Heel Spurs are a bony-like growth under the heel bone where your heel bone connects to the ligament running between your heel and the ball of your foot (the plantar fascia). Heel spurs occur when there’s stress on your foot ligaments, which over time causes your body to respond by building extra bone tissue. This extra tissue becomes a heel spur. Sometimes, Heel spurs can happen as a reaction to the stress and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.
You may not only experience pain on the back of your heel but also on the outside. One way to help alleviate this pain is by choosing the best shoes that address the problem of stress on the ligaments, shoes with good support and cushioning to avoid further damage to your bones and joints, or even prevent the formation of heel spurs.
The cause of heel spurs has yet to be fully understood, but they may be related to poor alignment or biomechanics (how our body moves).
Heel Spur Symptoms
Heel spur symptoms may include:
- Persistent pain and soreness in the heel, especially when standing or walking.
- Stiffness or limited range of motion in the heel or ankle.
- Swelling or inflammation in the heel or surrounding tissues.
- A visible bony protrusion on the heel's underside that may feel tender or sensitive to touch. Tenderness or sensitivity to touch around the heel.
- Facing difficulty while wearing shoes that put pressure on the heel, such as high heels or tight-fitting shoes.
- Pain in the heel that may worsen with standing or walking.
- Aching or throbbing pain in the heel or arch of the foot, especially in the morning.
- Difficulty or discomfort when wearing shoes or walking barefoot.
- Difficulty participating in physical activities or sports due to heel pain.
What Causes Heel Spurs?
Some common causes of heel spurs:
- Excessive pressure on the foot from activities like running, jumping, or dancing.
- Poor foot biomechanics, such as flat feet or high arches.
- Excess weight or obesity can increase the pressure on the feet and cause plantar fasciitis, which can lead to heel spurs.
- Heel spurs can develop by repeatedly tearing the covering that lines your heel bone or if you have a gait disorder, when an illness or condition affects your balance and coordination so you can’t walk as you normally would.
- Wearing shoes with inadequate support or cushioning
- Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or plantar fasciitis
How to Tackle Heel Spurs?
If you have a heel spur, you know how painful and distressing it can be. The first step in tackling these conditions is identifying why your heels hurt and finding a solution that works for you.
If the pain is due to poor footwear choice or poor biomechanics of walking, then you need to find the best shoes for heel spurs. Shoes with good arch support will help prevent sores while distributing pressure evenly across all areas of the foot.
The Best Shoes for Heel Spurs
The most important thing to remember is that not all shoes are suited for individuals with heel spurs. The first step to finding the right shoe for your foot is knowing what kind of foot you have. If you're suffering from flat feet, for instance, certain special shoes can help reduce the pain in that category. However, the best shoes for heel spurs should have a good amount of cushion and shock absorption.
First, look for a shoe that is comfortable and has good support. A well-designed shoe provides cushioning and support and reduces the pressure on the sole or arch of your foot. You will also want to find something lightweight that offers a roomy toe box.
The best shoes for heel spurs are shoes that are either low or flat-soled. Low-soled shoes provide more cushioning and support and help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by heel spurs. Flat-soled shoes are less constricting, and they're better for people who have problems with heel spurs because they distribute the pressure more evenly.
Oxford Derby High Tops – GatsbyShoes
The Oxford Derby, High Tops from Gatsby Shoes are the perfect blend of style and comfort, particularly for individuals with heel spurs. These shoes provide stability and comfort. Gatsby Shoes have exceptional arch support and a snug fit to ease the strain on the heel. Along with their stylish appearance, these shoes offer solid construction, making them a practical and fashionable footwear option.
Heel Spur Treatments
Healthcare professionals treat heel spurs similarly to plantar fasciitis because the same treatment can ease the pain associated with heel spurs. Heel-spur treatment may include oral anti-inflammatory drugs, stretching, and physical therapy, wearing footwear or shoe inserts that support your arches and protect your plantar fascia by cushioning the bottom of your foot.
Some standard heel spur treatment options include:
- Resting your heel. For instance, if you run or jog, take a break from your routine.
- Use cold packs or ice: Applying ice packs to the heel and bottom of your foot can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
- Physical therapy: Stretching exercises and other methods can help strengthen the feet and leg muscles and reduce heel stress.
- Specially designed shoes: These shoes provide extra cushioning, support, and shock absorption in the heel, which can help to reduce pressure on the affected area.
- Orthotic devices: Wearing custom-made orthotic devices or shoe inserts can help distribute the body's weight more evenly and reduce pressure on the heel.
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended.
- Surgery: In severe cases where other treatments are ineffective, surgery to remove the heel spur may be necessary and address the underlying issue. However, this is typically only considered a last-resort option. Healthcare providers rarely perform surgery to remove heel spurs. Once formed, heel spurs are permanent.
Changes to Consider to alleviate heel spur pain
- If you jog or run, choose soft surfaces like grass. Avoid tracks and hard surfaces like sidewalks and pavement.
- Wear shoes that are suitable for dealing with heel spurs.
- When walking on hardwood or tile floors, wear slippers or comfortable shoes.
- Re-learn to walk so there’s less pressure on your heels.
Long-Term Changes That May Help
- Lose weight so you put less pressure on your foot.
- Stay off your feet as much as possible.
Take Control of Your Foot Health
As you age, the plantar fascia becomes less flexible and are more prone to damage. Also, you gradually lose the natural fat pad cushions on the bottom of your feet. Nevertheless, you can take control of your foot health by wearing the best shoes for your condition and by collaborating with healthcare professionals to determine the best and most appropriate treatment for you.