The exact cause of heel spurs is not fully understood. The most well-known cause of heel spurs is the accumulation of calcium in the lower part of the heel bone. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as wearing unsuitable shoes, running too much, or jumping. People with flat feet or high arches may also be more prone to developing heel spurs.
- Being overweight
- Wearing unhealthy shoes that are not suitable for the foot structure
- Gait disorders that put a load on the foot bones and ligaments
- Foot deformities such as flat feet, low arch height, outward or inward compression, and low metatarsal bones
- Inflammatory diseases such as reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
Heel spurs cause pain with the first step in the morning. Although this pain decreases during the day, it can continue to increase at the end of the day.
Heel spurs may occur more frequently as age progresses. It can also be observed in situations such as walking for a long time in hard-soled shoes that are not suitable for sports, being exposed to chronic trauma, some rheumatic diseases, pregnancy or obesity. The most common symptoms of heel spurs are;
- Sharp pain like a knife in the heel on the first step of getting out of bed in the morning
- Intermittent pain during the day
- Heel inflammation or heel swelling
- Bone-like protrusion under the heel
- Conditions such as a feeling of tenderness in the heel that make it difficult to walk can be observed.
Orthopedic examination is very important in the diagnosis of a heel spur. A heel spur is suspected as a result of constant or occasional heel pain. In addition, the x-ray image of the heel spur, that is, the presence of thorny protrusions in the x-ray films, gives certainty in the diagnosis. Rarely, some patients are asked for an MRI to see if there is edema or any tears that may exist where the sole of the foot is attached to the heel bone. However, MRI is not a frequently requested examination.
Contrary to popular belief, the treatment of heel spurs consists of very easy and risk-free methods. The surgical operation option is generally the last stage applied.
If the heel spur can resolve without any treatment, the orthopedist will recommend you use insoles. Regularly used insoles in shoes both improve your foot structure and heal the spur on the heel. If no improvement is observed in the heel spur, medical treatments such as laser and ice therapy are recommended.
Heel Spur Laser Treatment
Laser beams, a method used in the treatment of heel spurs, aim to dissolve the ossified structure by penetrating under the skin. It is applied in several sessions at different intensities. Thus, it is ensured that the patient gets rid of the heel spur painlessly.
Heel Spur Ice Treatment
Applying ice to the area where the spur is located is also a frequently used method in the treatment of heel spurs. In this method, ice wrap is applied to the heel and left on for at least 15 minutes. After the inflammation under the heel softens due to the cold, a massage is performed with heel spur cream. In this treatment, definite improvement is observed after a few sessions.
Heel Spur Surgery
In cases where the treatments for heel spurs do not show a positive effect, surgical intervention is the last option. The exact location of the heel spur is determined by taking an x-ray image of the spur before the surgery.
In the rehabilitation phase, it is recommended to use sports shoes for heel spurs with special insoles. It is perfectly normal to experience cramps or numbness as the patient remains motionless for a while at this stage.
Heel Spur Exercises
It is extremely important to strengthen the joints and muscles in the heel so that the heel spur does not recur. Therefore, the patient should follow the exercise schedule determined in order to avoid problems after the treatment.
Movements such as pulling, stretching, squatting, and moving the heel up and down give very effective results if they are applied regularly.