What is a heel spur


A Heel spur is something that grows underneath the foot especially around the heel area. It looks like a hard tip that can be as big as half an inch. On X-ray, Heel spurs can be visualized clearly. Heel spurs often referred to as calcaneal spurs. It does not grow at once. Usually, it takes a few months to process.

Heel spurs are most likely to be painless but can spread to other parts of the foot. Heel pain can happen in many ways. For instance, plantar fasciitis, sprains, and strains, fracture, Achilles tendonitis, bursitis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteochondroses, reactive arthritis, etc.

What is a heel spur

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Hence, as soon as any kind of heel pain occurs, we have to know exactly what is causing the pain and treat it accordingly. However, this article focuses on the causes and treatment of heel spur and a brief comparison between heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.  

Causes of Foot Heel Pain

It happens mostly because of stress on ligaments and tissues around the foot area. Long time exercise, running on a hard surface or jumping activities can also trigger Heel spurs. 

Furthermore, wearing shoes, sandals that do not fit perfectly and have no arch support or heel pad can be a reason of Heel spurs. Stepping on a hard object like a stone or walking on rough roads that make feet uncomfortable can cause Heel spur. Any kind of stress on foot muscle or heel bone might lead to Heel spurs. People diagnosed with diabetes may also experience Heel spurs. 

Some food items can also create Heel spurs. For instance, red meats, pork, bacon. Then any kind of food that has excessive sugar, white flour or caffeine elements and vegetables like tomato, potato, eggplant. Moreover, overweight people are also in danger of facing Heel pain. 

Symptoms of Heel spurs 

There is no specific symptom of Heel spurs. If any kind of physical activity like walking, running, jumping gives pain on feet than there might be a problem. It does not always indicate heel spurs but a reason enough to have a look. To be specific, Heel spur pain feels like a pin or knife stuck underneath heal bone, and often it is even difficult to stand up let alone walking or running. 

Nevertheless, the pain might not be there while sitting or sleeping. 

Heel spur treatments 

Primarily the idea of resting crosses our mind as Heel spurs mostly occur due to muscle stress. Here, the irony is that the pain might increase even more after a long rest due to sudden pressure on foot muscles whereas the pain decreases if a person walks more and more.

What is Achilles Heel spur

We have to be remindful of every type of heel spur so that we do not mix one with another. The Achilles heel spur is something that develops in the back of the heel unlike Plantar fasciitis or usual heel spur that grows underneath the foot. 

Do Heel Spurs Go Away

heel Spurs do not always go away naturally. It has to be taken care of either at home or through medications prescribed by doctors. Surgical treatments are also there if necessary. Any kind of carelessness might cause permanent heel spur diagnosis. 

Natural remedies 

There are a few home remedies, which can help lessen the pain of heel spur. For instance, Epsom salt bath, massage with oils (coconut, olive, lavender, rosemary), applying apple cider vinegar, ice pack, baking soda, having foods with anti-inflammatory (turmeric, ginger, cumin seeds), etc. 

Nonsurgical treatment 

If the pain lasts more than a month than a consultation with a doctor is a must. The most common treatments a doctor can recommend for a heel spur are stretching exercises, physical therapy, well-fit footwear, strapping or tapping the affected area, etc. Doctors may also prescribe medicines like Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, and sometimes in case of biomechanical imbalances, injection with corticosteroid heals the patient. 

Heel spur exercises 

Professionals suggest a few exercises that can help ease the pain of heel spurs. Exercises like foot flex, calf stretch on a step, toe towel grab, wall calf stretch, wall squat calf stretch, calf stretch with a band, golf ball roll, and walking the dog are widely recommended by experts. Anyone can easily be able to do all the above-mentioned exercises. All of it can be an attempt at once or in sets.  

Surgical treatment 

There is also surgical treatment besides nonsurgical. Nine out of ten times a patient with heel spurs recovers with nonsurgical treatments. Anyhow, if the pain of heel spur lasts up to a year than surgery is necessary. Surgeons usually cut the Planter fascial ligament that connects the heel bone. Some surgeons tend to remove the spur. The process totally depends upon the Surgeon. After the surgery, it takes around three weeks for a patient to move normally.  Moreover, following the guidance of a doctor is crucial, or else any wrong movement may lead to pain on the heel.   

Heel spur shoes 

Above all, prevention is always better than cure. In order to prevent heel spur, well-fitting shoes are a must. Separate shoes for each activity like walking, playing, running, climbing is necessary. Here is a list of a number of shoes that are comfortable to wear with great arch support. Sandals of Oofos and Vionic are great. Then shoes of New Balance, Mephisto, MBT Sneaker, Aetrex, Brooks, and Dansko are some of the most famous brands. People, who are obese, have to lose weight. 

Heel spur vs Plantar fasciitis 

People often mix Plantar fasciitis with heel spur. Knowing the similarities and differences between heel spur and Planter fasciitis is necessary. Those who have heel spur might not have Planter fasciitis but those with Planter fasciitis more often than not will also have heel spurs at some point. 

Pain does not come with heel spur alone. It only appears with Planter fasciitis. We already know what heel spur is. It comes from heel’s bone. Plantar fasciitis is a soft tissue that connects the heel with toes. It works as a ligament. It meant to endure stress and force but too much pressure breaks it and causes inflammation. 

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