7 Solutions to Heel Spurs That You Can Do At Home
There are different causes of heel pain. If left untreated, it is possible that it can cause worse injuries including knee problems.
One possible scenario is that you have developed heel spur. Heel spur is calcium deposit which causes a protrusion at the bottom of the heel. Heel spur can grow as much as half an inch. Often times, heel spurs are painless. However, there are instances when it can be intermittent or even be chronic pain.
The causes of heel spur range from conditions like plantar fasciitis to running on hard surfaces. The good thing about heel spurs is that 90% of its cases won’t require invasive measures.
Who are at risk of developing heel spur?
There are individuals who are more prone to developing heel spur. For instance, runners and professional athletes are at a higher risk of having this condition. Both running and jumping can increase the chances of developing the heel spur. Also, individuals with either high arches or flat feet are prone to having this type of injury.
Aside from activity and your feet’s anatomy, age can also be a factor to consider. As we get older, there is a chance that the protective layer of fat on the heel is becoming thinner. Age can also decrease the overall flexibility of the plantar fascia which can even make the heel vulnerable to having calcium deposits.
Depending on the severity of the heel spur, it may warrant surgery. But for most scenarios, you can alleviate the heel spur related discomfort at the comfort of your home. Here are some solutions that you can do to get rid of the pain that is associated with this particular condition.
Solutions for Heel Spurs at Home
1. Control your weight
Weight has something to do with the wear and tear of your feet. Regardless of the anatomy of your feet, your heel’s protective layer could easily get reduced if you are overweight. What you can do is to control the amount of food that you eat, and eat healthy. It is also a good idea to perform exercises.
As rule of thumb, you need to burn more calories than the amount of food that you eat in order to achieve weight loss.
2. Fix your muscle imbalance
Muscle imbalance is one of the many causes why people develop heel spur. Heel spur is simply a byproduct of bad running practice because of muscle imbalance. Does this mean that you have to do your workouts harder? This shouldn’t be the case. Instead, you should do it wisely and systematically.
Burst of intense physical activity can cause heel spur to take place. It is a good idea to let the body adapt to the physical activity first before you decide to increase your physical activity. As a good rule of thumb, if you are running, only increase the distance by 20% every few days. This will give the body enough time to adapt to the stress that the feet have to endure.
Also, it is a good idea to mix the types of physical activities that you do. You can always develop different muscle groups by performing different workouts.
3. Wear the right type of shoes
Different feet will require different kinds of shoes. Individuals with flat feet and high arches require more support on their mid-foot, in order to prevent heel problems. It is a good idea to talk to your shoe expert if you are planning to purchase a running shoe.
If you already know that your feet require more support, it is discouraged that you use footwear such as slippers and flat shoes simply because it can worsen the plantar fasciitis which could eventually lead to heel spur.
Aside from wearing the right shoes, it is also a good idea to change your shoes after it has reached its maximum mileage. Wear and tear decreases the overall support on your feet leaving you prone to developing heel spur.
Stretches are important in order to help prevent and minimize heel spur. Stretching the plantar fascia, most of the time will do the trick. To stretch this part of the foot, you will need to stretch the toes and pull them towards you. If you feel that the calf muscles are tight, this area should also be stretched or even massaged.
It is a good idea to practice stretches first thing in the morning. Most cases of plantar fasciitis with associated heel pain occur first thing in the morning. In addition to stretches, you can always have the surrounding areas of the foot massaged via a tennis ball or a golf ball.
Taping the feet is another great way to limit the stress on parts of the feet that can cause heel pain, specifically heel spur. Taping the feet by the mid foot to support the plantar fascia could limit its movement, and could assist the feet in walking and overall mobility. KT tapes are becoming popular for this purpose.
6. Orthotic devices
It has been proven that orthotic devices have the ability to help support flat feet and those that have high arches. Though it is argued if it is effective for long term use, it has been proven effective to some extent by experts. Endurance runners are known for using orthotic devices to ensure the proper support on their feet.
7. Run on soft surfaces
Do you tend to run on hard surface? A lot of runners jog using the streets. Though you enjoy the scenery, you are doing damage to your feet in so many ways. For instance, uneven level of the ground could lead you to sprain and different injuries. It is also possible to put so much stress on your plantar fascia which could lead to heel spur. And of course, hard surfaces can breakdown the protective layer on the heel.
What you can do is to find a training facility that has a track. Here, the ground is soft allowing you to run and train harder with minimal risks involved.