Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis
Heel spur (plantar fasciitis) affects men and women equally. It is a condition in which the bottom of the heel is extremely painful.
A heel spur is a bony overgrowth on the bottom of your heel bone. The heel spur is usually a result of an inflamed ligament (plantar fascia) on the bottom of the foot that attaches to the heel bone. Constant abnormal pulling of this ligament irritates the heel bone and the body lays down a bone spur as a protective mechanism. The patient usually complains of pain with the first step in the morning, some relief following activity, but returning after extended amounts of time standing or walking.
This condition is a constellation of many causes; overweight, ill fitting shoes, bio-mechanical problems (mal-alignment of the heel), gout, pronation (a complex motion including outward rotation of the heel and inward rotation of the ankle) and rheumatoid arthritis are some of the causes of heel pain.
Your doctor, when diagnosing and treating this condition will need an x-ray and sometimes a gait analysis to ascertain the exact cause of this condition.
If you have pain in the bottom of your foot and you do not have diabetes or a vascular problem, some of the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory products such as Advil or Ibuprofin are helpful in eradicating the pain. Pain creams, such as Neuro-eze, BioFreeze & Boswella Cream can help to relieve pain and help increase circulation.
night splint for traction of the leg muscles to stretch the muscle in the back of the leg, and
massage of the back of the leg, along with
padding and heel cushions are also things that you can do at home.
The number one recommendation for relief of heel pain is wearing good shoe gear. Good shoe gear usually consists of a sturdy, solid shoe. Heel pain is not relieved by a soft, ill supported shoe. Shoes such as Nike, K-Swiss, and Avia
are the best shoes for this condition. Custom orthotics are highly recommended. Physical therapy is another way physicians treat this condition. Ice packs, muscle stimulation, ultra sound, paraffin baths, and the new
Plantar Fascitis Night Splint are also helpful.
If all these conservative measures fail to relieve the pain, then surgery is indicated. The newer minimal incision surgeries such as the Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy surgery is extremely beneficial for this condition, and for earlier ambulation, the use of the newer
Cast Walking Boot is recommended.