A heel spur is an abnormal bone growth that develops on the calcaneus, or heel bone. It usually forms at the bottom front part of the calcaneus where the plantar fascia attaches. The excessive bone growth is created when the plantar fascia is overloaded or overused.
Extra tension can result in overstretching, inflammation and/or micro-tearing of the fascia at your heel which your body finds difficult to repair. As your body tries to heal itself, the heel spur forms from calcium deposits (an osteophyte) at the bottom of your heel. It can vary in shape from a flat, shelf-like growth to a hook-shaped, pointy projection, and can extend forward up to a half inch. Your body hopes this extra bone and tissue will help to relieve the pressure on your plantar fascia.
The spur itself is not painful, however, if it is sharp and pointed it can poke into soft tissue surrounding the spur itself. As the bone spur irritates the tissue, inflammation and bruising can occur leading to heel pain.
Heel spurs can affect your ability to do your usual work and/or activities, and can also trap and irritate the nerves in your heel area. They can change the way you walk, and can lead to knee, hip and low back injuries. If severe, they may require medical intervention.
10-21% of the population is affected by heel spurs. They are most often seen in athletes, people who are on their feet all day, are overweight, and/or over 40 years of age.
Many people refer to plantar fasciitis and heel spurs as one in the same. Although these are similar, they are not same. Heel spurs can actually be caused by plantar fasciitis; 50% of people with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs, whereas 19% of people have heel spurs without plantar fasciitis.
Alternate names and/or associated conditions include pump bump, exostosis, calcaneal spur syndrome, heel spur syndrome, and Haglund's deformity
Heel Spur Treatments
Conservative treatments tend to be the best way to treat heel spur inflammation and plantar fasciitis. To improve healing time and treat your pain naturally, cold compression therapy and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ are recommended.
Although you can not get rid of the spur with home treatments, you can treat the tissue around it to reduce the inflammation and pain. For sharper spurs that consistently irritate the heel tissue, surgery may be required to remove it. But regardless of whether you will need surgery, proper treatments at home can reduce damage, pain, and inflammation and allow you to carry on with your activities.
Cold Compression Therapy
When you are experiencing pain, swelling, and inflammation in your heel and at the bottom of your foot, doctors recommend cold compression therapy. Cold compression therapy reduces tissue damage caused by swelling and inflammation and treats your foot pain quickly.
Cold compression therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the damaged area. This is important because once blood vessels are damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to the plantar fascia and tissue cells begin to break-down.
The Plantar/Spur Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat yourself in an effective and convenient way and the deep cold provided by the Plantar/Spur Freezie Wrap® slows cell function thereby reducing cellular break-down. Furthermore, because the cold wraps serve to numb the nerves, the wraps also reduce pain!
The cooling gel pack inside every Freezie Wrap® have been designed with ColdCure Technology®. The specially formulated gel allows the pack to be supercharged in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs. The Freezie Wrap® gives you deep cold compression therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn to the layers of your skin. This unique technology, inside a soft and completely adjustable neoprene wrap, gives you comfortable, convenient, and effective cold compression therapy.
In addition, the specially designed foot wrap has an adjustable compression band so you can control the amount of pressure that feels good around your foot.
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Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
Once inflammation and swelling have been reduced in your heel and plantar fascia, nourishing and strengthening the tissue in your foot is the goal. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) promotes blood flow to the treatment area bringing the necessary oxygen and nutrients to your plantar fascia and other weakened tissue. BFST® speeds up the body's natural repair process for faster healing and stronger tissue.
Extremities of the body, like the foot, do not receive much blood flow naturally and when you stop moving your foot because it hurts, you are not creating the natural blood flow it usually receives. With the use of Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ you can increase your body's blood supply to the plantar fascia.
In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins (including lactic acid, commonly found in trigger points) that have built up from the injury leaving the area clean and better prepared for healing. Our Plantar/Spur Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief with no side effects.
Keeping your planter fascia and foot as healthy and strong as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to get back to your regular activities faster. The Plantar/Spur Inferno Wrap®, available exclusively from MendMeShop®, provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
The benefits of BFST® do not end once your foot pain stops! Even when your foot has healed, your activities can put it at risk of an overuse injury, tightness, or another tear. An Inferno Wrap® treatment before activity is an easy way to warm up the tissues and prepare them for use. Then, end your day with another treatment to prevent tightness from setting in overnight. This incredible healing tool will be the ticket to healthy feet for years to come!
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your foot until your pain and inflammation settle. With these easy-to-use therapies you will notice great improvement within a few weeks, with most patients seeing some improvement quickly. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results. If you start using your foot before it has a chance to heal properly (even though it may feel better), you can end up doing a lot more damage than good!
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.