By: Dr. Gary La Rocca, D.C.
Old Tappan Chiropractic
A heel spur is an ossification and calcification of the plantar aponeurosis, which attaches to the bottom of the calcaneous, or heel. Increased stress at this attachment point is the beginning of what could be a long and painful condition. This stress can be caused by excessive running, standing, or walking, especially in those unaccustomed to the activity. The pain from a heel spur usually occurs on the bottom of the heel, but sometimes can radiate to the arch, and front bottom of the foot. Pain is constant when we are standing or walking, or when we are stressing the area, and is relieved with rest, or when we are in a non-weight bearing position.
Clinical symptoms may include:
- Localized pain/tenderness over the bottom of the heel.
- Some swelling might be present.
- Pain increased with passive dorsiflexion, (when you try to touch your toes to your shin.)
Heels spurs can be seen on X-ray, and if you have one, you should have the other foot checked because they seem to run in pairs.
Treating Heel Spurs.
- Manipulation of the foot to restore normal biomechanics.
- Ankle and arch stretching and ankle exercises.
- Heels pads, orthotics, insoles, or the Strutz Pro to absorb shock and reduce shock/irritation to heel.
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physiotherapy modalities including cold laser and ultrasound.
- Surgery – which is a last resort.
How can I prevent heel spurs?
- Wear shoes with good support that help absorb the impact of walking and running.
- Seek protection and support when going barefoot, or in footwear with poor arch support (Strutz Pro or Strutz Beachwalker)
- Use moderation is activities such as jogging, power walking, running, jumping, and try to incorporate low impact activities, such as swimming, biking, etc.
- Don’t try to work/exercise your way through a heel spur, it will only get worse!
Contact me: Drgarylr@aol.com