Elmhurst, Illinois, Luna has physical therapists specializing in treating plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Focusing on helping patients return to their loved activities, our PTs design treatment plans that reduce pain, restore flexibility, improve muscle control, and help prevent re-injury.
Best of all, with Luna, patients can receive physical therapy for heel spurs in the comfort of their homes. Our physical therapists come to you; it’s physical therapy, delivered.
Heel spurs are bony, sometimes painful protrusions of calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone which can extend forward by as much as one-half inch. They’re frequently associated with plantar fasciitis or inflammation of the connective tissue that attaches the heel bone to the bottom of the foot. Both conditions are prevalent in athletes who frequently run and jump.
Many patients describe the pain associated with heel spurs as feeling like a knife is sticking into the bottom of their foot. The pain is often most intense when the patient first stands up in the morning — it usually subsides to a dull ache throughout the day. Patients may find that the pain returns if they stand after sitting. On the other hand, some patients experience no pain associated with their heel spur and may not even realize they have one.
While some heel spurs may require surgery, more than 90 percent of patients rely on behavioral modifications and physical therapy to reduce pain and increase mobility.
Heel spurs can be difficult to identify and diagnose. Firstly, only about half of patients with heel spurs will also suffer from associated pain. Secondly, the condition can be difficult to distinguish from other causes of foot pain.
Heel spurs are typically only confirmed with X-rays or other medical tests. Patients must see an orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist to know whether a heel spur or another ailment causes their foot pain.
The most common symptoms of heel spurs include:
Heel spurs develop gradually over time as long-term strain on the muscles and ligaments in the heel wears down the surrounding soft tissue. Patients who participate in activities that cause repeated stress on the heels tend to be at higher risk.
Heel spurs can also be caused by other activities or pre-existing conditions that stress the heel. Poorly-fitted, worn-out, or unsupportive shoes can increase a patient’s risk of developing heel spurs, as can excess body weight or an irregular gait. Arthritis and plantar fasciitis can also contribute to heel spurs; more than half of all heel spur cases occur in patients with plantar fasciitis.
The most common causes of heel spurs include:
More than 90 percent of patients with heel spurs do not require surgery and can see significant improvement with physical therapy alone. While physical therapy can’t eliminate heel spurs, it can reduce inflammation that causes pain and impedes mobility.
An experienced physical therapist will likely combine stretching, taping, massage, and lower leg strengthening exercises to create a heel spur recovery plan that’s safe, effective, and designed to prevent re-injury. Typically, a heel spur physical therapy plan will focus on pain relief, flexibility, range of motion, muscle control, and a return to normal activity.Source: Physioworks