Spur on the heel: what it is, main causes and what to do
The heel spur or heel spur is when the heel ligament becomes calcified, with the feeling that there has been the formation of a small bone, which leads to severe pain in the heel, as if it were a needle, that you feel when the person gets out of bed and puts his foot on the floor, and also when walking and standing for a long time.
To relieve spur pain there are simple treatments, such as the use of orthopedic silicone insoles and foot massage, but it is also important to stretch with the leg and foot. Other options are physiotherapy, shockwave therapy and, lastly, surgery to remove the spur.
How to know if it is spur
The only symptom is pain in the sole of the foot, in the region where the bone is formed, which is a sharp pain, in the form of a stitch. The pain worsens when walking, running or jumping, for example, disappearing after some time in motion.
The orthopedist or physiotherapist may suspect that it is a spur due to the characteristic symptoms that the person presents, but the X-ray examination can be useful to observe the formation of this small bone in the heel.
What to do in case of heel spurs
What to do in case of pain caused by a heel spur is to rest the foot to relieve the pain, other options are:
- Before sleeping, wash your feet, apply moisturizer and massage the entire sole of the foot, insisting more time on the most painful area;
- Sliding a tennis ball over the foot, especially on the heel, which can be done standing or sitting and greatly relieves pain at the same time;
- Stretch the fascia, pulling the toes upwards and also the entire back of the leg;
- Physiotherapy with devices and exercises, including global postural reeducation and osteopathy that realign all body structures, eliminating the cause of your spur;
- If you are overweight, you should diet and exercise to lose weight and reach your ideal weight;
- Stretching exercises for feet and legs. Good examples are: taking a step back, the heel touches the floor and 'pushes' the wall with your hands;
- Putting a towel on the floor and pulling it with your fingers, another one you can also do is take marbles and put them in a bucket, for example, take about 20 balls a day, but remember to always have your heel resting on the floor;
- The doctor may still recommend shockwave therapy, corticosteroid infiltration or surgery, as a last resort, if the previous options are not enough.
Watch the video and see what else you can do to feel better:
It is also very important to wear comfortable shoes, and not to wear slippers or flat sandals, in addition to stretching your legs and feet daily if possible. See all treatments for heel spurs.
What causes heel spurs
The spur in the heel arises due to the accumulation of calcium under the foot over several months, which happens due to excessive pressure on the same site and mainly due to the increased tension on the plantar fascia, which is a tissue that connects the bone from heel to toes.
Thus, the spur is more common in people who:
- They are above the ideal weight;
- The arch of the foot is very high or the foot is very flat;
- Has a habit of running on very hard surfaces, such as asphalt, without the proper running shoes;
- They practice activities that include jumping constantly on a hard surface, such as artistic or rhythmic gymnastics;
- They wear hard shoes and need to walk for many hours, during work, for example.
These risk factors increase the pressure on the heel and, therefore, can lead to micro injuries that facilitate the formation of the spur.