What are calcaneal spurs and which signs indicate them?
Calcaneal spurs are bony growths, which tend to form on the bone of the heel and cause the pain in the same area. Their formation is usually a result of some chronic pressure on the heel or some trauma or injury, but they can also form due to a number of other reasons, of which some are improper footwear and gaining weight. Weak muscles of the calves might also be a reason or contribute to their development, as well as conditions such as arthritis and poor circulation.
Pain in the heel is definitely the first and the most important symptoms that indicates calcaneal spur. It can range between sharp and piercing, but an interesting fact is that it tends to disappear over night or after a person rests. However, once a person wakes up in the morning, this pain is definitely the hardest to stand during that period, and walking only makes it worse, particularly if a person walks on some hard surface or if carrying something that is a bit heavier.
How can they be treated and cured?
First of all, in order to make a diagnosis of this condition, the person needs to undergo X-ray scan. As for the treatment, the fact is that this disease is much easier treated when discovered at an early stage, because then some simple steps such as exercising on regular basis, loss of weight and wearing of adequate footwear are usually helpful enough in the prevention of aggravation of this condition. Cases that are more severe in nature and in which the pain is much more present require the use of medications that reduce the inflammation and relieve the pain. Sometimes even strong pain relievers have to be used, or even corticosteroid injections. Aside from this, there are some simple steps that the person can take even at home and the relief will certainly come. Some of these steps are:
- Applying heat on the affected heel in order to decrease the pain and improve the circulation of the blood in that foot.
- The RICE principle can be helpful here as well, and it consists of resting, applying ice, compression and elevation.
- In case a person is an athlete or into exercising, it is necessary to warm up prior to any workout, and to cool down afterwards.
- In cases a person is overweight, there is no need for waiting for the doctor to say that some pounds need to be lost.