ligament and the connecting tendons. That strain stems from the repeated stretching of the ligament that causes irritation and that ultimately leads to inflammation. Changes in walking posture generate an increased tension on the ligament, and that creates irritation and inflammation.
What best describes the inflammation?
Pain in the heel after a short rest or sleep; as the foot relaxes overnight the first step in the morning can alert you to the problem. Then you may feel a sharp pain like a knife in the heel when standing up in the morning. Chronic inflammation and degenerative damage may occur in the structure of the ligament at the cellular level. If there are more immediate signs, such as pain in the heel, even during rest or pain severe enough to wake you up. Pain which spreads beyond the heel area, a feeling of tingling or burning in the heel and bottom of the foot. For those cases, it is essential to seek urgent medical advice.
In some cases, there may be a slight ridge in the heel area, or under the heel and x-rays can identify them, though these are not necessarily the source of pain or inflammation.
How is a heel spur treated?
There are several methods, starting from conservative (gentle) treatments to the more intrusive.
- An immediate reduction in prolonged standing or any physical activity that involves the ankle.
- Footrest combined with the application of ice on the ankle several times a day and local foot and heel massage.
- Switching to comfortable shoes that cushion the heel area to help spread the weight across a wide area outside the painful area, or (orthotics), custom fitted insoles.
- Stretching and physiotherapy exercises to help relieve the strain on the plantar fasciitis ligament.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs that do not contain steroids. These are especially advisable after other treatments have not improved the situations since a number of studies show that anti-inflammatory steroid drugs sometimes slow down the recovery process.
- If the inflammation becomes chronic or traditional treatments have not helped consider surgery, cortisone injections, and other steroids and or therapy for the micro-trauma.
What happens if you don’t treat a heel spur?
There are cases in which the pain disappears in a few months resulting in a gradual recovery. Despite that, in most cases neglecting the problem or withholding treatment can result in the development of chronic inflammation in the heel that leads to a change in walking posture to alleviate pain. That change damages various parts of the body, especially the back; and you really do not want to mess with your back.
We’ve kept the best news for the end:
The pain may affect your working productivity and shift your focus from important tasks to the pain. So don’t let that happen. Now there is a device that can put an end to the heel spur pain and treat it effectively.
The B-Cure Laser (an innovative technology now being adopted all over the world); it treats pain through a soft laser. This soft laser stimulates the natural healing mechanisms of the body by promoting cellular action, strengthening inter-cellular communication and stimulating the blood circulation.
The B-Cure Laser leads to a reduction in pain and inflammation by releasing endorphins that stimulate the natural healing mechanism of the body; they aid in healing the cause of the problem and not only eliminating the painful symptoms.
The B-Cure laser releases endorphins that help us deal with pain. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that transmit electrical signals within the nervous system and interact with the receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain in the same manner as drugs like paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin and codeine.
Treating the inflammation associated with heel spurs with the B-Cure laser is relatively simple and takes two to three weeks, but the results are astounding – more than 60% of the patients experiencing intolerable pain caused by the heel spur and using the B-Cure Laser reduced the pain significantly.
How do you use the device? B-Cure Laser should be applied to the heel and parallel to the arch of the foot. Start with a one and a half minute application at each site and gradually increase the use by 30 seconds every day until you reach 6-8 minutes of treatment at each point twice a day.