Heel spurs are also known as plantar facsitis. It refers to a thick growth of tissue at the bottom of the heel. This thick tissue can become painful, inflamed and calloused. It may be difficult to walk without feeling pressure or pain on the back of the heel. You may experience symptoms that include tenderness, a dull ache or a sharp pain when standing the matter is not addressed the heel spur can affect a person’s or gait and posture.
The pain is often worse in the morning due to stiffness that occurs overnight and often gets worse while flexing the foot. When getting out of bed, first thing in the morning, the pain is often compared to a knife going through the back of the heel. The heel and back of the heel may feel weak and sore and then become acutely painful as the day progresses. Some individuals also experience a burning, hot sensation or a pins and needles feeling.
Causes of Heel Spurs
You are more likely to develop heel spurs if you —
- wear shoes with poor arch support or stiff soles.
- have tight calf muscles
- walk long distances all day in high heel shoes
- are a long distance walker or runner
- roll your feet inwards to the outside of your foot while walking or running.
- are obese as the more weight you carry around, the greater your risk of heel spurs
Most often heel spurs occur in patients with plantar facsitis, which is the inflammation of the plantascia – the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connect the heel to the toes.
Coping With Heel Spurs
Measures that can help you cope with the condition at home are to:
- Rest as much as possible for at least a week.
- Apply ice to the painful area at least twice a day for ten to fifteen minutes at a time.
- Wear proper-fitting shoes.
If your pain gets worse or you suffer from redness, bleeding or swelling in your heel or if you cannot bear your own weight when you walk then it is time to seek medical help. Anti-inflammatory medications or cortisone injections may be prescribed in severe case.
The prognosis for heel spurs is excellent if you rest, apply ice and make sure that you are wearing appropriate shoes in the future. The heel spur will not go away but simple measures such as wearing good shoes (not flip flops) and resting and icing your foot when the condition flares up can help control the discomfort.
Often it is minor changes to routines or lifestyle advice that help an individual prevent and cope with this issue. Naturopathic services provided at the Pinewood Natural Health clinic include acupuncture, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies and dietary counseling and homeopathy. Our integrated practice also has a focus on anti-aging therapies and weight loss.. Feel free to contact us online. You can also call us at our Toronto Clinic at (416) 556-8100 or at the Pickering Clinic (905) 427-0057.