Ever experienced pain at the bottom of your heel? There are a variety of conditions that can cause heel pain, but one of the regular culprits is heel spurs.
This occurs when calcium deposits build up along the heel bone, causing a protrusion of up to half an inch in length that is visible on x-rays. Some people never feel their heel spurs, while others describe a stabbing pain that’s especially prevalent first thing in the morning, or after long periods of sitting.
Luckily, relief is possible through home remedies, lifestyle changes, and medical treatments like corticosteroid injections and custom-moulded orthotics.
How Do Heel Spurs Develop?
Heel spurs are caused by calcium deposits that build on the heel bone over many months. This build-up occurs because of inflammation in the surrounding cartilage or tendons. This is why this condition often occurs alongside other inflammatory foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, or arthritis.
Heel Spur Home Remedies for Pain Management
As the bone heel spur gets larger, it can press on surrounding soft tissue, causing sensations that range from a dull ache to sharp, stabbing pain.
However, to better manage the pain, these home remedies for heel spurs can help.
Gently stretching the calf and foot before exercise or physical activity can help reduce pressure and strain on the tissues surrounding the heel spur. There are also special splints available that keep your feet flexed while you sleep, which helps cut down on early-morning heel spur pain.
Cold compresses do a lot to help limit inflammation, which is both a cause and an effect of heel spurs. If you feel pain or tightness around your heel, simply apply a cold compress for ten minutes at a time.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen are fantastic for helping reduce inflammation. Inflammation makes pain associated with heel spurs much worse. These over-the-counter medications are safe for most people, as long as you follow the instructions on the label.
Medical Treatments for Bone Heel Spurs
While some of the home remedies we mentioned above will help limit the pain associated with heel spurs, none of them can offer permanent relief.
Fortunately, some medical treatments have been shown to have a positive impact and help reduce pain significantly.
Cryoultrasound therapy is a combination of electromagnetic energy and cold therapy, which are performed together. This therapy is typically administered by doctors or podiatrists and has been shown to offer relief to people with both heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.
An injection of corticosteroids directly into the heel has been shown to help some patients who struggled with pain that did not respond to other heel spur treatments. Generally, patients who received corticosteroid injections felt their symptoms improve for a month before returning to previous levels of pain.
Custom Moulded Orthotics
Custom moulded orthotics are often prescribed to patients whose heel spurs prevent them from walking or running as they would like. These custom orthotics are made with a deep heel cup, which prevents excessive foot movement that may damage surrounding tissue. The heel part of the orthotic may also be elevated more than usual, to minimize pressure on the sensitive spur.
If heel spur pain persists, and none of the traditional methods for treatment or pain relief work, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the spur. This aggressive treatment is typically only considered when more conservative treatments, like orthotics, don’t improve the quality of life or manage pain. However, this type of surgery is risky, and significant nerve damage is not uncommon.
Looking to Try Orthotics to Counter Heel Spur Pain?
There’s no reason to put up with painful heel spurs that limit your mobility.
Orthotics are a fast and easy way to get relief from heel spur pain. Just send off your measurements, and you can have a pair of custom orthotics from Orthotics Direct delivered to your door less than two weeks later.
Submit your foam or digital cast today to get foot relief delivered right to your doorstep!