Have you ever had a sharp pain in your feet or heel when running?
Well, you probably know how painful and disconcerting it can be. May be your pain vanished after you had a shower and a good night sleep and you forgot about it. Unfortunately for many others, the pain is an everyday reality.
Imagine having more pain than you had when running for an extended period. As a matter of fact, up to 2 million people suffer from Plantar Fasciitis every year where they experience a constant sharp pain on their heels. Heel pain or heel spurs are a result of short muscles in the foot sole or calves.
Therefore, it is critical that you maintain the flexibility of this part of your leg to treat or avoid heel pain. Heel spur exercises should be an important regime for painless and healthy feet.
What is Heel Spur?
Heels spur is a condition where your heel muscles become inflamed or have micro-tears. You first notice this condition through a sharp pain beneath your heel after resting or waking up in the morning. Also when you experience a significant pain that goes away on warming up or have taken more steps. A sports doctor or a physiotherapist is in a good position to diagnose the condition.
You are more likely to develop heel spurs if active in sports especially those that place significant pressure on the area. Stiff ankles and tight calf muscles from a previous injury are a risk factor. If you are pregnant or overweight, the extra weight will place undue pressure on the heel, and the condition may develop. Also, if you are in those jobs that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces may also lead to the condition.
Because poor foot biomechanics is the primary cause of the condition, it is necessary to collect your leg or foot biomechanics to prevent further pain or injury. Your physiotherapist may recommend orthotics – passive devices for the foot – and heel spur diet to aid in the healing process. However, stabilization exercises for your foot are a perfect long-term solution to prevent and treat the condition.
Heel Spur Exercises
Exercise 1: Leaning against the wall and stretching
Lean forward facing the wall with one straight knee, and bend the other. Your foot arch should stretch as you lean forward. Stay in the same position for ten seconds and repeat for the other foot. Keep alternating for each of the sole heels 20 times before you move to the next exercise.
If in the process of the stretching exercise you feel a sharp pain, discontinue it. Start slowly as you build on tolerance and strength. The stretching exercises lessen the stress on the heel as a result of the tight Achilles and calf muscles.
Exercise 2: Using a Bench to Stretch
For the next exercise, you stand on a bench or stairway with your toes. Ensure your heel is hanging down. Lower the heel to the point of feeling a stretch. Maintain the exercise for a few seconds and let go. Repeat the exercise for about 20 times.
Source: Heal spur treatment
Exercise 3: Using a Towel
Sit on the floor and stretch one leg in front of you. Place a towel around your toes and pull. Stop when you feel the stretch and repeat the same for a few more times. This exercise is good for your calves and plantar fascia.
Source: Heel spur info
Exercise 4: Stretching with your Hands
Sit down on bench or chair and cross one leg over the other. Grab the toes of the crossed leg and pull them towards your direction.
Exercise 5: Heel spur exercises with tennis ball
Sit on a chair or bench and place a tennis ball under your foot. Gently roll it for about ten minutes and repeat for the other foot. This tennis ball roll is an effective way of stretching your plantar fascia tissue.
Source: pain-free walking.
Similarly you can watch heel spur exercises videos on youtube.
How long will heel spur exercises take to heal Plantar Fasciitis?
The foot and calf workouts for calcaneal spur focus on calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and fascia ligament to bring pain relief. Tight muscles in these areas are what actually cause heel pain. You improve your flexibility and reduce pain by frequent heel exercises that you do at home. However, you may be asking yourself how long it will take to heal that heel pain you have been feeling.
Healing period largely depends on the extent of the injury. Moderate cases take between 6 and 8 weeks. Severe deformities will take longer.
Poor endurance is a characteristic of weak feet muscles, and so it may take longer to heal. Therefore, physical therapy to heel bone spurs and orthotic will provide the necessary heel support to prevent a total collapse of the arch.
Does too much exercise hurt your feet?
As mentioned above, active exercising can actually cause heel spurs. It is typical for many people, especially the athletes to forget the importance of proper foot care when exercising. For them, the primary focus is usually on performance improvement and stress placed on the heel is of no consequence. Continuous stress causes a bone fragment to develop on the heel and which pierces the surrounding tissue causing pain.
Athletes can avoid the condition by having the right kind of shoes when exercising. Remember, a wrong fitting shoe when exercising will also cause heel spurs.
If you are an athlete or an individual that exercises often, there are a number of particular exercises you can do before the actual endurance training. Stretching your heel before doing anything on the field or track will prevent injury and enhance your flexibility.
Heel spurs can keep you from enjoying the little pleasures of life. All your focus is usually on the pain and nothing else. Athletes, those that exercise often, pregnant mothers and the overweight place undue pressure on their heels and it can lead to the painful condition. Heel spur exercises are an effective way of preventing this condition developing. The exercises also help in the healing process.