Heel spurs – Causes, Symptoms and Remedies
There it is again, a stabbing pain in the heel and sole of the foot! Heel spur, plantar fasciitis, foot pain – there are many terms for these different forms of pain that make life difficult for many people. But what is the source of these complaints?
Identify the causes
A common cause is too much stress being placed on the feet as a result wearing of the wrong footwear and walking on hard surfaces. A healthy foot can cushion the shock and stress experienced when walking thanks to the muscles and ligaments. However, this is very difficult on the hard, flat floors that we are used to walking on every day: it results in muscle fatigue and subsequently causes the ligaments and capsules to become slack. This negative development can be exacerbated by wearing footwear that restricts the foot and thus prevents the even distribution of pressure under load.
If the foot is put under stress for a lengthy period it can lead to infection, for example, in the tendons on the sole of the foot – also known as plantar fasciitis. If the strain is not taken off of the affected areas, long-term injuries can emerge between the bones and tendons. The tissue reacts to the ongoing stress and calcifies. This bony growth, also known as a heel spur, can lead to pressure being exerted on the surrounding tissue on the heel. The result is pain when walking and standing. Often, the foot hurts so much that is no longer possible to put pressure on the heel, and this inevitably leads to overexertion on the front of the foot.
Heel spur or plantar fasciitis?
A heel spur is an ossification of overworked tissue/bone, which can be very painful, regardless of the size and length.
In the case of plantar fasciitis, the tendons on the sole of the foot become infected as a result of stress. This leads to intense pain when walking.
Conventional forms of therapy
Most doctors prescribe a soft cushion that can be placed in a shoe beneath the heel. It is not unusual to be referred to an orthopaedist, who may prescribe a tailor-made insole. In the case of physiotherapy, heel spurs are often treated with electrotherapy, trigger-point therapy or massage. The muscles of the foot and lower leg also become actively strengthened and stretched with exercises.
Treatment using soft and springy footwear
The first warning sign is pain in the heel area: the infection is usually in the tendons on the sole of the foot. This infection is known as plantar fasciitis, and is the first indication that the foot is under too much stress. In order to prevent this developing from an acute to a chronic complaint, shoes with a soft and springy sole can be a great support, as they take the pressure off of the infected area and activate the body's natural shock absorber system: the muscles in the feet and legs. However, if you have already been suffering from a degenerative heel spur for an extended period, a softly cushioned sole could help. Here, it is also necessary to relieve the pressure from the overworked area, because in the case of an infected plantar tendon, whether there is a tendon tear / heel spur or not, it is important to work the affected area gently to facilitate its healing.
The right shoe makes a difference!
Measuring the pressure on the foot when walking or standing can provide information about the pressure distribution of the feet under stress. This makes it possible to precisely analyse the feet, determine possible excessive stress and thus recommend the right shoes in a targeted manner.
Barefoot pressure distribution
Above-average stress can be found in the heel and forefoot area.
Pressure distribution in street shoes
Visible stress can be seen in the heel area around the high heel, as well as in the forefoot area.
Pressure distribution in the Joya shoe
The pressure is distributed in the best possible manner thanks to the soft elastic Joya sole, which consistently reduces the stress.
Joya Shoes make it possible for the foot to roll over naturally, which activates and stretches the plantar tendon in a gentle manner. This is important for the healing process, as the roll-over ensures enough blood is circulated throughout the plantar tendon. What’s more, the bodyweight is distributed across the entire shoe, and the pressure on the point of a heel spur is reduced and the stress taken off the heel. Acute or chronic foot pain? Try Joya Shoes and see for yourself!