What are Heel Spurs?
Foot Reflexology for Heel Spurs
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Heel Spur Symptoms- Can foot reflexology help heel spurs?
by N J Howell
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If you experience a painful and consistent aching feeling in the foot that gets worse, almost unbearable even, when you try to put your whole weight down on the foot, you may have heel spurs.
This typical painful achiness associated with heel spurs gets better as you walk and is more severe after sleeping or being off your feet for a long time. See your orthopedic specialist or podiatrist for proper diagnosis.
Question on health care and healing:
Does reflexology help heal problems with the foot itself? I have heel spurs and problems with the ligament attached to the heel spurs. Causing of course, heel pain. Also, have a pinched nerve on the top of my left foot causing pain. Does reflexology help any of these foot conditions?
Healing facilitation response:
Any foot damage should be evaluated by a healthcare professional or podiatrist.
Having said that, I will also say it has been my experience that regular foot reflexology sessions increase circulation to all areas of the body including the feet and personally feel that
reflexology would be beneficial in addressing heel spurs, provided the area is not too sore to reflex. This is because one of the ways our body heals itself and flushes out toxic waste is thru the circulatory system. Foot reflexology is one of the very best non-drug, non-invasive ways to increase circulation throughout the body and in the feet themselves.
Usually, those with foot pain such as bunions, muscle spasms, sprains, etc... do experience some degree of pain relief with reflexology. Of course,
pain relief and healing are two very different things and I can't say whether reflexology would ultimately help the body heal a heel spur or not.
As a reflexologist, I have not worked with heel spurs specifically. If I had heel spurs, though, I'd definitely try foot reflexology, with a knowledgeable reflexologist I trusted, and closely monitor the results.
What is a heel spur?
Heel spurs are abnormal, bony overgrowths on the heel of the foot. They are actually calcium deposits that form if the plantar fasciitis is abnormally stretched or stressed.
Although a person with heel spurs often experiences extreme pain when first walking in the morning as well as other times of increased activity, it isn't actually the heel spurs that cause the pain. Pain results from the unique tension in the foot which causes inadequate
flexibility in the calf and inadequate arch support on the affected foot and / or the inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis, a related but different condition.
What causes heel spurs? Ill-fitting shoes may, over time, provide enough stress to the tissues to cause these
abnormal calcium deposits to form. Age is also a factor as most develop heel spurs are in their forties.
Other health conditions can increase risk, including arthritis and poor circulation.
Plantar fasciitis may also be a factor. If a person has this condition, they are far more likely to develop heel spurs too. Plantar fasciitis occurs when there is inflammation of the tissue, or fascia, on the arch of the foot.
What can help heel spurs and Plantar fascitis?
1. Orthotic footwear and arch supports may sometimes be suggested by your podiatrist.
2. If you are overweight, just losing the excess weight may help reduce the pain of spurs.
3. Wearing shoes with extra padding in the heels, to absorb shock when walking.
4. Ice compresses, orthopedic massage, and traction can also provide relief of pain from heel spurs.
5. While some get relief from ice compresses, others benefit from applying light heat to help with pain.
6. Elevating the foot can help relieve the pain.
7. Since a lot of the pain of plantar fascitis comes from inflammation, a good anti-inflammatory may also help with pain.
8. In cases of plantar fascitis, it's also helpful to stretch the calf muscles because that's where a lot of the pain comes from in those cases.
9. Although surgery is not always recommended, if the heel spurs cannot be managed any other way, it may be indicated. If so, be sure to ask your doctor about Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy surgery or some other type of minimal-incision option.
Foot Health Care Disclaimer: This article on heel spurs and other foot-related health issues is not intended to take the place of personal medical advice from your podiatrist or foot specialist.
Nor is foot reflexology suggested as substutition for needed attention from a qualified specialist.
If you have heel spurs, bunions or other foot-related health concerns such as
diabetes-related foot sores, please consult with a foot specialist and also, take care to buy shoes that fit properly and offer sufficient support with no rubbing of the heels or feet.