Do you experience chronic sharp pain in your heel? What you’re feeling may be a heel spur. Although this condition can often be painless, they can also cause varying degrees of pain, ranging from mild to intense. Additionally, they’re frequently associated with
plantar fasciitis, although not always.
Heel spurs are caused by calcium growth, which causes a bony protrusion underneath your heel bone. The development of a heel spur takes many months and is brought on by the strain of foot muscles and ligaments. This condition is especially common for those who participate in sports or activities that require a lot of running and jumping.
Heel spurs cause pain to the heel of the foot, often made worse when stepping down on the heel. They can also be triggered by plantar fasciitis, which is why the two are often associated together. In order to identify a heel spur, a doctor must take an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.
Common Symptoms for Heel Spurs
Although heel spurs themselves don’t normally show very indicative symptoms, people suffering from heel spurs have associated certain symptoms that may arise during spur formation and inflammation. Especially common in athletes who practice running, jogging and walking on a day-to-day basis, there are some symptoms that may cause discomfort over time. Some of the most common things to look out for are:
- Dull, lingering ache in the heel
- Visible protrusion beneath the heel or around the heel area
- Tenderness of sensitivity in the heel
- Sharp pain in the heel during sudden or quick movements (most likely in the morning)
Risk Factors for Developing Heel Spurs
- Running & Other Athletics: Running and jumping, especially on hard surfaces, cause wear on the heel and arch of the foot. Participating in rough activities could also potentially cause trauma to your heel, such as bruising or tearing the membrane.
- Growing Older: A 2008 study reveals that heel spurs occurred more commonly in older men and women.
Being a Woman: In 2014, scientists conducted a study that concluded heel spurs developed more frequently in women.
- Improper Footwear: It’s incredibly important to wear shoes that support your feet, especially during athletic activities. Shoes that don’t fit properly are not only uncomfortable but can cause complications such as heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.
- Underlying Medical Conditions: Other conditions such as plantar fasciitis and arthritis can cause heel spurs to happen. Be sure to ask your doctor about the possibility of heel spurs if you experience these types of conditions.
Preventing Heel Spurs
Just like with any medical issue, there are certain measures you can take to help prevent heel spurs. One of the best and easiest ways to prevent the formation of heel spurs is to find a well-fitting shoe. Whether that means finding a shoe for a flat foot or a higher-arched foot, finding the appropriate shoe for your specific foot is very important. Shoes with the proper heel support, shock-absorbent soles and rigid shanks are generally a good choice.
In addition, choosing the right type of shoe for specific physical activities is important. While some shoes are great for walking, they may not be so good for long periods of running or sprinting. Having the right shoe for these different activities can play a huge role in preventing heel spurs as well as other foot problems.
Fortunately, any shoe can be improved with a well fitting orthotic. If your favorite shoes don’t comfortably contour the unique arches of your feet or you simply don’t want dozens of different shoes, orthotic insoles are a great, affordable way to transform your favorite shoe into the right shoe.
How to Treat Heel Spurs
The first thing you should do when you suspect you have a heel spur is to stop putting pressure on it. If you’re a practiced athlete, it might be hard to give up your typical high-impact workout routine. However, it’s important to give your body time to heal.
Applying ice is one of the best ways to reduce pain and swelling. Combined with using anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, you can greatly minimize painful symptoms. This will also make your heel easier to walk on if need be.
Consistently using orthotics can take the pressure off your heel, stemming the pain and keeping the condition from worsening. KLM Store offers a wide variety of
orthotic options, so you’ll be sure to find one that works best for you!
In very rare cases, it may be necessary to operate on a heel spur. Please contact your doctor if your condition worsens or if you experience severe pain. Be mindful of the causes of heel spurs in order to prevent them from forming in the first place! However, if they do happen, our store has you covered with a huge selection of high-quality products to relieve your pain.
Which orthotics are best for treating heel spurs?
In general, all of our
insoles with padded covers are great for treating and preventing heel spurs. Because they offer a strong supportive shell, the arch of the foot is given ample support to help relieve pain. Additionally, insoles with padded covers offer extra cushioning under the heel, relieving pressure in the heel area. If you’re not quite familiar with our insoles, here are the main types we offer:
- Foot Soldier Insoles - great for long periods of physical activity, such as military or construction. These are especially great for arch support and extended periods of on-your-feet activities.
- Super Step Insoles - ideal for those who are frequent runners and joggers. Athletes who practice sports that require a lot of running love this insole because of its 4-layered comfort and shock-absorbing qualities.
Rx Sport Insoles - Also great for athletes, the Rx Sport is built for the typical athlete. A strong, supportive shell with an ⅛-inch cushion lining, it offers ample support for heel pain.
- Clouds - Our Clouds insoles are made with Plastizote, an industry standard for medical grade accommodating inserts. Ideal for diabetic patients or pregnant women, these insoles offer the most comfort while also providing ample support and pronation control.
Still have questions? KLM Labs has a variety of orthotic styles that are sure to fit any shoe and make it perfect for the physical activities you enjoy. Fill out our
contact form with your specific situation and Team KLM will be happy to help you identify the correct orthotic!