Dealing With Heel Pain
Heel spurs are hard, pointed calcium deposits on your heel which can poke into the soft tissue of your heel, often causing intense pain when you walk. The pain usually feels like a sharp jab and can be worse in the morning when you first stand up. Dr. Robert Kierstein in Kirkland, Washington wants you to know the facts about heel spurs and heel pain.
You are at greater risk of heel spurs if you are:
- Over 40 years old
- Wearing worn-out or poorly fitting shoes
- Standing for long periods
Heel spurs can also be caused by walking unevenly and putting too much pressure on part of your foot. Heel spurs are often seen in people suffering from plantar fasciitis which is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue across your heel. Heel spurs will form because your body is attempting to support your weakened plantar fascia tissue.
There are non-invasive treatments you can try at home to get some relief, such as:
- Gently stretching your Achilles tendon and arches during the day
- Taking anti-inflammatory and pain medications like ibuprofen or Tylenol
- Putting ice on your heel for 15 minutes several times a day
- Wearing more supportive, comfortable shoes
- Using heel inserts and wedges
For a permanent solution to heel spurs, it’s best to visit your podiatrist Dr. Kierstein. He may recommend prescription-strength anti-inflammatory and pain medication, and custom-made orthotics or heel wedges. Physical therapy is also effective at relieving the symptoms associated with heel spurs.
One of the most effective treatments provided by Dr. Kierstein for heel spurs is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment or ESWT. This form of therapy works to increase circulation and the formation of healthy tissue. In rare cases, surgery can be performed to remove the heel spur.