A heel spurs is a medical term used to refer to a protrusion of bony material from the heel bone. It occurs due to deposition of calcium when the fibrous muscles connecting the heel to the toes move away. These tissues are known as plantar fascia. This causes a bone like hook to form and is very painful when one is standing or walking. In many cases, people will confuse heel spurs for plantar fasciitis but the two are not similar. While heel spurs are as a result of a bony protrusion from the heel, plantar fasciitis is due to inflammation of the plantar fascia tissues. The two are however closely related.
How do I get heel spurs?
Heels spurs will occur to people of any age especially the middle and old age. They are mostly as a result of plantar fasciitis. One who at some point in their lives has had this disease is likely to develop heel spurs but it is not always definite. Doctors have discovered that the pain does not occur due to the protrusion but rather because of the irritation of the plantar fascia. This irritation is what causes it to become inflamed thus the pain as one walks or stands.
How do I know that I have heel spurs?
In the case of heel spurs, pain is not a necessary symptom. You can have a heel spurs with absolutely no pain. They are mostly diagnosed through x-rays. It is able to vividly show the outgrown bone from the heel. The largest percentage of people with heel spurs feels no pain as they walk or stand.
How does the heel spur occur?
Did you know that have a slightly arched foot is of major importance to you? Having it arched more or less than it ought to be is possible cause for heel spurs to occur. This explains why women are at a higher risk of having heel spurs than men. This is primarily due to the kind of shoes they wear.
The arch of the foot is due to the presence of this vital tissue called the plantar fascia. It is important in spreading stress and weight in the foot to maintain balance when you are walking or standing. When it is constantly strained, it becomes less efficient in transmitting weight, causing it to become inflamed. It starts wearing out and the arch of the foot is damaged.
Treating heel spur through exercise
Exercise is considered the best way to treat heel spurs because of two major reasons:
- It helps to strengthen the plantar fascia and muscles around it. This goes a long way to help regain the arch of the foot.
- Improves the flexibility of the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon of the foot. This helps the fascia to easily spread weight all over the foot without straining.
Heel spur exercising involves the following steps:
- Leaning forward against a wall, let one of your knee be bent while the other is straightened out. Ensure that your whole foot is on the ground. This helps to stretch your heel. Freeze in that position for 10 seconds and then gently repeat this exercise 20 times.
- You are then required to lean forward against a countertop. With one foot in front of the other, have them spread apart and gently squat down trying to keep the heels on the ground for as long as you possibly can. This will stretch your heel cords.
During exercise, if the pain is too much, stop to rest and try later.