Got heel spurs?

Treatment options for heel spurs

In Foot Facts by Alnoor Ladhani, Chiropodist

Heel pain can put a major damper on your life, making everything from walking to driving much more difficult. The causes can vary, but the main culprit is often heel spurs. What are heel spurs, how do they impact your life and how can they be treated? Read on to find out for yourself.

Got heel spurs?

Spotting your spurs

Heel spurs are irregular bone growths in the heel area of the foot that can cause a variety of symptoms from pain to inflammation. Patches of inflamed skin are one way in which heel spurs are noticed, but they are often first noticed due to the pain they can cause. However, only 50% of people with foot spurs experience significant pain, and heel pain in general can be caused by a wide variety of different foot problems, only one of which is heel spurs. Before making an assumption, consider if your foot pain is caused by:

  • Overuse or overextension of the foot
  • Impact injuries, often associated with sports or other strenuous activity
  • Wearing high heels
  • Arthritis or arch pain

The only real way to tell for sure is to consult your Chiropodist and have an X-ray. Heel spurs are a real problem that can point to larger health issues if not treated properly. There are a variety of treatments available, each with their own particular benefits.

Laser treatment

One option is to use a high powered laser to remove the affecting bone from your foot, thus eliminating pain and inflammation. The important thing to remember is that if improperly cared for, your heels can develop spurs again, even after treatment. The key is to develop healthy habits that promote overall foot health.

Magnetic pulse treatment

A low-frequency magnetic pulse can be applied in place of a laser to treat some of the milder symptoms of foot spurs. Because of their healing effects, magnetic pulses can speed up recovery after surgery or shockwave treatment, offering an effective complement to these alternative approaches.

Shockwave treatment

Rather than a laser or magnetic pulse, acoustic sound waves can be applied to the heel to treat heel spurs. It is a safe process that targets only the offending bone calcification, and does not affect the surrounding tissue, making it an ideal choice for many people. Consult your doctor to see if shockwave treatment is appropriate for you.

Bracing

Various forms of orthotics can be used to correct heel spurs and other types of foot abnormalities. Some are worn while walking and some while sleeping, but they are all designed to guide or restrict foot movement in order to encourage positive growth.

As always, consult your Chiropodist before pursuing any of these treatments. Finding the right approach for you can mean the difference between a painful foot and a healthy foot.