Many people suffer from pain in
their heels and come to me for treatment. Heel pain can be a result
of many different causes however I have found that heel pain due
to a Calcaneal spur is very common. This article is written in order
to make people aware of what Calcaneal spur is and how Homoeopathy
WHAT ARE CALCANEAL OR HEEL SPURS?
A spur simply means a bony projection.
It can occur in any of the bones of your body but is seen most commonly
as a bony projection that is formed on the heel bone or Calcaneus.
This bony outgrowth by itself does not cause any problems. It is
the cause of the spur and the pressure put on the affected heel
that give rise to heel pain.
A calcaneal spur is seen commonly
in people who are overweight or those who lead a sedentary lifestyle
without regular exercises. When people who do not exercise regularly
suddenly have to walk a lot or take up vigorous exercising then
heel pain and calcaneal spurs can occur. An athlete must always
warm up correctly before vigorous exercises or running otherwise
they are at risk of developing these problems. Your footwear can
also give rise to heel pain if not proper. Some people have a tendency
to walk with their toes pointing inward. This faulty way of walking
can cause calcaneal spurs and heel pain.
WHAT CAUSES CALCANEAL SPURS
AND HEEL PAIN?
The entire weight of your body
is carried by the soles of your feet. Whenever you take a step the
entire weight gets transmitted to one of your heels. As you move
the load on the heels becomes nearly 20 times your body weight.
We have been provided with a cushion of fat under the heel and lots
of tough tissues in order to soften this load on the heel.
If you are overweight or have not
warmed up before exercising then the muscles of the calf or the
Achilles tendon may get overloaded. These muscles and tendons are
attached to the calcaneus or heel bone. This causes extra strain
on the muscles of the feet and soft tissues causing inflammation,
small cracks or tears to occur. To compensate for the repeated damaged
caused to these tissues the body tries to repair itself. In this
way a bony projection is formed known as Calcaneal spur.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
OF CALCANEAL SPURS?
Some people are not even aware
that they have spurs in their heels as there may be no symptoms.
However most of the time they will experience a few of the symptoms
1. Most patients will complain to pain in the soles of the feet.
The pain is normally described as a sharp, stabbing kind of pain
felt inside the heel.
2. The pain is worse in the morning
on putting the foot on the floor and on first movement. Getting
up from a sitting position becomes very painful.
3. Normally there is no pain on
rest or when there is on pressure on the heels. The patient does
not have any problems during sleep or sitting.
4. Walking on hard or uneven surfaces
becomes very painful.
5. Carrying weight like a heavy
bag worsens the pain.
6. Sometimes the pain becomes so
severe that the person is unable to walk and function normally.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR CALCANEAL
SPURS AND HEEL PAIN?
Normally a patient will come with
the complaint of heel pain. The physician should first try to diagnose
whether the pain is due to calcaneal spur or some other reason.
The best way to determine this is by taking a simple X-ray. However
sometimes the spur may not be visible even on the X-ray.
The physician should treat the patient on the basis of his or her
symptoms and constitution. Advise should also be given regarding
weight and exercise, correct footwear and style of walking.
This is one of the most useful
remedies in our system of medicine for pain in the heels especially
affecting the Calcaneus bone. The patient complains of pain in the
heel bone which is worse on continuous motion. The part feels swollen
and the patient also feels as if the part is numb.
One peculiar symptom is that the bones feel as if they are made
of ice. The patient feels worse in cold and by cold bathing.
Aranea Diadema 200, 5 pills 4 times
a day will give relief from the pain.
This is a very useful remedy in
cases of inflammation of the soft tissues and tendons. There is
swelling around the joints and tendons. The first motion is very
painful and the patient feels better by continuous movement. Warm
applications and heat also give relief from the pain.
Calcarea Fluor has also helped in cases of ganglia of the wrist
and gouty enlargements of the finger joints.
Calcarea Fluor 1M, 5 pills 4 times
a day helps reduce the inflammation and pain around the tendons
and soft tissues.
If the problem of heel pain is
a chronic one think of this remedy. Here the heels are so tender
that the patient says he cannot walk on them he has to walk on his
knees. There is a lot of soreness of the soles of the feet and first
motion is extremely painful.
Medorrhinum patients feel better by rubbing the affected part. Even
with the pain they are restless and cannot keep the legs still.
These patients have a tendency to twist their ankles while walking
causing damage to the tendons and soft tissues. All the symptoms
are worse in damp cold weather.
Medorrhinum 200, should be given
in constitutional doses as per the case.
At home you can try to get relief
from the pain by trying the R.I.C.E. therapy. R stands for rest,
which is very important to allow healing to take place. I stands
for Ice, which must be applied 2 to 3 times a day for 10 minutes
at a time. C represents compression, you can use a compression bandage
for support and relief of pain. E stands for elevation. Keep your
affected heel elevated by resting it on a pillow or a chair.
You can also get relief by putting
a small cushioned insole into the shoe. This should be made personally
for each individual by specialists in this field to get the correct
size and shape.
SELF CARE TIPS
1. Exercise regularly, do not try
to suddenly start exercising for long periods if you are not use
to it. In fact it is better to exercise half an hour everyday instead
of exercising for more time just on the weekends or once in a while.
2. If you are a runner or athlete
make sure you are wearing the correct footwear, which suits your
3. Always warm-up before doing
any strenuous physical activity.
4. Keep your weight under check.
If you are overweight for your height then you must try to loose
weight as you are putting extra pressure on your heels.
5. If you are experiencing pain
in your heel you should avoid putting pressure on the affected heel.