How do I recognize a heel spur? Do you have heel pain or the painful sensation of having a pebble or a thumbtack in the shoe, although this is not the case? Then you probably have a heel spur, also called calcaneal spur. Around ten percent of the population has such a thorny outgrowth on the heel.
Heel spur: causes of this heel pain
Most commonly, heel spur occurs on the underside of the heel bone at the site where the tendon (plantar fascia) of the sole of the foot and the short foot muscles attach. Rarer is the heel spur at the base of the Achilles tendon. The complaints often start between the 40th and 60th year of life.
A heel spur is usually the result of an overload. Causes of this overload can be:
- strong overweight
- a profession that requires a long standing
- a flattened Fußlängsgewölbe
- prolonged stress due to hard footwear
- wrong running technique
- insufficient warm-up before sports activities
However, staying longer in forced positions, for example, driving for hours, increases the risk of heel spurs on the heel.
Constant overload leads to small cracks that the body repairs with limescale deposits. Bit by bit the heel spur grows and presses on the surrounding connective tissue. At the latest then you need medical help.
Heel spur: treatment by relieving the heel
However, in addition to the heel spur, there are also other diseases that can lead to heel pain. These include nerve entrapment, stressor of the heel bone or inflammatory joint disease. These must first be excluded by the doctor. After a detailed survey and examination as well as an X-ray and ultrasound examination, the diagnosis is usually fixed.
The most important first measure of heel spur treatment is to temporarily relieve the foot. Conservative therapies are the first treatment after diagnosis of heel spur.
In heel spurs, insoles and physiotherapy help
The classic types of therapy for heel spurs include, for example, individually adjusted insoles with recesses or foam rubber underlays in the area of the heel or the heel spur. In addition, inserts of heel spur treatment are beneficial to support the Fußlängsgewölbe. In addition, a simultaneous existing buckling and / or Senkfuß should be considered by means of deposits.
Also comfortable and well padded shoes for everyday life and sports as well as the right running technique and warm-up training are very important.
In addition, physiotherapy special exercises can help a heel spur remedy. These exercises in diagnosed heel spur stretch and strengthen the tendons on the calf and sole of the foot. The pain decreases.
Therapeutic measures for the treatment of heel spurs
In addition to the conservative therapies, there are conservative physical therapies for the treatment of heel spurs. This includes:
- Injection Procedure: The doctor injects anti-inflammatory drugs such as cortisone and topical anesthetics into the inflamed connective tissue. No continuous therapy.
- Iontophoresis: Through ion migration, drugs are introduced through the skin into the bloodstream and tissues.
- Local cold therapy: Ice - wrapped in a damp towel - hang up for about 5 minutes.
- Medi-Taping: Applying a medi-tap directly affects pain receptors. Inflammatory secretions and water retention are transported away faster.
- Shock wave treatment with ultrasound (extracorporeal shockwave therapy ESWT): Ultrasound impulses strike the affected heel area and - as it is still unclear - have a pain-relieving effect (success rate about 50 to 80 percent).
- X-ray depth irradiation / X-ray irradiation: Irradiation with low-dose X-rays results in the formation of inflammatory changes. This also reduces the pain.
- "Phonopower" with tuning forks: Vibrating forks are designed to accelerate the dissolution of calcification of heel spurs.
- Homeopathy: The suitable preparation is Hekla Lava from the fluoride-rich ashes of the volcano Mount Hekla in Iceland. Three times a day as a tablet in potency D2 for three weeks. No prescription at the pharmacy.
OP for heel spur treatment only in an emergency
During surgery, the tension created by the heel spur is reduced to the tendons by severing a portion of the tendons of the tendon plate of the foot. In the long term, however, this can lead to a sinking foot. There are also normal surgical risks such as nerve damage and infections.
In retrospect, the surgical wound itself can cause heel spasms-like discomfort. Then the operation was no help and there is only one left to treat the heel spur: block the nerves around the point of pain.