Health Blog

Saturday, 13 April 2013

About heel spurs

A Heel spur is a calcium growth on the heel bone, which tends to develop due to the overload of the bottom of the foot resulting in a tear of the plantar fascia. Heel spurs may also be accompanied by pain.

Heel spurs occur mainly in people who play sports that involve running or jumping. The damage is commonly seen in those over 40.
 Having shoes with poor support and shock absorption is linked to the onset of heel spurs.

Causes of heel spurs

The calf muscle is attached to the back of the heel bone through the achilles tendon. Under the foot stretching across the plantar fascia is between the underside of heel bone and toes. When the foot is under constant pressure or heavy load a tear of the arch or plantar fascia may occur, this is called plantar fasciitis.

Repeated strong impacts and shocks as well as overload, hyperextension, and inflammation of the heel bone and arch of the foot are the most common causes of heel spurs . The heel spur (made out of calcium) is formed by the body as a way to protect the damaged tissues whilst your body plantar fascia and foot repairs itself.

Heel spurs means that there has been an injury and the body is now protecting the damaged tissues and plantar fascia. It is the result of the injury and not its cause, as many might otherwise think.

Who is at particular risk

Overweight people, due to the increased load the heel exposed.
Older, because the shock absorbing fat cushion shrinks with age.
People with stiff heels, which will result in increased drag on heel bone. This results in an increased load on the foot's plantar fascia., as this provides more easily damaged.
Individuals with over prognation
Running in shoes with poor shock absorption.
Sudden change of foot's load, e.g. by sharp gain by running the distance.

Symptoms of heel spurs

Pain during or on the inside of the heel.
The pain is most pronounced at the beginning of the transition or the race. The customer, when the foot is hot, but returns later on during or after the transition or the race.
There are typical stiffness in the heel in the morning, which often leads to lags for short duration's  It disappears when the foot is first warmed up.

What you can do about heelspurs?

It is best to prevent the condition or to treat it early. This can be achieved by complying with some simple precautions:

Warm up properly before running.
Use shoes with good shock absorption.
Use shoe which suits you and supports well on the heel.
Switch running shoes out at appropriate intervals.
Get posts shoes and insoles that suit one's feet, just as there is a big difference between the support the foot must have, if you have  underpronation.
Increase the running distance running pace or gradually.
Avoid being overweight.
Get some orthotic insoles or running insoles that provide arch support.

Read more about heel spurs


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