Healing the Heel: Chiropractic Treatment of Heel Spurs

Healing the Heel: Chiropractic Treatment of Heel Spurs

Pain anywhere in the body can prevent you from living the life you want, and this includes localized pain in the heel stemming from a heel spur. Pain in this area makes it uncomfortable and even painful to walk and can inhibit your ability to go about your day. Don’t let a heel spur impact your quality of life when you can seek out chiropractic treatment for pain relief and even prevention of future issues.

What Is a Heel Spur?

Heel spurs result from a deposit of calcium forming as a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. Although often painless, the deposits can cause inflammation known as plantar fasciitis, which is irritation of the fibrous connective tissue that runs along the sole between the heel bone and the ball of the foot.

“Heel spurs can form when the foot bones and joints are not moving correctly,” says Dr. Rick Gross of Quality Care Chiropractic. With this incorrect movement, calcium builds up over some time, such as several months, often after foot muscle or ligament strains, overstretching the foot’s connective tissues, or repeated tearing of the membrane covering the heel.

What Are Symptoms of Heel Spurs?

Although a heel spur itself doesn’t cause pain (so often has no symptoms), chronic or intermittent pain can occur while walking, jogging, or running if the spur causes inflammation in the soft tissue around it. When pain does occur, it is described like a knife or pin sticking into the bottom of the foot when first standing up in the morning or after sitting for a long time and then later turns into a dull ache.

Who Is at Risk for Heel Spurs?

Heel spurs are especially common in athletes who do a lot of running and jumping, especially on hard surfaces. Risks increase when someone carries excess body weight; has flat feet or high arches; has an abnormal walking gait that puts excessive stress on the area; or wears shoes that are poorly fitted, worn, or lacking good arch support.

In addition, protective tendons and tissues in the feet become less flexible and thinner with age, with autoimmune disorders like diabetes, and in people who are on their feet most of the day or are doing frequent short bursts of physical activity.

On the plus side, heel spurs largely can be prevented by wearing activity-appropriate and well-fitting shoes and warming up and stretching before, as well as pacing yourself during, activities.

Common Treatments for Heel Spurs

Unlike a lot of other ailments, heel spurs don’t respond well to rest. Walking after a long sit or sleep often makes the pain feel worse, but that pain then usually decreases the more you walk (up to a point). As such, recommended treatments include focused stretching exercises, wearing better shoes or orthotic inserts, taping the area, and physical therapy. Patients also can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or get cortisone injections to relieve inflammation, if necessary.

Is Surgery Necessary to Fix Heel Spurs?

In general, it is not. More than 90 percent of people get better with nonsurgical treatment. If symptoms do continue for 9–12 months, surgery (either releasing the plantar fascia or removing the spur) may be recommended to relieve pain and restore mobility. However, surgery carries many possible complications, including nerve or recurrent heel pain, permanent numbness, infection, and scarring as well as the risk of instability, foot cramps, stress fractures, and tendinitis.

Why Are Chiropractic Treatments a Better Solution?

“Heel spurs form when the foot is under a lot of stress, so just cutting out the bone or putting a cushion under the painful spot does not change the stress on your foot,” says Dr. Gross. “By using specific chiropractic foot adjustments, we can correct the dysfunction to relieve the pain and prevent future issues with heel spurs.”

Dr. Gross further explains, “Some of our treatments include effective chiropractic foot adjustments, high-quality custom foot orthotics for your shoes that help restore the arch of your foot, stretching the leg and feet constantly, and MLS Laser to reduce pain and inflammation without medication or surgery.”

If you are experiencing heel pain, chiropractic treatments on your foot joints may just be what you need, so contact us at Quality Care Chiropractic in Aurora, IL, at (630) 499-2225 to learn how we can help get you back into step with whole-body health.

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    I have found that being a doctor is so rewarding because every single day I see miracles happen in front of my very eyes. If I stick to basic principles, I notice the best results. I focus on effective, research-based therapies. I recommend only the therapies I believe my patients need, and only for as many treatments as I believe they need. I keep up with current research and educational seminars to improve techniques and treatments. I treat each person in my office like I would treat my own family – with respect, compassion, and understanding. When conflicts or problems arise, I expect honest, open communication to resolve any issues, and I promise to do my best to ensure satisfaction. I never take for granted the trust I have earned from my patients.