What are Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs are projections of the bone that occur along the edges of the heel bone. They are common near joints where the bones come together. Sometimes you may not even realize that you have heel spurs because they are sometimes very minor and cause no pain, but in some other situations, they can cause an intense amount of pain and even create loss of motion in the heel and ankle. Please see our heel spur exercises to help you ease the pain.
Heel Spurs Causes
One of the most common heel spurs causes is the wear-and-tear that occurs with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis damages the cartilage that cushions the end of the heel bone. As the body tries to repair the damage, bone spurs are formed. In addition, some other common heel spurs causes and risk factors include:
- Different walking patterns
- Running or jogging
- Shoes that do not provide support
- Excessive weight, specifically obesity
Heel Spurs Symptoms
Heel spurs are often painless, although in some cases they can cause pain. The cause of the heel spur pain is not actually the heel spur itself, but the soft-tissue injury associated with it. Though they may be very mild and hard to detect, the following are some common heel spurs symptoms:
- Intermittent pain as you walk, jog, or run
- Inflammation in an area on the heel or ankle
Heel spurs are often confused with plantar fasciitis. A sharp pain in the bottom of the heel, first thing in the morning or after sitting or resting, is often plantar fasciitis and not an actual heel spur.
Heel Spurs Treatment
Sufferers from heel spurs can find relief by using a quality heel cup in their shoes. A heel cup will provide extra cushion to the heel and reduce the amount of pressure and shock that your foot experiences. Treating heel spurs can take some time but sufferers who use heel cups, choose sensible shoes, and include stretching and strengthening exercises for the plantar fascia can expect significant pain relief.
- Tuli’s® Polar Bear Gel Heel Cups – With a strategically placed shock absorber, Polar Bear Gel Heel Cups cradle the injured portion of the foot while distributing the pressure to the outer portion instead.
Stretch & Strengthen
- ProStretch Plus™ – The ProStretch Plus offers immediate relief if you feel heel spurs pain. The tool provides a deep stretch along the bottom of the foot and up into the ankle.