How To Get Rid Of Heel Spurs
A heel spur can be described as deposit of calcium that causes bony protrusion on the bottom of the heel bone. Though they are most times not painful they can still lead to heal pain occurring and are often only detected through an X-ray.
They are regularly related to plantar fasciitis which is inflammation that is painful largely due to the connective fibrous band of tissues known as plantar fascia which runs across the lower part of the foot and links the bone of the heel to the ball of the foot. Considering that heel spur can be painful, a lot of people are on the lookout on how to get rid of heel spur.
The connective tissue creates a link that offers support to the arch on the bottom of your foot. Pressure on the plantar fascia causes swelling, irritation as well as a weakness of the arch which leads to some pain at the back of the heel. On the other hand, a heel spur is only observed through an X-ray and it causes pain when inflammation develops in the tissues around it.
Heel spurs are very common among athletes who are involved in a lot of running and jumping. Apart from athletes, women who wear high heels have a higher chance of getting heel spurs but despite these circumstances heel spurs can happen to anybody.
WHAT CAUSES HEEL SPURS
Heel spur occur when deposits of calcium accumulate on the bottom of the bone of the heel. Heel spur does not happen at once as it normally occurs over time like weeks or even months. It occurs largely due to strains on ligaments and foot muscles, extending the plantar fascia as well frequent slitting of the membrane that shelters the heel bone. Heel spurs occurs regularly among athletes who take part in several activities such as a lot of jumping and running.
There are certain factors that put people at risk of having heel spurs. They include the following:
- Wearing shoes that are worn out and fit poorly, particularly those that do not have suitable arch support.
- Being overweight and obese
- Walking posture abnormalities that place lots of stress on ligaments, bone of the heel as well as nerves near the bone of the heel
- Jogging or running, particularly on surfaces that are hard
There are also factors that put people at risk of having plantar fasciitis. They include the following:
- Being on your feet most part of the day
- Having either high arches or flat feet
- Becoming older, as this reduces the flexibility of the plantar fascia and affects the fat pad that protects the heel
- Having diabetes
- Regular short spurts of activities that are physically engaging
HEEL SPURS SYMPTOMS
Heel spurs usually do not cause symptoms but heel spurs are related with severe pain especially if inflammation progresses at the center of the formation of the spur when running, jogging or walking.
When describing the pain, many people refer to it as being a pin, needle or knife piercing into the lower part or under their feet when they get up and stand at sunrise. Later on the pain reduces as is not as intense as it was in the first place. Also people grumble that the intense pain comes back once they stand up after sitting down for a long for some time.
An individual can also feel pain after long periods of rest like after sleeping throughout the night. Heel spurs can also lead to the heels swelling as well as inflammation occurring on the heels.
HEEL SPUR TREATMENT
There are some conventional treatments that be used to treat heal pain associated with heel spur. Such conventional treatments include resting although in some cases heel spurs and plantar fasciitis do not respond to rest. Other treatments include stretching exercises, putting ice on the affected area and using anti-inflammatory medications.
A lot of people find it hard to go throughout the day without doing one activity or the other and this extends the heel spur and forces people to depend on anti-inflammatory for a long period of time and this can be harmful because of the various side effects of these medications such as leaky gut, bleeding, symptoms of ulcer and gastrointestinal problems.
Another type of conventional treatment available for heel spur is using a steroid injection. However, this type of treatment is not always effective because of the several structures in the heel making it a difficult place for an injection. So if this treatment does not go well it can make the initial symptoms become worse.
If you have heel pain that lasts for more than a month you need to see a doctor or health care provider who may recommend conventional treatment like changes your shoes, physical therapy, stretching exercises and much more.
One other treatment available for heel spur is Cryoultrasound which is an innovative electromedical device that employs the combination of two therapeutic methods ultrasound therapy and cryotherapy. Cryoultrasound treatment makes the process of healing faster by giving relief from the pain felt. This type of therapy improves blood circulation and cell metabolism. It helps with the removal of toxins and helps in making recovery faster.
SURGERY OPTION FOR TREATING HEEL SPURS
In certain situations heel spurs are removed by surgery. While surgery is usually effective it is a procedure that is quite expensive. There are situation that even after the surgery has been done that heel spurs can be formed again if the person involved continues doing the same activities that caused the problem in the first place.
Surgery is not really necessary to get rid of heel spurs as about ninety percent of people with this condition get better with nonsurgical treatments. If conventional treatments fail to treat symptoms of heel spurs after a period of nine to twelve months then having surgery may be required to ease the pain and return mobility. Methods of surgery that can be done include removing the spur or release of the plantar fascia.
Complication can occur with heel spur surgery such as lasting numbness in the affected area, nerve pain, infection, scarring and continuous heel pain. In cases where the plantar fascia is released, you risk having stress fractures, tendonitis and foot cramps.
Most people also seek for other alternatives to treat the heel pain they feel courtesy of heel spurs. Such alternatives or options include natural remedies which are very useful and helpful in dealing with bone and joint pain. The natural treatments you can use to get relief from the pain you feel include the following:
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is a very good remedy that helps in the treatment of heel spurs. It helps remove excess calcium from the affected heel spur and gives relief from pain and decreases inflammation.
When you want to use apple cider vinegar to treat heel spur you should follow these steps
- Tear a piece of cloth in the shape of your foot and place it in apple cider vinegar. Take the soaked cloth and place it in your shoe and wear it and make sure you keep the cloth damp throughout the day. You can continue with the treatment for at least a week.
- On the other hand you can warm half a cup of apple cider in a pot and pour it in a small bath filled with warm water. Soak your feet in the bath for about ten minutes and do this two times a day and this process can be done for a week or two.
- Another option is to mix a table spoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar that is unfiltered. Drink it two times a day for about a week or two.
Another very good home remedy for heel spurs is baking soda. Baking soda contains crystals that help decrease calcium deposits that have accumulated on the bottom of the heel bone. In addition to this it also helps to reduce pain and inflammation.
When you want to use baking soda to treat heel spur you should follow these steps
- Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda and small amount of water to form a paste. Apply this paste on the heel spur and safeguard with duct tape or gauze. Do these two times a day for many days.
- Another option is to mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water. Drink it once every day for two weeks to balance the pH in your body.
USING AN ICE PACK
Ice can be used to control inflammation and swelling and decrease the pain related with heel spurs. Apart from this it also helps to keep the muscles relaxed.
When you want to use an ice pack to treat heel spur you should follow these steps
- Get a bottle of water and freeze it
- Place it under your foot and roll it for about fifteen minutes
- You can do this immediately you feel pain after having a day of several and stressful activities
- It is worth nothing that an ice pack should not be applied directly to the skin to avoid getting frostbite
Coconut oil is also good for treating heal spur. As a natural moisturizing agent, it provides relief from pain and softens the heel spur. Apart from this coconut contains calcium which is necessary for healthy bone formation.
When you want to use coconut oil to treat heel spur you should follow these steps
- Get the coconut oil to massage the affected area. To get relief from pain and inflammation leave it on a few hours. This should be done daily before going to sleep to avoid discomfort in the morning.
- Another option is to a tablespoon of coconut oil every day in the morning.
Epsom salt can be used to sooth your heels giving you immediate relief from pain and can also help to reduce inflammation.
When you want to use Epsom salt to treat heel spur you should follow these steps
- Place about three tablespoons of Epsom salt in a bath of warm water
- For about fifteen minutes soak the affected heel in the bath
- Massage your heel gently to relieve pressure
- Before going to sleep apply some moisturizer on the heel
- Continue doing this for some time before going to bed
Taking part in exercises that strengthen your plantar fascia can decrease the discomforts related to heel spurs.
When you want to use exercise to treat heel spur you should follow these steps
- Exercises such as plantar fascia stretches and calf stretches should be done two times every day, in the morning and evening.
- Whenever you are less busy with some time on your hands, you can do foot rotation exercises that soothe and relieve your pain.
- Another set of exercises you can do includes swimming and cycling
- When taking part in these exercises monitor the way your body responds to avoid any problems. You do not need to expend your body especially by the heels doing exercise that can cause a lot of stress.
WEARING THE RIGHT SHOES
Making sure you wear the right shoes that suit your lifestyle and physical activity is very significant. Heal spurs can be prevented by wearing well fitted shoes that have shock absorbent shoes as well as supportive heel counters. Wearing tight shoes hampers the movement of the tendons which harm the bones of your feet. Wearing the right shoes decreases pressure and helps allocate your body weight equally.
PREVENTION OF HEEL SPURS
You can prevent heel spurs from occurring by wearing shoes that are well fitted and have shock absorbent soles, shanks that are rigid as well as supportive counters. Also choosing the right and suitable shoes to wear for each physical activity you do, warm up exercises, stretching exercises and several other activities you participate in. Also try to avoid wearing shoes with high heels and soles to prevent causing any harm to your heel. If you are overweight you should try working on losing weight as it can help in preventing heel spurs.