The problem of heel spurs a growth of bone in the heel is indicative of strain in the Plantar Fascia – the ligament that runs under the foot. The spur grows to compensate for support that would otherwise come from this ligament. The most effective treatment for heel spurs and for Plantar Fasciitis, is to treat the problem at its cause.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is the name given to a condition of strain or tearing in the fibrous ligament structure that runs under the foot, called the Plantar Fascia. Sometimes also known as “jogger’s heel”, it affects the heel and/or the underside of the foot, and can arise when feet are experiencing ongoing strains.
There are three segments in the foot – the rear, the middle and the forefront. The most complex segment is the rear of the foot, not the arch as people might assume.Some sixty percent of all foot movement happens at the rear, and most of the body’s weight is centralised over the rear foot, until it moves onto the arch and toe.As a result, increased weight, prolonged periods on the feet or energetic movement will potentially take their toll on that area of the foot the most.
The method of treatment that is most commonly used is to employ an orthotic device—an insert worn in the shoe, which builds up areas under the foot to give support.
In this case, instead of the orthotic just pushing up under the arch where the tendon is stretched or suffering micro-tearing, it is designed so it also‘inverts’ – or twists the heel bone out slightly,so as to holds the heel in a more upright position and not allow it to roll in.
By doing this, the source of strain on the ligament is eased and the ligament can repair itself.
In combination with the orthotics, there are a few other things that should also be done to support the process:
People with Plantar Fasciitis will often have a tight calf muscle. If so, some calf stretches are recommended that will help the affected muscles to bear their share of the load. As the strain is caused by prolonged or intense stresses on the feet, it is obviously necessary to give the feet less strain to deal with, in order to ease the condition and give healing a chance to take place. Less sport, physical activity or time spent on the feet is recommended to keep strain off the area. Applying ice to the area will also help in terms of inflammation and aiding the condition of the ligament. Overall, the approach to healing this condition is to fix what is causing the problem in the first place, by limiting how the rear foot is allowed to roll in, thereby reducing the strain that arises from this.
We are happy to discuss your condition with you and devise an appropriate plan to improve the health of your feet. Please call us on (02) 9199 8754 if you’d like to know more.