People who often experience pain in their feet or ankles find that they are dealing with a spur. There are many kinds of spurs, including bone spurs, generally, and heel spurs, in particular. This article will begin by addressing exactly What is a bone spur? From there, the article will focus on the answers of podiatrists in Melbourne, Australia who break down how to Identify and treat a heel spur.
- What is a Bone Spur?
When a person gets a bone spur, he or she has suffered a bony outgrowth on the edge of a bone. These are sometimes called “pinched nerves,” but they are scientifically referred to as osteophytes. In general, these spurs occur where two or more bones come together, such as joints. Some factors that lead to the onset of bone spurs include, but are not limited to, arthritis, obesity, bad posture, bones that have been broken, and wearing shoes that are not properly fitting.
- What Causes a Heel Spur to Form?
On the note that the shoes may not be properly fitting, that brings up the next two points: What are heel spurs, and What causes a heel spur to form? Not surprisingly, a heel spur is a bony growth on the heel bones. The spur can be located at the heel, the back of it or underneath. The heel spur can be associated with the Achilles tendon, or it can be of the plantar fascia area. Either way, it can lead to much pain. The heel spurs are caused by any number of things, such as arthritis, growing old, spending an excessive amount of time on the feet, standing on hard floors, and being obese. Wearing shoes that do not fit properly, or having an improper walk can also lead to heel spurs. Finally, people who participate in a lot of exercises requiring the legs and feet, such as running, are susceptible to getting heel spurs.
- Recommended Treatment for Heel Spurs
So, a foot and ankle specialist has reported that the patient has a heel spur. The next thing he or she will want to know is “How do I treat a heel spur?” Podiatrists in Melbourne have a few suggestions. There are some treatments that may be tried first, without surgical procedures, as a safer and more reasonable alternative. Over-the-counter drugs, such as non-steroid ant-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen or naproxen), and paracetamol, may be tried. There are also treatment methods such as ice packs, cortisone shots, physical therapy, stretching exercises, extended rest from the affected heel, shockwave and shoe inserts, one of these types of inserts is Formthotics. Sometimes the treatment may involve an orthopedic shoe or some other different type of shoe. If all else fails, surgery will be a last resort.
- Other Help for Heel Spurs
Surgery is the option that is held out as a last desperate attempt to correct the problem, but it may be the ONLY alternative for Heel spur help. Such surgery will either remove the spur or the plantar fascia release . Complications of such a surgery range from nerve pain to numbness in the area to scarring. In the case of the release of the plantar fascia, there could be tendinitis, foot cramps, stress fracture, and a reduction in stability. However, the operation tends to be a success in more cases than not. The things that should be done after surgery include, but are not limited to, using ice packs, keeping the leg and foot elevated, compression, and following strict instructions on when to place pressure on the heel. More information on how to Identify and treat a heel spur can be found at the WebMd website, http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/heel-spurs-pain-causes-symptoms-treatments.