Heel spur problems are related to plantar fasciitis so they have similar methods of treatment. The first step to controlling heel pain due to heel spur is rest and management of inflammation.
One must avoid physical activities that exacerbate symptoms such as extensive walking and running. Long periods of standing should be avoided to let the foot rest. This will also let inflammation subside.
Ice pack application is helpful for pain relief and management of inflammation. It is a good idea to freeze plastic water bottles to make ice and this can be applied by rolling the bottle under the foot for a few minutes.
There are exercises that can be helpful, too, in relaxing the tissues surrounding the bone of the heel. Performing simple exercises can aid in relieving pain.
Doctors can also prescribe medications for pain and control of inflammation. There are over the counter medications available without prescription but stronger medications would require medical supervision.
Shoe inserts can be used to enable a patient to move about without too much pain. Night splints can also be used while you sleep to stretch the heel and prevent contraction of the arch of the foot.
Some doctors may mention a new treatment for heel spurs called ESWT or extracorporeal shock wave therapy wherein energy pulses are used to cause micro trauma to the tissue surrounding the heel. Micro trauma is believed to cause repair of injured tissue. This type of therapy may be recommended for patients who failed to respond to other methods of treatment and are considering surgery.
Surgery for heel spurs happen in very small numbers. Most patients respond to most methods of treatment mentioned above. Usually, a patient should give treatment at least a year before even thinking of surgery for heel spur pain.
It is critical to give treatment adequate time to resolve the problem. If treatment over time fails to resolve the problem, a type of surgery called plantar fascia release may be recommended to loosen up the plantar fascia.
There are times when a heel spur can be confused for tarsal tunnel syndrome. Some doctors may recommend even a partial tarsal tunnel release apart from a plantar fascia release during surgery. Surgical procedures are often successful in resolving pain for patients who fail to respond to conservative treatment. However, it should be noted that surgery should become an option only after conservative methods of treatment have been exhausted.
View video of surgical heel spur removalhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJyDEnoNmZY