Footminders Orthotics Blog

Fast and Simple Ways to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

by footminders on Aug 16, 2009

Why Our Feet Hurt

Our bodies are amazing machines; they are the perfect balance of bones, muscles and fluids. Special cushioning is provided in our joints at vital regions in the body where weight-bearing pressure points occur. Nonetheless, when this fragile combination is disrupted by an injury or physical issue, severe pain can occur. Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are 2 conditions of the feet that can impair immobility in people.

Areas Affected by Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis

A heel spur is a pointed outgrowth of bone that grow out of the heel bone, also known as calcaneus. They can be located either under or on the back of the heel. When a heel spur is present, it can cause inflammation and tearing of the muscles of the foot, which is made worse with simple movements or standing on the affected foot.  When the bone protrusion is located behind the heel, it can bother the Achilles tendon and cause pain and swelling in that area.  Pushing off the bottom of the foot makes this condition even worse. On the other hand, when the heel spur is located under the heel, it irritates the plantar fascia ligament, thus bringing on a condition called plantar fasciitis.  This condition is made worse when applying pressure to the heel.

Common Causes for Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis

According to recent medical studies, heel spurs can be caused by genetic factors. However, the majority of cases are because of repetitive motion and excessive stretching of the plantar fascia ligament caused by sports or athletic activity, and can also develop as the result of heavy lifting. Arthritis or diabetes can make it more likely for someone to develop either of these problems. They warn that shoes that are too tight can also cause painful foot problems.

Recommended Treatments for Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis

The goals in treatment of these conditions are to lessen the inflammation of muscles and ligaments as well as prevent re-injury. This can be done in several ways:

  • Using round, puffy shoe inserts for the heel
  • Use of anti-inflammatory medications
  • Sufficiently-cushioned shoes
  • Use of the best orthotics available to properly align the foot and take pressure off of the affected areas
  • As a last resort, surgical intervention to remove the heel spur to allow for tissue and tendon healing
  • Regular applications of ice on the affected regions

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