Your wife asks you to go for a job around the block and you can’t even imagine going for a run. Your feet are killing you. You decline and your wife, disappointed but still determined, goes for the run on her own. Yet you cannot help but wonder why the heck your feet hurt so much- you sit in an office, on the phone, and are really off of your feet for most of the day.
You’ve checked for obvious signs of damage in your foot and your search came up empty. Maybe you just weren’t meant to exercise? Before you go the way of the couch potato, check for something called a Heel Bone Spur.
A person can actually be born with a ‘Heel Bone Spur’, but in most cases the spur develops over time. The impact of walking or running, combined with friction between the bone and tissue surrounding it, are the main causes of the spur. As well, being flat-footed can cause the formation of spurs as well.
In extreme cases the spur can be removed surgically. However, this is not the preferred option as the recovery period can be long and painful as the surgery is on a pressure point. Several non-invasive methods exist, such as supporting the heel enough that the friction and impact on the spur are removed, allowing the tissue around the spur to recover. The spur will be eroded away by the body in due time.
As well, losing weight and wearing cushioned shoes also help in the elimination of spurs as you are removing some of the stress that is placed on that part of the foot. Due to its very critical position on the body (right on the bottom of your foot where it constantly has weight on it) it can be extremely taxing to remove.
Your doctor will have the best idea on the treatment method that is right for you. Based on the size and shape of the spur they will be able to tell you whether surgery is required, or if a less invasive method will do the job just fine.
In either situation it is important that if you are experiencing abnormal pain in your lower foot that centralizes around the heel that you take action immediately. A spur isn’t like the flu- it generally won’t go away on its own. It needs a good, firm kick to get rid of it.