A heel spur or calcaneal spur is an outgrowth of the bone of the heel (the calcaneus bone) due to calcium deposit causing a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. Heel spurs are often painless which can cause heel pain associated with a painful inflammation (plantar fasciitis) of the fibrous band of connective tissue (plantar fascia) that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the ball of the foot inflammation at the insertion is associated at the back of the heel made worse while walking and pushing the ball of the foot. The heel spur can extend forward by as much as a half-inch. The condition is sometimes known as “heel spur syndrome”.
Causes of heel spur
- Strains on foot muscles and ligaments
- Stretching of the plantar fascia (inflamed tissue)
- Calcium deposits can build up under the heel
Symptoms of heel spurs
- Pain like a knife in the heel
- Dull ache in the heel throughout the rest of the day
- Inflammation and swelling
- The heat radiating from the affected area
- Small, visible bone-like protrusion under the heel
Risk factors of heel spur
- Athletic activities
- Improper footwear
Physiotherapy treatment for heel spurs
Physical therapists will analyze the problem, then commonly advice to do physical exercises and will teach exercises to gradually reduce the pain.
Avoid aggravating activities but attempt to keep foot to move.
Ice massage in the feet use of a frozen massage under the arch of the foot can help with tension and inflammation.
Taping and bracing to support the foot.
Pain-free mobility exercises at the ankle and foot to retain as much range of motion as possible.
Physical exercise for heel spurs
Stretching the plantar fascia
- Sit down on a chair then cross the right leg over the left one. Grab the toes of the right foot with your left hand and pull your toes towards you.
- Sit down on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. With a towel around your toes, pull them towards you until you feel a stretch
Stretching the calf muscle
- Lean forwards against a wall. Leave one leg stretched behind you and place the other one bent under you. Then lean further forward until you feel a stretch in the behind the leg.
- Again lean against a wall, placing both feet behind each other. Then slowly squat down, bend both legs. You will feel a stretch deep in the calf of the behind leg