10 important facts about calcaneal spurs

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here are 10 important facts about calcaneous spurs that you should know:

A calcium deposit, or excessive bone growth on the heel, especially on the underside of the bone causes a protrusion called a calcaneal spurcommonly referred to as heel spur. This protrusion sometimes can extend towards the toes.

  • There is a fibrous strip of connective tissue that stretches from your heels to your toes on the bottom of your foot. A painful tear in the tissue known as known as plantar fascia, can lead to heel spurs.
  •  Spurs can decrease the arch of the foot, and show up after the arch in the foot is completely developed, which makes it more commonplace among children aged six and above.
  •  Women tend to suffer more from calcaneal spurs than men, and rely on over-the-counter medications including iboprufen for pain-relief
  • Heels spurs occur when excess calcium deposit builds up on the sole of your foot. These build up usually occur over a prolonged period of time. Some other causes include strains on the muscles and ligaments in the foot, straining in the plantar fascia, and frequent tearing of membrane covering the heel bone.
  • Heel spurs are the most common among athletes, especially the ones into long-jumps and long sprints. Jogging or running, specifically on rigid surfaces can lead to heel spurs. 

other factors include: 

a. Obesity and excessive weight Walking abnormalities, such as placing extra stress on the heel ligaments, nerves and bones.

b. Expensive shoes with a poor fit, specifically shoes that provide very little support to the arch.

c. Increased age, which reduces the flexibility in the plantar fascia and wears down the protective fat pad in the heel.

d. Diabetes.

e. Standing for too long.

f. Having flat feet

  •  Often, heel spurs have no symptom. But they are related to chronic or intermittent pain, especially while running, jogging or walking. If an inflammation occurs on the point of the spur formation, that can end up causing the pain and not the spur formation itself.
  • The pain caused by heel spurs is described, by most people, as the sensation of a pin or knife sticking into the underside of the foot. This pain is usually felt first thing in the morning, when you wake up and put your foot down on the floor. The sharp pain can dim down to a dull ache later in the day, or return sporadically throughout the course of the day, especially when you sit down and then stand up after a long time.
  • The pain is recurrent and it can reduce if you walk. But if the pain persists for more than a month, consult your doctor immediately
  • Naproxen, acetaminophen or ibuprofen are some over-the-counter medication that can work well for heel spurs. Corticosteroid injections can also be used to reduce inflammation.

The best way to prevent calcaneal spurs is to wear the right shoes. Auxiliary heel counters, rigid shanks and shock-absorbent soles can help you to prevent spur formations. In addition, always choose the right kind of footwear when doing any sort of physical activity, and always warm up and stretch your muscles before you start doing any physical activity. Losing fat, if you are overweight, can prevent spur formation on the heels.

If that heel spur is troubling you and preventing you from carrying out your day-to-day activities, contact a PORTEA physiotherapist today

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