We can find heel spurs in people suffering from foot pain because of plantar fasciitis. It can be seen in people of all age groups, especially, in middle-aged men and women. Heel spur is not the root cause of the pain, but irritation and inflammation of the plantar fascia is the root problem. Heel spur is diagnosed in an x-ray. In the x-ray, it shows a bone hook projecting from the foot bottom at a point where the plantar fascia is connected to the heel bone.
The plantar fascia is actually a ligament and a thick tissue running from the heel bone towards the football. This is a strong tissue that helps to support the foot arch. It is also a main transmitter of the body weight on your foot as you run, walk, etc. hence, a lot of stress is put on the plantar fascia.
A person suffering from plantar fasciitis have degenerative and inflamed plantar fascia. Thus, the normal activities like walking, running, etc becomes very painful. Its symptoms are seen at its worst in the early morning when you wake up from your night's sleep. This is so because in the nighttime, the fascia tightens, making simple movements even to stretch the contracted fascia, difficult. As the fascia begins to loose, the pain alleviates, but it returns if there is prolonged walking or standing.
On the occurrence of heel spurs, the person is suggested to take rest. He should avoid prolonged walking or running.
An ice pack kept on the feet for a period of about fifteen minutes after walking is also helpful.
Massaging the foot before you get out from the bed in the morning will help to diminish the pain. It is also recommended to use long strokes.
Another useful treatment is using night splints. This device holds the flexed feet during the night. It does not allow the fascia to tighten up and thus you do not experience the horrible pain while stretching it for the first time in the morning that may otherwise re-injure it.
Stretching is a very good exercise in case of heel spurs. Once your pain and swelling subsides, you can perform the stretching exercises at least three times a day. However, do not perform them all at a time. Continue using these stretching exercises to prevent the reoccurrence of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.