Heel spurs are common sports injuries caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a tendon that extends from your heel to the sole of your foot. High-impact exercises such as running impose a lot of pressure on this tendon. When it is inflamed, plantar fasciitis develops. Over time, as the inflamed tendon pulls on the heel bone, it forms a mark, spur, or over bone to protect itself. This condition causes intense pain when walking or doing any activity that generates pressure on the heels. The discomfort is particularly noticeable when you take the first steps in the morning.
Give your feet a rest. Swimming is the perfect low-cardiac impact exercise, because your body is fully exercised without putting pressure on your heels. If you do not have a pool, a rowing machine imposes very little stress on your feet. Resistance exercises for the upper part of the body are also good, as well as lower limb exercises that are performed in a sitting position, such as the extensions of the quadriceps. Running, performing squats and lunges with weights, and even walking should be avoided.
Support your arcs. Soft, flat, unsupported footwear might seem comfortable at first, but in reality it is counterproductive to heel spurs. Wear athletic shoes with support while exercising and throughout the day if possible. If you must wear dress shoes, add some templates with arch support. Look for ones that have gel pads in addition to the support, so you will achieve greater relief.
Always apply cold to your feet after exercise. Even those with low impact can aggravate your condition. The cold will prevent subsequent inflammation and swelling. You do not need to buy a gel pack, since a packet of frozen peas or a container of concentrated juice will do the trick. Even submerging your feet in a bowl of cold water will be enough, and it is refreshing after training.
Practice exercises that firmly hold the feet. These stretch the arches, which protects the plantar fascia from further damage. Sit on a chair and place a towel on the floor. Try lifting it with the affected foot. When you achieve it, let it fall and try again. Rolling a can on the floor with the sole of the foot is another effective stretching exercise. You can use a can of frozen orange juice to combine exercise with cooling in one step.
Lengthen your feet and calves regularly. When you wake up in the morning, take the toes of your feet with your hands and gently pull them towards you.After training and throughout the day, try this exercise: Stand facing a wall, about a foot away and support the sole of your foot against it. Place both hands on the wall and lean your body forward. You should feel an intense elongation in your calves and ankles. Repeat this with both feet.
Be patient. The spurs generally heal spontaneously after 6 months to a year. Meanwhile, be sure to protect your feet from further damage, and use stretching exercises, arch support and ice to accelerate healing.