What is a heel spur?
A heel spur is a small bone formation which forms on the calcaneus (heel bone). Appears to be the sole subject to significant pressure for an extended period of time.
What is the cause of heel pain and heel spurs?
At every step, one of your two heels have to bear the full weight of the body. With the departure, the load on the heel is 20 times the body weight. Said load is attenuated by fat pad (fat) below the heel and by a fascia (fibrous sheath that protects the tendons and muscles) below the sole.
If the athlete does not perform a proper warm-up, or a sedentary person play sports occasionally, eg weekends, it may overload the muscles of the calf or Achilles tendon. These structures are inserted into the heel bone (calcaneus) in its back. That is why when there is an overload of the calf muscles or the Achilles tendon is a greater stress on the fascia, tendons and muscles of the sole, which are inserted into the anterior calcaneus. This tensile load may cause inflammation and even small cracks in the fascia at its point of insertion on the calcaneus.
Every time you sit down, to sleep, or rest your legs, the muscles of the sole of the foot will contract with the intention of protecting the injured area of the fascia. Right now the pain is gone, but as soon as you lift the pain appears again. And once you start moving, the crack in the insertion of the fascia will worsen.
To compensate for repeated damage fascia insertion in the anterior calcaneus (heel), the body will try to repair the same way that a bone fracture that is surrounding and protecting the injured area by an inflammatory process, which subsequently calcifies. This results in the appearance of the heel bone formation called heel spur.
But it is not the spur itself that hurts. The spur is the result of a prolonged overload fascia and its insertion into the sole.
What are the symptoms of a heel spur?
- Pain, such as punctures in the inner part of the heel.
- The pain typically disappears at rest but worsens when standing.
- Generally, the pain is worse in the morning.
- The pain worsens when walking on a hard surface, or to carry anything heavy, such as a suitcase.
- The pain can be so intense that prevents performing normal daily activities.
Most people who are overweight and suffer an average age. This is because the fat pad under the heel, in charge of absorbing shock, atrophy with age and loses its effectiveness.
People whose feet are pronated and have not been corrected. A pronated foot is one that is slightly inclined outwards, the outer edge of the foot is lifted, while walking or running.
Tips on Foot care
Perform a good warm, along with stretching before sport. Do not allow the foot to cool rapidly at the end of the sport.
If you “footing” is best to run several times a week a short distance only once a long distance.
Do not overestimate your chances. If necessary seek advice to establish a set of exercises and training to give your body time to adapt adequately to the sport.
If you experience pain in the heel, could be overloading their tendons.
After an episode of pain, should allow your heel heals properly. Rest and do not practice sport until you are fully recovered.
During recovery will: to rest, local cold application, apply compression, keep the foot elevated. Place an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a cloth, on the heel. An elastic bandage is ideal for compression and provide adequate support to the foot. This should be firm, but not so tight as to affect blood circulation. The foot should be elevated on a chair or on a pillow.
How are heel spurs diagnosed?
The heel spurs are diagnosed by symptoms and signs present during the examination of the patient.
To confirm the diagnosis and rule out other pathologies responsible for heel pain, such as arthritis, your physician may request other examinations such as X-rays (X-rays).
Once developed a heel spur can be a difficult condition to treat. However, in many cases there has been only slight ligament injury that can heal within several weeks or months.
Prevention, avoiding or correcting predisposing factors in the early stages of the picture may improve prognosis and long-term evolution.
How painful is a heel spur?
In all stages of the disease is important to wear proper shoes, well-padded and provide appropriate care to the foot. You can also use a silicone heel pad or foam.
Reduce activity and rest the heel.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs.
Localized injections of steroids can sometimes significantly reduce the pain, but the effects are only temporary, and the injections are very painful.
A podiatrist or chiropodist, with adequate experience can provide appropriate advice on proper foot posture, and the use of templates or appropriate footwear.
Surgical treatment is not indicated routinely.