What are Heel Spurs?
Calcium deposits can build up in the heel bone causing a sometimes painful condition knows as Heel Spurs. They can occur very slowly and symptoms are often not felt for several months.
What causes Heel Spurs?
There exists a membrane that covers most of the bone along the heel. When this membrane gets torn repeatedly due to straining of the muscles in the foot, the calcium deposits that lead to heel spurs are more likely to occur.
What are the symptoms of Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs can be quite painful, but can just as likely occur with no symptoms at all. Plantar fasciitis is a contributing condition to heel spurs. The cause of the pain is not the heel spur itself but the soft-tissue injury associated with it. The feeling has been described as a knife or pin sticking into the bottom of your feet when you first stand up after sitting or laying down for a long period of time -- a pain that later turns into a dull ache.
Who typically gets Heel Spurs?
Athletes who participate in sports that involve a significant amount of jumping and running on hard surfaces are most likely to suffer from heel spurs. Some other risk factors include:
- Poor form while walking which can lead to undue stress on the heel and its nerves and ligaments.
- Shoes that are not properly fitted for the wearer's feet.
- Poor arch support in footwear.
- Being overweight.
- Occupations that require a lot of standing or walking.
- Reduced flexibility and the thinning of the fat pad along the bottom of the heel, both of which are a typical depreciation that comes with aging.
What is the treatment for Heel Spurs?
Common and effective treatments for Heel Spurs include: Stretching exercises, changing into specific shoes, taping or strapping to rest stressed muscles and tendons, custom orthotic devices and physiotherapy.
There are many things you can do to treat heel spurs. You should stretch the muscles and ligaments around the area regularly and ensure you are wearing the right footwear for your feet. There are also tapes and straps that you can apply to the muscles and tendons around the area.
For more severe cases, custom orthotics may be the way to go along with aggressive physiotherapy. To treat the pain, over the counter NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications) is recommended, but use with caution as prolonged use can lead to the development of ulcers.
It is therefore best to apply a topical treatment such as Zax's Original Heel Spur Cream, which contains natural ingredients proven to reduce pain and inflammation.
More severe forms of the condition may require corticosteroid injections or surgical procedures, but these are very rare cases. Still, should pain become worse and persist, you should consult with your doctor.
Can you prevent Heel Spurs?
The best way to prevent heel spurs is by wearing properly fitted footwear. Shoes should have a shock absorbing tread and soles and should be effective in supporting the heel and arch. Proper warm up and stretching before embarking on any physical activity that will put pressure or impact on the area is highly recommended. Also, just as it's important for your general health, if you can lose some extra pounds, you will be more likely to avoid heel spurs. If you are starting to feel the onset of pain, it may not be heel spurs, but could be a tendonitis condition that could lead to heel spurs. It is best to treat this pain quickly by applying Zax's Original Heel Spur Cream a few times per day and take note of your footwear and stretching routine.