If you feel a terrible pain tear through your heel when you place your foot on the floor and begin to walk around, you may have developed a bone spur in your heel. This is a medical condition that can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort if left untreated. Let’s talk about it.
What is a Bone Spur?
A bone spur, also known as an osteophyte, is a bony projection that develops around the joints. It is a calcium growth on a bone that causes pressure on the tissue that surrounds it, as well as on the skin that is found beneath the tissue. Bone spurs are most often found on the feet, such as heel bone spurs, but bone spurs in the neck region are also common, as are those that form along the spine.
A Look at Bone Spurs:
Bone spurs form where they do as a result of the increase of pressure on the surface area of a joint. A bone spur, whether it be a foot spur or whether it be elsewhere on the body, can cause a great deal of pain to the person who suffers from it. Joint movement may be limited in some individuals who suffer from this condition.
Bone spurs are very common and affect a tremendous amount of people across the globe on an annual basis. The heel spur is the most common of all bone spurs and is associated with a great deal of pain. The reason for this is because you must walk on your feet and therefore the entire weight of your body comes down on your heels. The heel bone will be very sore and uncomfortable every time you put pressure on it.
Heel spurs are most often found in heavier people, including women who are pregnant.
However, anyone regardless of their weight can develop a bone spur. Athletes are also very prone to spurs, due to the nature of their work.
Bone Spur Treatment:
The best thing to do about a spur is to find effective means of treating it and ways to alleviate the pain of having it. While corrective surgery may be performed in extreme cases, most of the time this is not necessary.
The best temporary treatment for a bone spur in the foot is to stay off of it as much as you can. You will only irritate it further by continuing to exert pressure on it. Rest your foot as much as you can.
Applying an ice pack to the affected area can also provide relief. Ice can be used for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for the first 48 hours. After that you should turn to heat. Apply warm moist towels or a heating pad to the affected area. This helps to increase blood flow and also encourages the drainage of the lymphatic system. Both will help to facilitate the healing process.
If the pain is too much to bear, an over-the-counter painkiller and anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen should bring you some much needed relief. Buy a felt or foam heel pad to place inside your shoe to absorb the shock when you are walking. Insoles can help to cushion the foot and make walking less uncomfortable.
Your physician may recommend injections for you, special orthotics or physiotherapy sessions. He might also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication for you and suggest that you lose weight. Talk with him about the treatments that are best for the spur (or spurs) that you have.