Heel Spur Information

Heel Spur Information

The calcaneus, or heel bone, is the largest bone in the foot. It must withstand a great deal of shock from movement and pressure from the weight of the body. A heel spur, also called a calcaneal spur, is an abnormal growth on the heel bone.

 

 

Heel Spur


Overview Of A Heel Spur

The term “spur” might seemingly denote something sharp, but in actuality, most heel spurs are nothing more than smooth extra bone growth. It is the extra wear and tear caused by the spur and/or the pressure or friction from bone rubbing on ligaments, nerves, and tendons that cause any heel spur pain.

Heel spurs are generally categorized as inferior calcaneal spurs, located at the insertion of the plantar fascia, or posterior heel spurs, located at the back of heel at the insertion of the Achilles tendon. Posterior calcaneal spurs are often larger in size and can often be felt through the skin on the bottom of the foot. On the other hand, inferior calcaneal spurs are most often only visible through X-ray.

Inferior calcaneal spurs are often confused with plantar fasciitis, a swelling and irritation affecting the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. While these two often go hand-and-hand, they aren’t one in the same. For example, the plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of the foot might become inflamed from tightening and stress. As healing is taking place, a heel spur may form. So, while one might be the causative agent for the other, the spur and fasciitis are technically separate processes.

Causes Of A Heel Spur

This abnormal extra bone growth is in response to ligaments tightening from activities that stress the feet, such as running or prolonged standing; overload the feet, such as from being obese; or abnormally stretching the ligament, such as from wearing healed shoes or ill fitting shoes. “Pump bump” is a term often used to describe heel spurs that develop from women wearing high heeled shoes that are too tight or place a great deal of pressure on the heel.

Heel spurs may also be related to other disease processes, such as reactive arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.

Symptoms Of A Heel Spur

* May not cause any symptoms at all
* Tenderness and pain at the back of the heel
* Pain that worsens when stepping down on the heel
* Pain when trying to push off the ball of the foot

 

Strengthening Exercises

These Heel Spur Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Heel Spur Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.


 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the heel because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured heel, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured heel as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the heel, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the heel, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the heel can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your heel to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the heel. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your heel with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in your heel that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your heel may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the heel, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the damaged tissues can strengthen to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your foot with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Soak your foot with the Sinew Relaxing Soak to relax muscles and tendons that are in spasm, ease joint pain and stiffness, and improve range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.