A patient may seek care from a podiatrist when painful conditions of the feet or ankles cause difficulty with daily activities. Podiatry is a specialty of medicine that focuses on the feet and surrounding structures and how they interact with the rest of the body. These doctors use a number of resources to diagnose conditions…
Will Heel Spurs Go Away on Their Own?
If you have heel spurs, you probably want to know if they will go away on their own. In this article, you will learn more about heel spurs and how you can successfully manage them.
Heel spurs are small deposits of calcium that form on the heel bone. They are usually caused by participating in recurrent activities such as dancing and jogging. In some situations, heel spurs develop along with plantar fasciitis. Inflammation of the plantar fascia (tissue connecting the heel bone to the bones) puts pressure on the heel bone, which reacts to the pressure by producing calcium as a way of healing itself, thus causing heel spurs.
Signs of heel spurs
Heel spurs cause discomfort on the bottom of the foot, especially close to the base of the heel. The pain worsens when you wake up in the morning or after a long rest. The pain is typically sharp and may feel as if there is a needle in the sole of the foot. The pain may also start after exercising.
Dealing with heel spurs
Unfortunately, heels spurs will not go away on their own because there is no cure. However, you can take certain measures to ease the pain.
Use ice to alleviate inflammation: Get into a resting position, and put an ice pack on the heel. Let it stay on for about 15 minutes, and repeat this twice daily. A good idea would be to place the ice after exercising or being on your feet for a long time.
Massage: Use your hand to massage the bottom of the foot. You can also place your foot on a frozen bottle of water or an icy cold tennis ball.
Use anti-inflammatory drugs: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve acute pain and inflammation.
Rest: It may be difficult to stay off your feet totally until the pain alleviates. However, you should reduce the time you spend on your feet as much as you can. If you exercise often, you may want to relax a bit. Allow your body to deal with the inflammation so you can return to your normal routine without discomfort. Once you begin your exercises again, start gradually and ease into the activity.
What is the problem?
You need to be aware of the cause of heel spurs. If your shoes are old and do not offer sufficient support for your feet, you may constantly deal with this issue. It may be time to get a new specialized shoe with good cushioning and plenty of support for your feet. You may also consider using shoe inserts or custom arch supports.
Heel spurs typically do not require treatment unless the pain persists for long periods of time and damage occurs to other tissues. The treatment may be aimed at the cause, the symptoms or the spurs. This may mean weight loss to relieve pressure off the joints (if plantar fasciitis is responsible) and stretching the affected part. If the symptoms persist, you may need to visit a physical therapist for ultrasound or deep tissue massage.
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