A heel spur is a bone growth that starts on the heel bone and grows towards the arch of the foot. Many people won’t know they have one unless their feet are X-rayed or they develop plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the thick tissue that attaches the heel bone to the rest of the foot becomes irritated by the spur. Fortunately, there are several heel spur treatment options.
What are the Symptoms of a Heel Spur?
Most heel spurs go unnoticed but if plantar fasciitis develops, the symptoms can include soreness on the bottom of the foot and heel area, swelling, tenderness, and some stiffness that will affect the range of motion. There may also be pain during the first few steps of the day or after long periods of rest, like car rides. These symptoms will be most noticeable when weight is placed on the foot.
What is the Best Treatment for Heel Spurs?
Surgery used to be the first recommendation given by doctors, but as technology and knowledge have advanced, doctors forego surgery for other less invasive methods. These methods require very little time or effort and can help produce results in as little as ten months. They also cost far less than a surgery would and are considered the best treatment options available currently.
● Ice: Patients are told to roll their feet over cold or frozen water bottles for 20 minutes three to four times a day.
● Rest: A reduction in activity can help avoid the irritation that causes soreness and pain.
● NSAIDs: Over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen will reduce inflammation and soreness.
● Exercise: Calf stretches and plantar fascia stretches help relax the tissue on the bottom of the foot.
With a Doctor’s Care
● Cortisone Injections: A doctor has to administer the injection.
● Physical Therapy: A podiatrist may refer the patient to a physical therapist.
● Orthotic Devices: Custom-made shoe inserts can provide relief while the foot heals.
Heel Spur Treatment for Extreme Cases
There are two methods doctors will turn to for immediate relief from heel spurs. The first treatment is the ESWT, or the extracorporeal shockwave therapy treatment. As the name implies, a small, focused shockwave is delivered to the heel of the foot.
Surgery is used as a last resort but it is an available option for heel spur treatment. If you are suffering with heel pain, contact Michigan Podiatry for a consultation and the best treatment options for your needs.