The feet carry us for a lifetime and form the foundation of our body. Equipped with 26 bones, 30 joints and 100 muscles, they ensure a stable stand, balance and mobility. If the feet are stressed by anatomical malpositions, an unhealthy lifestyle or overloaded movement patterns, a heel spur can form as a result of overload. It is important to act quickly and purposefully in order to cause early regression and to avoid long-lasting damage and pain.
What is a heel spur?
The heel spur is a thorn-shaped bone spout, which develops due to a wrong load on the feet or heels. The bony outgrowth arises in the area of the tendon attachments, whereby a distinction can be made between a lower and upper heel spur. While the thorn forms at the lower heel spur at the sole of the foot, it attaches to the upper heel spur at the Achilles tendon. At the tendon attachment, injuries can be detected with an inflammatory reaction, which are ultimately responsible for the pain. The burning and stinging in the heels is therefore not necessarily due to the heel spur itself, but rather to inflammation of the tissue around it.
Symptoms of heel spur
People suffering from a heel spur describe a stinging pain in the sole of the foot that feels “like a nail.” Especially in the morning after getting up and with the first appearance, the heel spur makes itself unpleasantly noticeable. A slight press with the hand against the affected heel can already cause pain on the sole of the foot or Achilles tendon. If a redness or swelling is also visible, it is highly likely to be an inflammation in the area of the heel spur. What initially manifests itself through recurrent pain can develop into a chronic matter that can strain the whole body in the long run. Action must be taken early to quickly fix a heel spur that has not yet been developed.
The heel spur and its causes
The heel spur is the result of a mostly continuous overload of the foot. In order to counteract the load and to create a balance, the foot attaches lime to the tendon attachments, which are noticeable in the form of a bony outgrowth. Depending on the strain on the foot, the size of the heel spur and the associated inflammation and pain vary. The more the foot is stressed, the larger the heel spur becomes and the stronger the resulting discomfort.
The reasons for the emergence of a heel spur are manifold. Often the cause of education is due to natural misalignments, long standing or walking, the wrong execution of sports activities, weak muscles, obesity or – quite simply – the wearing of false shoes.
In case of obesity or muscle weakness, as a frequent consequence of lack of exercise, the feet are overloaded, as they cannot compensate for the excessive weight in the long run. Often the calf muscles are not formed strong enough to keep the body permanently stable. But even in sporty people, a heel spur can form – especially if adapted warm-up and stretching exercises are dispensed with, which are essential for the relief of the feet during sports. Furthermore, non-breathable shoes can further enhance the formation process of bone growth.
Often, however, the heel spur is not self-inflicted and can be attributed to malpositions affecting the spine, legs or pelvis, for example. In this case, physiotherapy can help. With adapted exercises and movement sequences as well as recommendations for action, the feet can be gradually relieved and a regression of the heel spur can be effected.
Physiotherapy against heel spur
Physiotherapy focuses on locating pain and checking where exactly it is. Depending on the sensation of pain and the distribution of the stressed areas, the size of the heel spur as well as the degree of inflammation can be inferred. As a rule, physiotherapy dispenses with medications that have an analgesic or anti-inflammatory effect. It mainly focuses on the origin of the symptoms and thus on the cause of the additional bone outgrowth. Only in this way can treatment be targeted and a permanent solution found. The goal is to achieve optimal pressure distribution in the feet to achieve a swelling of the tissue around the heel spur and to gradually reduce the inflammation.
It is important to create a good muscle base first, because above all the calf muscles can carry a lot of weight and relieve the foot by strengthening them. Warm-up, stretching and strength exercises not only strengthen the muscles, but also the tendons. Certain exercise sequences and running techniques are trained in such a way that they can be routinely integrated into everyday life. In addition to physical exercises, a recommendation can be made regarding shoe inserts or other measures. In the case of a heel spur, not only shoes with a small heel increase help, but also special shoe inserts that can reduce the pressure on the heels. In this way, the foot can be permanently relieved by wearing individually adapted insoles or upholstery.
Healthy feet have a positive effect on the entire body and ensure a holistic balance and balance. Only those who feel comfortable from head to toe can find the right grounding and look forward to a light, carefree feeling.