Are you struggling with heel spurs? If so, you’re not alone. Heel spurs are a common condition caused by the overgrowth of bone on the underside of the heel. They can cause pain and discomfort that affects your ability to walk, run, and even stand.
Thankfully, treatments available can provide relief and help you find the right solution for your unique situation. In this piece, we’ll touch on the different types of professional heel spurs treatment and how you can find the best option for you.
What Are Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs, also known as plantar fasciitis, is a condition that affects the foot and causes pain in the heel area. These are bony growths that form on the underside of the heel bone, usually resulting from repetitive stress or overuse of the heel.
The pain can be sharp or dull and may radiate up into the arch of the foot or the Achilles tendon. It is important to note that heel spurs do not always cause pain; however, if left untreated, they can lead to more serious issues such as plantar fasciitis.
If you are experiencing symptoms, consult your podiatrist to get professional treatment as soon as possible. Treatment options may include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, orthotics, and in some cases, surgery. The right solution for you will depend on your specific situation and the severity of your condition.
It is important to note that heel spurs can take a long time to heal and should not be ignored. If you are experiencing persistent heel pain, you must contact a podiatrist to get proper treatment.
What are the Causes of Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs are typically caused by overuse of the heel, including wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. Other factors that can contribute include:
- Repetitive strain or overuse of the foot, such as from running or jumping.
- Wearing shoes that do not provide enough support or cushioning for the feet.
- Being overweight or obese; can put extra strain on the feet.
- Having certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes, that can affect the feet.
- Having flat feet or high arches, which can put extra strain on the feet.
- Having tight calf muscles, which can cause the heels to rotate inward and put extra strain on the heels.
In general, heel spurs are the result of the body trying to repair itself from the strain and stress placed on the feet. The body responds by laying down extra bone in the area, resulting in the formation of a heel spur.
Pain Associated with Heel Spurs
Heel spurs occur when calcium deposits form on the heel bone, causing a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel or arch of the foot.
The pain associated with these can be mild to severe and can occur suddenly or gradually. Pain typically increases with activity and gets worse when pressure is applied to the affected area. Symptoms of heel spurs include sharp pain, tenderness, and inflammation in the heel area.
People with heel spurs may also experience difficulty walking or find it painful to stand for extended periods.
Treatment for spurs typically involves anti-inflammatory medications, stretching exercises, physical therapy, and orthotics. If conservative treatments don’t provide relief, surgery may be recommended to remove the spurs.
Traditional Treatments for Heel Spurs
Heel spurs are bony protrusions that form on the underside of the heel bone and can cause pain in the feet and ankles. Common treatments for heel spurs include physical therapy, over-the-counter or prescription medications, shoe modifications, and rest.
Physical therapy is an effective treatment for heel spurs. Physical therapists use stretching exercises and massage to reduce pain and inflammation in the area. They may also recommend special shoes that can help reduce strain on the feet.
Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen can also be used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Prescription medications may be recommended for more severe cases.
Shoe modifications are another common treatment option for heel spurs. Orthopedic shoes, arch supports, and other types of shoe inserts can help to relieve pressure on the affected area. Additionally, cushioned insoles can help provide extra cushioning and support.
Avoid standing or walking for long periods and elevate the feet whenever possible. Applying ice to the area can also help reduce swelling. With proper treatment, heel spurs can often be managed without surgery. Rest is equally essential for recovery.
Advancements in Heel Spur Treatments
Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and disruptive to your daily life. Fortunately, there have been many recent advancements in heel spur treatments that make it easier to find a solution that works for you.
One of the most effective treatments for heel spurs is physical therapy. This type of therapy involves stretching, strengthening, and other exercises that help reduce inflammation and pain associated with heel spurs. A physical therapist will help create an individualized plan to manage your condition and maximize its effectiveness.
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
In addition to physical therapy, there are several other treatments for heel spurs that are becoming increasingly popular. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a newer form of treatment that uses sound waves to stimulate healing within the tissue surrounding the heel spur.
Research has found this type of therapy to be quite effective for reducing pain, improving mobility, and improving the overall quality of life for those suffering from heel spurs.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is another relatively new option for treating heel spurs. This method involves taking a sample of your blood, then spinning it in a centrifuge to separate platelet-rich plasma, which contains powerful healing properties. When injected into the area around the heel spur, PRP can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Surgery is a last resort option for people who do not respond to any of the other treatments mentioned above. Surgery may involve removing the spur itself or the calcified tissues surrounding it. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may be possible to perform minimally invasive techniques such as arthroscopic surgery or endoscopic plantar fasciotomy.
No matter what type of treatment you choose, it’s important to speak to your podiatrist about your options and get their advice before beginning any new treatment plan. With the range of treatments now available, there is sure to be something that can help reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.