Do you usually feel pain on your heels when you step on concrete or after you walk for an hour? This is felt even when you wear closed shoes. If that is your case, you might be suffering from heel spurs. So, what are heel spurs?
I. The Meaning of Heel Spurs:
This is a calcium deposit that causes a bony protrusion on the side of the heel. Under an X-ray, its size looks like a half-inch ligament extending from the heel bone. If not checked through an X-ray, this is just considered a heel spurs syndrome.
II.More facts about Heel Spurs:
Heel spurs may not commonly cause pain, yet still, they cause heel pain because of the protrusion that affects the whole heel when being stepped on the pavement or when someone wears heels or shoes that are tight-fitting.
III.Causes of Heel Spurs:
Heel spurs are usually painless but other factors cause this condition.
This condition takes place for several months. It is commonly felt by athletes that do large activities like running and jumping. Below are the causes of this condition:
● strains on foot muscles
● strains on ligaments
● stretching of the plantar fascia
● continues tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone
When the parts of the heel are overused because of heavy activities that put much pressure on the torso, chances are damages would take place such as the given examples above. Most of the time, overweight could also add damage to the heels or when a person is flat-footed and he does not carry his weight but stride and put much pressure when walking instead. They have a high possibility of acquiring damage on the heels. Meanwhile, the stretching of the plantar fascia leads to a condition called plantar fasciitis, or the pain that occurs in the medial side of the heel. The pain that this gives is characterized by: sudden, acute, and knife-like pain. Heel spurs are connected to this condition. In the next part, we will know the risk factors of this condition:
IV.Risk Factors for Heel Spurs:
The following are the risk factors for heel spurs. Usually, people ignore this thing because they are unaware that certain factors could lead to the said condition or make the pain worse.
● walking gait abnormalities:
These refer to how a person walks or the pace of his walk. People who are usually flat-footed are the ones who bear a heavyweight on the heel because the weight from the walking gait is twice the weight that the heel can carry.
● running or jogging on hard surfaces:
The hard surfaces add pressure on the heels and strain the ligaments and foot muscles especially on surfaces that are made from materials such as asphalt or rocks.
● poorly fitted or badly worn shoes:
This is another risk factor for heel spurs because when the footwear that a person wears is either poorly fitted or badly worn, it would not give proper arch support to him.
● excess weight or obesity:
As mentioned in the previous articles, when a person is overweight, his knees, legs, and heels are pressured much and could cause inflammation. Imagine a piece of heavy metal put in a container that is made of plastic, the material underneath develops scratches or is damaged much because of the weight that is twice the weight of the container itself.
If one notices sudden pain on the heels as he gains weight or his activities become heavier, he might want to consider re-evaluating his condition and get an appointment with an internist or podiatrist to check if there are too many calcium deposits on his heels. Another, he might also consider checking his diet to know if he needs to cut on the intake of red meat or if he's taking too many sugary foods.
The heel spurs do not have many symptoms but chronic pain is associated with it. In some cases, people seek doctors' advice for non-surgical treatments such as:
V.Non-Surgical Treatments for Heel Spurs:
● stretching exercises:
The stretching exercises like Achilles stretch, Plantar Fascia stretch, towel toe curls are the ones recommended by doctors should one wish to ease the pain on the heels.
● shoe recommendations:
Certain walking shoes can offer full arch support that is recommended by podiatrists however this gets a bit challenging because there are numerous kinds of shoes but there are specific shoes that are customized for people with heel spurs hence podiatrists and other experts recommend those that are lightweight and would not strain the foot muscles.
● taping or strapping to rest stressed muscles or tendons:
This technique is used to lessen the stress caused by strained muscles or tendons by wrapping footprints along the affected area.
● shoe inserts or orthotic devices:
These shoe inserts give sufficient arch support too. Just put inside the shoes and you may enjoy walking for miles without having strained soles of the feet.
● physical therapy:
A person with heel spurs must undergo physical therapy to enhance his flexibility and to be given with best treatment plan. Throughout the sessions, there are exercises that physical therapy would administer to the patient such as:
● arch stretches:
This may be done using a simple bottle or tennis ball at home. This exercise can enhance the patient's vital ligament.
● toe stretches:
At home, a patient may also do this by grasping for marbles or pebbles. This is highly recommended by the physical therapist to improve the flexibility of the muscles and ligaments throughout the foot.
● ankle mobility stretches:
This exercise could be done at home using a staircase stretch. This may be done, as approved by the therapist, to improve the range of motion and flexibility of your ankle.
Aside from these stretches, there is another way to lessen or relieve the strain on the foot muscles and ligaments that might cause heel spurs. This product is made to provide complete support to the lower back muscle, legs, and foot. By simply resting your feet on it, this under desk foot hammock from Flexispot could ease the pain and strain of the foot muscles and would avoid the strain in the ligaments. This could stimulate blood circulation hence your legs and even your lumbar could be supported by this hammock efficiently while working. It is indeed a beneficial product to anyone who experiences heel spurs.