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The heel spur or calcaneal spur is when the heel ligament becomes calcified, with the sensation that a small bone has formed, which leads to a strong pain in the heel, as if it were a needle, that is felt when the person gets out of bed and puts his foot on the floor, and also when walking and standing for a long time.
To relieve spur pain, there are simple treatments, such as the use of silicone orthopedic insoles and foot massage, but it is also important to do leg and foot stretches. Other options are physical therapy, shock wave therapy and, as a last resort, surgery to remove the spur.
How to know if it is a spur
The only symptom is pain on the sole of the foot, in the region where the bone forms, which is a sharp, stabbing pain. The pain is worse when walking, running or jumping, for example, disappearing after some time in movement.
The orthopedist or physical therapist may suspect that it is a spur due to the characteristic symptoms that the person presents, but the X-ray exam can be useful to observe the formation of this small bone in the heel.
What to do in case of heel spur
What to do in case of pain caused by a heel spur is to rest your foot to relieve the pain, other options are:
- Before going to sleep, wash your feet, apply a moisturizing cream and massage the entire sole of the foot, insisting longer on the most painful area;
- Sliding a tennis ball over the foot, especially the heel, which can be done standing or sitting, and relieves the pain at the same time;
- Stretch the fascia, pulling the toes up and also the entire back of the leg;
- Do physiotherapy with devices and exercises, including Global Postural Reeducation and Osteopathy that realign all the structures of the body, eliminating the cause of your spur;
- If you are overweight, you should diet and exercise to lose weight and reach your ideal weight;
- Stretching exercises for the feet and legs. Good examples are: taking a step back, the heel touches the floor and 'pushes' the wall with the hands;
- Putting a towel on the floor and pulling it with your fingers, another thing you can also do is take marbles and put them in a bucket, for example, take about 20 marbles a day, but remember to always have your heel supported on the floor;
- The physician may still recommend shock wave therapy, corticosteroid infiltration, or surgery as a last resort if the above options are not sufficient.
Watch the video and see what else you can do to feel better:
It is also very important to wear comfortable shoes, and not wear flip-flops or flat sandals, in addition to stretching your leg and foot daily. See all Heel Spur Treatments.
What causes heel spurs
The heel spur arises due to the accumulation of calcium under the foot over several months, which happens due to excess pressure on the same place and mainly due to increased tension on the plantar fascia, which is a fabric that connects the heel bone to the toes.
Thus, spurs are more common in people who:
- Are overweight;
- The arch of the foot is too high or the foot is too flat;
- Has a habit of running on very hard surfaces, such as asph alt, without proper running shoes;
- They practice activities that include constantly jumping on a hard surface, such as artistic or rhythmic gymnastics;
- They wear hard shoes and need to walk for many hours, during work, for example.
These risk factors increase pressure on the heel and, therefore, can lead to micro injuries that facilitate spur formation.