Condition #8: Heel Spur
What is it?
A bony growth that occurs where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel.
What causes it?
Heel spurs are a secondary symptom of plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia which is the fibrous band that runs along the bottom of the foot and maintains the arch. As the plantar fascia is stressed and starts to pull away from the heel, the body tries to repair the injury by filling in the gap with bone.
Signs & Symptoms
- May begin as a dull pain in the heel and sometimes in the mid or forefoot
- Pain may get sharper, more intense, and more persistent over time
- Pain is usually worst after getting out of bed in the morning or following by a prolonged period of rest
- Visible swelling may be present in severe cases.
Treatment & Prevention
- Prescription custom orthotics to help correct structural foot problems causing the pain, with additional cushioning to accommodate for the heel spur
- Icing for ten minutes three times per day and/or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation
- Low dye strapping (taping) to help relieve stress on the plantar fascia
- Off-the-shelf arch supports for simple, non-severe problems
- Footwear that is properly suited to your foot type
- Stretching exercises for your plantar fascia
- Persistent problems may benefit from a cortisone injection
- As a last resort for rare, extreme cases, bone surgery may be performed by an orthopaedic surgeon; Chiropodists do not perform bone surgery and a patient would be referred to a surgeon if all conservative measures for treating the heel spur prove ineffective.
Don’t let heal spurs slow you down! See your Chiropodist regularly!