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Heel Pain

Heel pain is often caused by heel spurs, bone spurs, or plantar fasciitis, but what is a Bone or Heel spur?

A bone spur (osteophyte) is a bony growth formed on normal bone. Most people think of something sharp when they think of a “spur”, but a bone spur is just extra bone. It’s usually smooth, but it can cause wear and tear or pain if it presses or rubs on other bones or soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, or nerves in the body, often causing heel pain when found in the foot. Common places for bone spurs include the spine, shoulders, hands, hips, knees, and feet.

What causes bone spurs (heel spurs)?

A bone spur forms as the body tries to repair itself by building extra bone. It generally forms in response to pressure, rubbing, or stress that continues over a long period of time.

Some bone spurs form as part of the aging process. As we age, the slippery tissue called cartilage that covers the ends of the bones within joints breaks down and eventually wears away (osteoarthritis). In addition, the discs that provide cushioning between the bones of the spine may break down with age. Over time, this leads to pain and swelling and, in some cases, bone spurs forming along the edges of the joint. Bone spurs due to aging are especially common in the joints of the spine and feet.

Bone spurs also form in the feet in response to tight ligaments, to activities such as dancing and running that put stress on the feet, and to pressure from being overweight or from poorly fitting shoes. For example, the long ligament on the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia) can become stressed or tight and pull on the heel, causing the ligament to become inflamed (plantar fasciitis). As the bone tries to mend itself, a bone spur can form on the bottom of the heel (known as a “heel spur“). Pressure at the back of the heel from frequently wearing shoes that are too tight can cause a bone spur on the back of the heel. This is sometimes called a “pump bump” because it is often seen in women who wear high heels.

What are the symptoms?

Many people have bone spurs without ever knowing it, because most bone spurs cause no symptoms. However, if they are pressing on other bones or tissues or are causing a muscle or tendon to rub, they can break that tissue down over time, causing swelling, pain, and tearing. Bone spurs in the foot can also cause corns and calluses when tissue builds up to provide added padding over the bone spur.

How are they treated?

Bone spurs do not require treatment unless they are causing pain or damaging other tissues. When needed, treatment may be directed at the causes, the symptoms, or the bone spurs themselves.

Treatment directed at the cause of bone spurs may include weight loss to take some pressure off the joints (especially when osteoarthritis or plantar fasciitis is the cause) and stretching the affected area, such as the heel cord and bottom of the foot. Seeing a physical therapist for ultrasound or deep tissue massage may be helpful for plantar fasciitis or shoulder pain.

Treatment directed at symptoms could include rest, ice, stretching, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. Education in how to protect your joints is helpful if you have osteoarthritis. If a bone spur is in your foot, changing footwear or adding padding or a shoe insert such as a heel cup or orthotic may help. If the bone spur is causing corns or calluses, padding the area or wearing different shoes can help. A podiatrist (foot doctor) may be consulted if corns and calluses become a bigger problem.

ErgoJoy therapeutic inserts help by absorbing the shock as you walk, this will alleviate the pressure off the joints. The movement provides the deep tissue massage which will also assist with relief from the plantar fasciitis. The insole also provides the correct cushion required to take pressure from the affected area giving you the relief you need.

Consider ErgoJoy therapeutic insoles while searching for insoles for heel spurs and heel pain »

Therapeutic Insoles

ErgoJoy offers liquid insoles for both standard shoes as well as sandals. ErgoJoy insoles help your body appear taller while improving your posture and balance. It can lead to improved coordination, stamina and metabolism all while helping you burn calories, improve circulation and strengthening muscles. Our insoles can help with arch pain, back pain, calluses & corns, club foot, diabetes, flat feet, heel spurs & heel pain, hot feed & cold feet, knee pain, metatarsalgia, Morton’s Neuroma, neuropathy, plantar fasciitis and poor circulation.

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