Although common, many people still ask, “What is a heel spur treatment?” Because there are so many people with this problem and with a number of non-invasive heel spur treatment options available, we felt it important to provide information so people who suspect they may have something going on could seek the appropriate medical care. Without an x-ray so a doctor could offer a firm diagnosis, a heel spur can grow but also create a number of additional problems so being knowledgeable about the issue would help in getting the best resolution.
We certainly do not want to make the explanation of what is a heel spur overly complicated but to understand it, associated symptoms, and different treatment options, we need to include some medical information. Answers provided in this article would prove beneficial in helping a person seek diagnosis and treatment but of course, additional information is always available online if needed.
Anatomy of a Heel Spur
Medical experts have the answer to the question of what a heel spur is but certain aspects of this foot problem remain a mystery. To start with, a heel spur relief, also referred to as a bone spur, is a small, abnormal bone growth that protrudes from the heel of the foot. In most cases, the bone would extend on the bottom front portion of the heel bone but occasionally, a spur can sit slightly off to one side. The bottom of the foot is called the Plantar or when referred to as the Plantar Surface, it would include all the tissue, bones, tendons, muscles, and so on. In addition, a strip of connective tissue known as the Plantar fascia stretches from the ball of the foot to the heel, serving as support to the arch. When the Plantar fascia becomes irritated and inflamed from stress, a condition called Plantar fasciitis develops.
Now, when irritation and inflammation set in, the connective tissue pulls away from the heel, causing calcium deposits to form. Over time, these deposits harden, becoming a heel spur or bone spur. In most cases, an individual would begin to notice swelling and feel pain, especially first thing in the morning when the body is stiff. Because a heel spur can grow and become a potential risk to surrounding tissue, seeking the advice of a doctor is suggested.
The Many Causes of a Bone Spur
Now with some answers to the question, “What is a heel spur”, we wanted to move on to the different reasons that calcium deposits develop. Often, professional athletes and people who are physically active develop heel spurs more than people who have a sedentary lifestyle. Any activity done on a regular basis that would stretch the Plantar fascia such as jumping and running would be contributors to the development of a heel spur. This tiny bone could also form from climbing tall flights of stairs on a daily basis, lifting heavy objects, being overweight, and wearing inappropriate shoes. For a while, it was believed that pain came directly from the presence of the heel spur but medical experts now recognize that the inflammation and irritation are actually the cause. As the bone spur protrudes into the soft surrounding tissue, highly sensitive nerves are affected, inflammation develops, and irritation actually leads to bruising. Interestingly, although damage to surrounding tissue would still exist, in about 50% of people who develop a heel spur no pain is felt.
Then for virtually everyone who has a heel spur, when in a sitting or lying down position pain is minimal or non-existent. However, as soon as any weight is placed on the involved foot or walking begins, pain would intensify. Although the degree of swelling and pain typically decreases as the day wears on, a heel spur will never simply go away although different options for managing the condition exist, as well as treatment and surgery options to eliminate the bone spur altogether.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Knowing the answer to what is a heel spur makes it possible for a person to recognize potential trouble so that immediate action could be taken as a means of preventing worse or additional damage from being done. If at any time a person begins to experience inflammation and pain, it would be highly recommended that a doctor be consulted. Obviously, the feet are depended on daily so it would be essential to provide them with the best care possible.
The key is with a quick diagnosis, followed by a quick, effective, and safe treatment. Therefore, seeing a doctor at the first sign of a heel spur would prevent damage from being done to other parts of the foot whereas if left undiagnosed and untreated, a heel spur can get to the point that the only treatment option available would be with invasive surgery and even then, no guarantee of success would be provided.
For more information on Heel Spurs and Heel Spur Treatment Methods, view: