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Heel Bone Spur Information

What is bone spur?

Bone spur, or osteophyte, is bony growth sprouting from a normal bone, causing extreme pain and discomfort when pressing against other bone and/or soft tissue.The condition develops when the body attempts to increase the surface area of the joints, so body weight will continue to be distributed evenly across a joint damaged by arthritis or some other condition.

Heel spurs are frequently seen in people suffering from foot pain as a result of plantar fasciitis. They are commonly observed in middle aged men and women. However, it can be seen in people of all age groups, as well. Heel spur is not the root cause of the pain, but irritation and inflammation of the plantar fascia is the root problem.

If you have heel spurs there are a number of treatments available. Your doctor, in fact, will likely have you use a combination of them. You will be told to rest and avoid jogging and exercising on your feet for a few days. You may be asked to ice the area to control the pain and reduce inflammation as the heel spur heals. You may also do specific exercises and stretches designed to relax the tissues that surround your heel bone. There are also medications you can take, these are anti-inflammatory medications that help decrease the inflammation and control the pain of heel spurs

When repeated stress and strain occur on the heel bone and surrounding soft tissue, the body attempts to protect itself by forming heel bone spurs. This kind of pain is usually felt at the bottom of your heel. Quite often, the heel pain is worse in the morning because of tightness and stiffening that happens during the night.

Since heel spurs develop as a result of the plantar fascia being pulled away from the heel, the root cause isn’t the fact that calcium deposits have developed, rather the ultimately painful deposits develop due to what ever is causing the plantar fascia to be pulled away from the heel itself.

The first step for an evaluation or diagnosis of bones spurs is to have a clinical examination. Visit your health care provider so they may conduct a neurological and spine evaluation in order to assess any spinal nerve and cord compression. In order for a physician to determine the destructive changes to the spine, radiographs may be performed.

The healing of the inflamed PF is accomplished by healing the inflamed tissue and correcting the cause. First of all you should start some type of anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin or Aleve. Tylenol® may reduce pain but does not have anti-inflammatory properties. Applying ice to the heel will also reduce some of the inflammation. In addition some doctors prescribe what is called a dorsal night splint to heal the plantar fascia. The dorsal night splint is worn on the lower leg at night. The idea is to use the splint to hold the foot slightly flexed up toward your head as you sleep.

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