Discovering Wellness Newsletter
Head over Heel Spurs
What are Heel Spurs? Heel spurs are small deposits of bone like calcium on the heel bone (calcaneus), usually on or near the bottom of the foot. What causes Heel spurs? Excessive stress on the foot may lead to a spur. Some experts think that spurs are a normal part of the aging process since they are more common in people over 50 years old.
So is the pain in my heel area caused by a heel spur? A healthcare professional such as your chiropractor, can answer that question. A heel spur may contribute to pain on the underside of the heel, sometimes throughout the entire bottom of the foot. The first few steps after waking up may feel very tender. Some improvement might be noticed as the day progresses with walking, but the pain often returns and intensifies with standing and walking after sitting for awhile. The bottom or sides of the heel may be tender to the touch; a slight swelling may be noticed, and it may hurt to wiggle your toes. When the pain is severe, it is believed to be the result of bone and/or nerve irritation that is the result of too much tension, inflammation or scar tissue in the fascia. The pain is usually where the fascia attaches to the heel, but it can be over the entire bottom area of the foot
Should an x-ray be taken of my foot? A foot x-ray helps your doctor rule out any unusual causes of pain. Your chiropractor can decide whether or not an x-ray is advisable.
What can my chiropractor do to stop the pain? Treatment might focus on reducing swelling, relieving pain, restoring functional movement of the foot through manipulation (adjustment), protecting your foot from additional stress and strengthening your foundation. Depending on your specific condition, your chiropractor may instruct you to do some or all of the following items after you leave the clinic.
• Rest to decrease stressful activities, such as running and jumping, from exacerbating the condition.
• Ice the heel: to help bring down any swelling
• Exercise: help build muscle strength and joint stability.
• Wear custom made Orthotics: to support the arches to help adjustments hold better.
• Therapeutic ultrasound which sends sound waves into the fascia. These sound waves soften and warm the connective tissues of the plantar fascia. The use of ultrasound is intended to breakdown adhesions that contribute to inflammation and thickening of the fascia.
We talked before about Heel Spurs. Another pain you might experience is Plantar fasciitis (pronounced PLAN-tar fashee-EYE-tiss) is an inflammation of the fascia (also called aponeurosis) on the bottom of the foot. It is often considered the same as, or seen with, heel spurs.
Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are conditions caused by such factors as:
- too much standing;
- poorly padded shoes on hard ground;
- poor shoes (see below);
- repetitive stress;
- a loss of one or more of the three arches of the foot;
- a change or increase in activities;
- being overweight;
- age-related shrinkage of the heel fat pad;
- an injury.
Bad shoes are those that … (add your own criteria if you wish)
- have poor or no arch support;
- do not have a raised heel;
- are worn out
- do not bend at the ball of the foot
- do not have any cushion and are worn on a hard surface.
Orthotics are a specialty device customized for each individual. An orthotic fits comfortably inside the shoe, and redistributes your body weight through correct areas of the foot. The result? A more efficient you!
If you suffer from any of these, you may be able to benefit from custom foot orthotics…
* Heel Spurs
* Plantar Fasciitis
* Neck Pain
* Back Pain
* Sore Hips, Knees, Ankles and Feet
* Hammer Toes
* Short Leg
In addition, if you actively participate in athletics or your job keeps you “on your feet all day”, orthotics have been proven to reduce body stress and improve ability and performance. So call today if your experiencing this pain.