Heel Spur Overview Of The Condition

The heel spur picture is often confused with plantar fasciitis by many doctors. However, these conditions are very different despite the fact that they are somehow related. The plantar fasciitis is the swelling of the tissue forming the arch foot (plantar fascia). The heel spur refers to a hook formed on the heel bone (calcaneus) and is attributed with plantar fasciitis.

Approximately 70% of patients suffering from plantar fasciitis have heel spurs that are visible on X-rays. Nonetheless, it is possible for patients to have heel spurs without their knowledge since it can be painless. The precise relationship between heel spur and plantar fasciitis is not completely known. Keep reading for a more comprehensive heel spur picture.

Heel Spur Overview Of The Condition

Persons vulnerable to heel spurs

The condition is prevalent among patients with history of foot pain attributed to plantar fasciitis. The condition can be found in all age groups but it is mainly dominant among muddle aged women and men. The heel spur in particular is presumed not the primary cause of the pain experienced. Instead, the plantar fascia inflammation and irritation is thought to be the original cause of the problem. The heel spur diagnosis is made whenever a protruding hook of a bone is seen beneath the foot in an X-ray. The hook develops at the section where the plantar fascia is connected to the heel bone.

Predisposing factors to heel spur

For you to get clear heel spur picture, you need to understand the involved tissues well. Plantar fascia refers to a solid, ligamentous connective tissue that extends from the heel bone to the foot ball. This tight and strong tissue assists in maintaining the arch of the foot. It is also among the main transmitters of weight across the foot when you are walking or running. This is the reason why a lot of weight lies on the plantar fascia.

Patients suffering from plantar fasciitis have their plantar fascia becoming degenerative and inflamed. These conditions make ordinary activities rather painful. The symptoms are normally stronger early in the morning, specifically immediately after waking up. At that moment, the plantar fascia is normally stiff hence even motion elongates the contracted fascia. The pain gradually subsides as the plantar fascia adjusts to stretching but it keeps returning after prolonged walking or standing. Approximately 50% of persons with no signs of heel spur do suffer from the condition.

Heel spur treatment

The heel spur picture of treatment is similar to that of plantar fascia since the conditions are actually related. The initial treatment that patients should consider is inflammation control and taking short term rest.

Here is a list of effective inflammation treatment strategies:

  • Rest: settling down reduces the level of pain and inflammation
  • Applying ice packs: help in suppressing heel pain and symptoms
  • Stretches and exercises: help in relaxing the tissue surrounding the heel bone
  • Shoe inserts: help to alleviate pain through proper distribution of body weight
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: the drugs help in reducing and leveraging pain. Over the counter medications are often effective but prescription medication are often the best option
  • Night splints- they help to keep the heel stretched out when you are sleeping
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