Heel spurs are a very common foot condition. We discover what it is, what its symptoms are, causes and the most common medical treatments.
In addition to common and usual problems such as crow’s eyes on the foot, calluses or simply bad foot odor, it is also common for certain conditions to arise or appear that are more related to deformities or problems whose causes actually have nothing. To do with unhealthy or recommended habits. The heel spur, known medically as a calcaneal spur, is one of them.
It basically consists of a bony growth which is usually located in the lower rear part of the foot, more specifically under the heel (this time it is medically known by the name of plantar calcaneal spur). It can also appear in the upper back, specifically at the point where the Achilles heel inserts. The plantar calcaneal spur is precisely the most frequent, while the spur that appears in the upper posterior part has a lower incidence.
In other words, it is a bony prominence that can appear in the anterior part of the heel, due to continued excessive stretching of the plantar fascia (a band of connective tissue that covers the muscles in the area). As a consequence of the continuous stretching, the fascia can become calcified, forming a spur.
Symptoms of the spur
When the calcaneal spur causes the appearance of symptoms, it is common for the most characteristic to be the appearance of pain in the area where the tendons are inserted into the heel. Due to this, it is usually very difficult to support the heel normally, which can cause the appearance of inflammation in the area that surrounds it.
Thus, for example, in the case of a plantar calcaneal spur, stabbing pains are common, which depend on the effort in the sole of the foot, which undoubtedly limits daily and normal activities, since morning pains usually arise when giving the first steps after a period of inactivity (for example, waking up and getting up in the morning after sleeping all night).
It is common for this pain to feel oppressive, which is limited to the point of insertion of the plantar Apo neurosis.
What are your causes?
Bearing in mind that the cause of the appearance of the spur is due to calcification caused by continuous and excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, the spur is more common in people with high arched feet or those who are overweight.
It can also arise in people with flat feet or who have suffered Achilles tendon contractures, since they in turn tend to increase tension in this area.
Heel spur treatment
It is common for the medical specialist to always try to avoid surgical therapy. To do this, a reduction in overload is sought to improve discomfort and pain, using, for example, heel cups with holes that are placed in the pressure-sensitive area, changing footwear, avoiding very rigid shoes…
It is also possible the appearance of cold or heat, high-energy ultrasound waves to stimulate the growth of blood vessels and reduce inflammation or the application of certain ointments or infiltrations.
Usually it is not necessary to perform any surgical technique for treatment, as long as the previous treatment has not provided the expected improvement.