The calcaneous, or the heel bone, is the largest bone in the foot. Upon heel strike during walking, the heel bone absorbs shock and pressure. If this pressure is excessive, the shock cannot be absorbed resulting in injury to the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the band of fibrous tissue located along the bottom surface of the foot that runs from the heel to the forefoot. Excessive pressure from overpronation and other overuse syndromes can also lead to excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, causing injury.
When the plantar fascia is injured, the body sends a message to repair it. Calcium deposits form to protect the fascia. These deposits build up over time forming heel spurs. As the heel spurs grow, pain and discomfort become an issue.
Plantar fasciitis, strains on the foot muscles and ligaments, and repeated tearing of the membrane covering the heel bones can trigger the formation of heel spurs. People with low-arched feet or people with high-arched feet are more susceptible to the formation of heel spurs. However, any type of foot can develop them.
To battle heel spurs:
- Choose footwear with lower anti-shock heels to reduce shock and pressure during walking.
- Choose the ultra light, custom-fitted ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotic to support the hind foot, secure the arch and reduce pressure at heel strike. These orthotics provide stability, balance, release pressure, and pain relief. For extra relief, choose a cushioned top cover to add anti-shock to your heel strike. A top cover is a minimal charge with maximum benefits.
- HTP heel seats are another way to relieve the pain of heel spurs and add comfort to your step.
Your feet are constantly changing as you age. Have your shoe fit checked regularly. Remember the size on the measuring device is only a reference. Mass-manufactured shoes are NOT all created equal. Refer to the Shoe Fitting Reference Guide for proper guidelines on how to best fit your shoes.
If you follow these guidelines and you’re still having heel pain, consult with your physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment.