Heel spurs are often mistaken for plantar fasciitis. Contrary to the name and common belief, heal spurs are not pointy or sharp pieces of bone, they do not cut the tissue with movement. What they are – deposits of calcium attached to the bone. They are smooth and flat just like any other bone. They just aren’t intended to be there.
Because the body views it as a semi-foreign object, inflammation can occur. This can lead to pain when walking or jogging.
Heel spurs can also cause pain when new fibrous tissues form around the bone spur in an attempt to act as a cushion for a high-stress area. As this tissue grows a callus can form. Between the callus, the extra tissue and the bone, it can take up space in shoes never intended during construction causing, even more, comfortability and pain. Tendons, ligaments, and nerves may also have less space causing them to function less supportively over time. All of this can lead to swelling and redness as well as a deep throbbing pain, or sharp pricking that is made worse with exercise.
Plantar fasciitis (the most common form of heel pain) is located in the thick band of tissue which runs the length of the bottom of your foot. It will be the most painful first thing in the morning, with pain decreasing with movement throughout the day. This is not related to heel spurs.
Conventional treatment for heel spurs includes rest, stretching, icing and anti-inflammatory medications. If these do not work, a steroid injection may be recommended.
In severe cases, the spur may be removed by surgical means. The fact is that nearly 90% of people do get better without the need for surgical intervention. Before visiting your orthopedist here are a few natural and non-invasive remedies to try.
Chiropractic Consultation – Getting your body in alignment is vital to keeping as much unwarranted pressure off of the affected foot as possible. They may also suggest certain stretches or exercises as well as have customized in-shoe orthotics made for you (arch supports). Taping can also help in enabling walking while healing with less pain. Self-massage in the painful area in the morning when you wake up and at night before bed. A Class IV Laser may also be used to try and accelerate the healing process of tissues (hard and soft), muscles, ligaments and even bone.
Magnesium – Take a hot bath with Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulphate) it can help ease pain and inflammation. 1 Cup per bath. Magnesium is required by the body for protein synthesis as well as proper nerve function.
Bromelain – Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme. They are used on patients suffering from intense joint and muscle pain. Eating pineapple or taking bromelain via capsule can both be beneficial for heel spur pain and can speed healing time.
Vitamin B5 – Used to enhance muscle strength and nerve connection. Salmon, avocado, eggs, lentils, and sunflower seeds all contain high B5 levels.