Heel Spur Orthotic Shoes Can Help
Before we look at what causes a heel spur lets see what the actual problem is
and just why it causes so much pain. calcaneal heel spurs are abnormal bone
growth that normally appear on the bottom front of the actual heel although
sometimes may appear on the side. This is the point where the ligament, known
as the plantar fascia ligament joins the heel bone and the spur appears due to
a build up of calcium deposits that occur when the ligament is pulled back
Amongst the people most likely to suffer from this condition are athletes and
others that put a lot of stress on the heel area of the foot. It is not
necessarily just running that causes problems but activities such as heavy lifting, weights and so on. The result of this kind of activity is that the ligament is pulled and and needs to stretch, something that it is unable to do. The body then reacts to this by growing the bone at the point of attachment and forming a growing spur of bone.
The calcium deposits in this process build up to form the bony spur, which can
then be seen on x-rays. The spur itself has no feeling and will not give any
pain. The pain you feel comes from the soft tissue around the area and there
may be some inflammation and bruising which will add to the general discomfort
and pain you feel whenever you put weight on the foot.
The first steps you take after a period of rest or after a night’s sleep will be quite painful as the foot has relaxed and the ligament retracted. A simple solution for this is to be found in an orthotic splint which will keep the ligament extended overnight. In fact the use of orthotics can be very effective overall. Shoe inserts will keep the foot aligned in the correct way and allow for support at the arch of the foot and other vulnerable points. Special supportive shoes will also be of great benefit. They work by giving support in the correct areas, whilst taking pressure off other parts of the foot. This helps the ligament to heal and reduces the likelyhood of inflammation and bruising which are the causes of pain.
Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are the result of the plantar fascia being put under undue stress on a regular basis, most likely occurring during over vigorous exercise. The spurs are the body’s way of coping with the resulting stress but with a few lifestyle changes and orthotic aids there are simple ways of correcting the condition and producing a comfortable outcome if the condition is not too severe.