Heel spurs are a painful condition caused by a bony growth on the back of the heel, which can lead to discomfort and difficulty in walking. While there are several home treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms of heel spurs such as using cold packs, stretching, and shoe inserts, some people wonder if it is possible to eliminate heel spurs without surgery.
Fortunately, there are several non-surgical options available for treating heel spurs. If you are interested in learning more about how to get rid of heel spurs, read on for some helpful tips and information.
What causes Heel Spurs?
Heel Spurs are caused by repetitive stress on the heel, such as from running or jumping. Heel spurs are often painless, but they can sometimes cause pain in the heel, especially when you first stand up in the morning or after prolonged periods of sitting.
Here are some of the things that can cause heel spurs:
- Repetitive stress on the heel: Heel spurs are most commonly caused by repetitive stress on the heel, such as from running or jumping. This repetitive stress can cause the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, to become inflamed and irritated. This inflammation can lead to the formation of a heel spur.
- Overweight or obese: Being overweight or obese can put extra stress on the heel, increasing the risk of developing heel spurs.
- Poor arch support: Wearing shoes that do not provide good arch support can put extra stress on the heel, increasing the risk of developing heel spurs.
- Flat feet: People with flat feet are likelier to develop heel spurs than people with normal arches. This is because flat feet do not provide as much support for the heel, which can lead to repetitive stress and inflammation.
- Age: Heel spurs are more common in people over 40. This is because the plantar fascia tends to become weaker and less elastic with age, which makes it more susceptible to injury and inflammation.
- Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, can increase the risk of developing heel spurs.
Here are some of the symptoms of heel spurs:
- Pain in the heel: The most common symptom of heel spurs is pain in the heel. The pain can be sharp or dull and worse when you first stand up in the morning or after prolonged periods of sitting.
- Swelling in the heel: Some people with heel spurs may experience swelling in the heel. The swelling can be mild or severe, making the heel look red and tender.
- Tenderness in the heel: The heel may be tender to the touch, especially when you press on it.
- Limited range of motion in the ankle: Heel spurs can sometimes limit the range. This can make it difficult to walk or run.
- Crepitus: Some people with heel spurs may hear a crunching or popping sound when they move their heels. This is called crepitus, and the rubbing of the heel spur against the plantar fascia causes it.
Home Treatments for Heel Spurs
Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are often found together. A bone spur has grown down and tears the fibrous tissue of the foot arch. The result is inflammation. There are a few conservative options to relieve your pain and bring down the swelling. These options include:
When you suffer from heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, one of the easiest things to do is to use cold packs. Applying this type of cold therapy on your feet can be incredibly easy, and it only takes a few minutes out of your day.
Cold packs are an effective method of easing discomfort caused by inflammation and injury. Place a cold therapy pack against the affected area and limit your movement to reduce swelling. Cold temperatures inhibit pain receptors from transmitting pain signals by reducing blood flow to the area. Try using ice packs for twenty to 30 minutes at a time - be sure to move them around often enough so as not to cause frostbite. Avoid placing directly against the skin to avoid irritation or frostbite.
When it comes to running or even wearing shoes during our busy and active day-to-day lives, one of the most overlooked things is how important it can be to consider the shape and material of our footwear.
Inactive lifestyles are not uncommon nowadays, which means that we've become increasingly reliant upon our feet to carry out many activities without thinking about how stressfully we may be treating them.
One example of such a problem is heel spurs, caused by any chronic injury resulting from an overuse syndrome, most likely contributing to your increased risk of developing medical problems as annoying and painful as bunions. The key here is prevention - knowing when to handle a problem before it becomes too serious.
Orthotic Insoles or Inserts
Not everybody is a runner. A lot of us need to be more relaxed and active with our day-to-day lives to bother with running. But even if we're not running, we often forget about the active lifestyles we live in almost every aspect of our lives that could very well hurt our feet.
If you work in an office job with long hours and can't find something comfortable enough to wear, you need to ensure that they're not squeezing your toes or heels so tightly to help prevent things from getting worse. One way to do it is by using certain insoles, for example, and consulting a professional when necessary.
Incorporating stretching and exercises to help manage heel spurs is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Stretching your calves and plantar fascia ligaments can take a lot of pressure off, especially in the morning when muscles are naturally at their loosest. A good time to stretch these muscles is in the morning before you start your day when they're relaxed and will respond best to these stretches.
Massage will help with the pain that you may be feeling. Start by using a cold compress before your massage. Your massage therapist will rub gently and slowly, starting to rub harder up and down your calf, over the top of the foot, ankle, and heel to get the blood flowing.
Night splints are designed to keep your feet from pointing straight or down during sleep, preventing plantar fasciitis symptoms. Because this condition is best treated at night, night splints allow you to enjoy pain-free mornings!
Many medications exist to help relieve the pain associated with an injury or a medical condition. Anti-inflammatory medication is just one example of these types of drugs. When someone is hurting, they may be prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug to assist in the battle against their pain and inflammation.
These medications must always be taken as prescribed. They can have side effects if not handled properly, which usually depends on the reason for using them. Not taking care of possible side effects could lead to more complications.
Medical Treatments for Heel Spurs
One of the first steps that should be taken to begin treating heel spurs is consulting your podiatrist. The advice given by this trained professional can help you determine whether it's best to pursue a home remedy or opt for medical treatment. Either way, it's important to remember that your long-term health and well-being are worth taking care of to prevent future problems from arising!
People seeking medical help for heel spurs will want to ensure they choose the right professional. Turning to their trusted doctor or physical therapist ensures they receive the best support and guidance. When faced with the uncertainty of an ailment like heel spurs, it's natural to feel inadequate.
It's important not to feel that way because a skilled healthcare professional will provide all the information necessary to discern what treatments are safe for your unique condition! So, don't hesitate to reach out as soon as possible!
Many people have never heard of the word cortisone before. It's not a very common word, but it's important to know what this medication is and what it's used for! For example, cortisone is a strong steroid medication that can be directly injected into your plantar fascia to reduce the pain and inflammation that might otherwise persist, especially if you suffer from heel spurs.
The one downside to cortisone injections is that they may not last long-term and cannot be done multiple times. Talk to your doctor about whether these shots will work for you before jumping to conclusions.
Consider surgery if nonsurgical treatments haven't provided you the relief you need. Your surgeon will probably have you complete an initial series of tests with x-rays or other diagnostic imaging techniques to visualize better any actual damage that's been done and begin tackling the problem right away!
Two different surgeries can be performed when it comes down to heel spurs. The first is to remove the spur, but you risk destroying the bone underneath here. To avoid this, one can release the plantar fascia to relieve some pressure off your foot whenever they walk or otherwise put weight on it to avoid repeating the injury cycle.
Both procedures may involve more recovery time than expected, so follow all post-op treatments. Do not rush back into anything if you notice any swelling or other signs of infections, which could further prolong recovery.
Getting Rid of Heel Spurs
Heel spurs are a debilitating condition that causes pain, inflammation, and discomfort. Dealing with them quickly is important because they can become quite serious if left untreated. Fortunately, most heel spurs respond well to at-home remedies like ice packs, special stretching exercises, and body splints.
But only treat it yourself if the pain doesn't go away after two weeks of following these steps; then, you should see a doctor and get yourself diagnosed by an expert in your area. Once you have your diagnosis from an expert, talk to them about the best way to get back on your feet to start enjoying all the exciting things life has in store for you!