Calaneal spur is a bony pathology of the heel. It causes severe pain and a significant impact on walking. What are the symptoms? How to treat a heel spur? You can find the answer in our new blog post.
What is a heel spur?
A heel spur is a bony growth that develops between the heel support area and the arch of the foot. Heel spurs exist on both sides of the heel bone, under the tissue of the plantar fascia. Also called plantar fasciitis or plantar fasciitis, a heel spur is often the result of a repetitive strain injury. These can lead to the formation and growth of calcified tissue on the heel bone. Microtraumas can be varied and diverse.
Often this problem occurs in people who walk or run a lot, especially on hard surfaces. Sports such as tennis, golf, running and skiing can favor this type of pathology. Other causes may be responsible for heel spurs. Wearing high-heeled shoes without sufficient arch support can lead to increased stress on the front part of the foot and thus contribute to degenerative changes in the lower part of the foot.
This disorder can cause pain, discomfort and disability. The pain associated with this problem is caused by excess calcium and continued irritation of the plantar fascia. Irritation can be caused by constant stress or constant pressure. A heel spur may also be associated with microtears of the aponeurosis.
Other factors can also cause heel spurs. In particular, we find:
- tight calf muscles;
- repetitive activity on hard surfaces (such as running);
- and the lack of shock-absorbing fabric in the foot.
What are the symptoms of a heel spur?
Heel spur pain is felt along the back of the heel bone and sometimes in the front of the foot. This inflammation occurs when calcium deposits, called osteophytes, form along the plantar fascia (the ligament that runs along the foot).
To recognize a heel spur, follow these symptoms:
- heel or arch pain;
- difficulty extending the leg;
- pulling sensation in the foot;
- difficulty walking;
- a tearing sensation, a spike embedded in the heel or arch;
- intense pain when the foot is flat in contact with the ground.
All of these symptoms are generally seen while sitting or lying down after a short period of rest, or upon contact with the ground while walking or running. It is absolutely necessary to take care of the good health of the feet and consult a doctor in the event of these pains.
He or she will be able to direct you about further tests that need to be done, X-rays that need to be taken, and treatments to be taken to relieve pain.
How to dissolve a heel spur?
The best way how dissolve the heel spur is to use shoes suitable for heel spurs. The technical properties of the shoe allow for the application of tension and the support of the natural posture of the foot in order to alleviate the pain associated with this pathology. Very often these shoes contain wider and more cushioning soles than a regular shoe and allow better contact between the foot and the ground.
Some even offer a hidden magnetic strap system that tightens around the heel to relieve pain and reduce inflammation and swelling. In the case of a calcaneal spur, it is better to avoid wearing ballet flats, heels or moccasins. The goal is to limit carrying excess weight on the forefoot. Suitable shoes can be found in pharmacies, drugstores or specialized stores.
Other techniques can help dissolve the heel spur, stretching, exercise, orthotics and cushioning are some of the methods that can be used to treat plantar fasciitis.
Treatment of heel spurs
There are many options for heel spur treatmentfrom non-surgical conservative treatment to more invasive surgical procedures.
Non-surgical conservative treatment
Non-surgical conservative treatment includes prescribing medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. If medication does not provide sufficient relief, other forms of conservative therapy may be considered.
You may be advised to wear orthotics, insoles, or custom orthotics. These medical devices are strongly recommended in case of chronic or severe calcaneal spur. They are prescribed by a rehabilitation doctor, rheumatologist or orthopedist.
Other options include ultrasound shock wave therapy (USWT), which uses an ultrasound device to deliver sound waves that stimulate healing. This therapy can be very effective in relaxing the soft tissues around the calcaneus in patients diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.
Another treatment option is extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), which uses high-energy sound waves directed into the ankle joint. In some cases, these treatments can be combined to achieve even better results. This technique is commonly used by physical therapists or physical therapists and is partially or fully covered by your mutual insurance company or your Social Security.
In addition to all these treatments, you can use cold therapy by applying ice to the painful area of the foot. Ice will help reduce painful episodes, swelling and inflammation.
Surgical treatment of heel spurs
Surgical treatment of heel spurs it is indicated when various conservative treatments have had no effect. Surgery involves removing this bony growth, which can be done through several different procedures.
The most common procedure is called an osteotomy, which means “cutting through the bone.” During an osteotomy, the surgeon makes an incision in the heel to remove part of the calcaneus, or heel bone. This surgery changes the way the ankle joint works and helps reduce stress on it.
Another surgical option is to remove some of the torn ligaments around the ankle due to the pressure they have been under over time.
The most common technique remains the minimally invasive percutaneous technique. Unlike traditional surgery, it consists of making mini-incisions while performing a radiological check. This technique is performed under general or locoregional anesthesia. This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
A heel spur is a bony growth that forms at the level of the heel bone. It affects the mobility of the leg and causes severe pain. For loosen and dissolve the heel spurhere are the different treatments offered:
- wearing special footwear;
- cold therapy
- physical exercises;
- shock absorbers;
- orthopedic insoles;
- pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs;
- shock wave treatment;
- surgical treatments such as osteotomy or percutaneous minimally invasive technique.