Heel Spurs: Symptoms and Treatment
The pain is the worst in the mornings, when you're first beginning to move and take steps. A good exercise routine and proper stretches will help you regain your mobility and relieve pain.
Have you ever had heel spurs? It’s quite common today, usually caused by a very small bone that forms on the heel. It causes pain and prevents you from performing your daily activities. To recover completely, you should be patient and follow these guidelines. Let us explain.
Why do we get these so-called “heel spurs?”Orthopedic surgeons say that one in four people will suffer from a heel spur at some point. That means each of us has a high probability of experiencing this nuisance on occasion. It’s caused by the formation of a small spiny bone located right on the heel.
But why does it form? The most common cause is age. But young people who spend a lot of time on their feet can also suffer from heel spurs. Being a few pounds overweight is another factor to take into account.
Another point to consider is that people who have a very elastic Achilles tendon may also be more prone to the formation of heel spurs, and this often escapes detection. Depending on your anatomy and the characteristics of your foot, you may have a higher or lower risk of developing this annoying problem.
What are the symptoms of heel spurs?
- Heel spurs cause a fairly sharp pain that varies in intensity, depending on what you’re doing.
- The pain tends to be greater in the mornings, especially when you first put pressure on the heel. After many hours of rest, that first step is always very painful.
- The pain is located in a particular point in the heel that is easily identifiable.
- Another aspect to consider is that depending on the pressure from your shoe on that bone spur, the area may become red and inflamed. This can cause extreme pain.
The right exercises to treat a heel spur
1. Floor exercise
In addition to following guidelines that your doctor and orthopedist give you, you should do the following exercise, which is great for treating heel spurs. But be careful – don’t overdo it.
The exercise is very simple. Just sit on a couch or a chair to steady yourself, then put a towel on the floor in front of you and try to grab it with your toes. This simple movement will help you regain mobility in your foot and ease the pain of the heel spur. Do it about three times a day.
2. Simple stretches
This is another easy exercise. As you can see in the image above, all you need to do is lean over the edge of a table and pretend you’re pushing against it. One leg is bent, and the other is slightly stretching the heel region. Do this exercise for at least 5 minutes, two times a day. It’s simple and not very tiring.
3. Rolling a water bottleThis is another simple and relaxing exercise. Just fill a bottle with water and put it in the freezer until it’s frozen. Then put it on the floor on a towel, and using the foot where you have the heel spur you can roll the bottle back and forth. Use a repetitive motion for at least five minutes. Do this three times a day.
As you will see, these exercises based on simple stretches are quite effective. At night, you can also find some splints that will help treat heel spurs – certain brands can be found in drug stores. Over time you’ll find it improves, but occasionally surgery is needed to completely alleviate the problem. So be patient and take good care of yourself.