Article: Heel Spur ...

 Let’s chat about Heel Spur(s) … By Keith Dorsette

It has taken me awhile to get to this inquiry. I had to cross check my general knowledge with a few experts that have tended to participants within our programs in the past. Catching up with them in different time zones has been a challenge. I had to conference with them in parts to swap, share and record the most accurate info as possible.

One of our most recent participants has a major issue with heel spur(s).  I would like to briefly offer a review of what these actually are, how they come about and a few methods of treatment.

Commonly heel spurs are a result of a space between the calcaneus (largest bone in the foot) and the planter. When this exists, the body will try a form of correction by filling it up with bone (calcium deposits). This bone tissue protrudes on the calcaneus usually in the direction of the toes and can be very uncomfortable and painful.

Heel spur(s) are linked to a handful of causes ranging from improper walking or running techniques, bad fitting shoes, high heels, being overweight, comes with aging, higher likeliness with diabetics and even can be genetic for some. There are usually no symptoms that are noticeable by the individual for this condition. It is suggested that all get a good look at the calcaneus and planter area via x-ray when they go for their regular check-ups. Early detection and preventative action is always a better route than treatment!

In regards to treatment, there are a few well established and proven home remedies that can provide rapid and lasting relief. And, there are some prescribed remedies. The individual will have to choose which one(s) suit their condition best. While some experts will suggest surgery to have the spur permanently removed, others will prescribe a drug such as ibuprofen for pain relief. Others will suggest shoe inserts and braces that may be worn while you sleep that keeps the foot at a 90 degree angle (or so), which will relieve pressure. Acupuncture is a common suggestion as well. Note that with acupuncture, it has been cited as a means of a pain shot at times and often has to be repeated. Do your research prior to choosing this option. Additionally, maintaining strength in the area and stretching exercises may also reduce pressure.

I am a stern advocate of natural means, i,e. no drugs! There are a handful of nature’s offerings that promote anti-inflammatory properties that can be directly applied to the treatment of heel spur(s). In no particular order … coconut oil can be applied topically on the area. This works as an anti-inflammatory agent and can battle against swelling. Icing the area can provide some relief as well. Rolling the area on an ice bottle can have some effect on pain relief. Internally, a few drinks a day of a cup of water, 1 tspn of apple cider vinegar, 1 tspn of honey … can go to work on prevention of swelling throughout your entire body. 2x daily of a tspn of turmeric plus warm milk will assist with prevention of swelling as well. Alfalfa tea throughout the day can stimulate your body to fight against swelling. Make sure to include into your diet foods that are loaded with healthy omega 3 oils for stimulation of anti-inflammatory properties within the body. A cabbage leaf wrap has been known to provide relief. Heat up a few leaves and wrap them inside of a gauge around the affected area. The cabbage acts as an anti-inflammatory officer on duty. Soaking of the area in salt water or a borax solution provides relief as well. A deep massage of the planter and the calcaneus across the connecting fibers can help. You may also try a leather insert. Leather naturally will adjust to the exact form of your foot, hence a more accurate and natural feel for the reduction of pressure. Look for a leather insert that may be filled via a zipper.

I cannot emphasize enough to all of you to govern your body with a strict iron fist! We are very quick to just assume that we are fine! Once you are in that comfort zone of “thinking” that everything is okay with no scientific evidence that supports this comfort zone … you are prime to have a heel spur or other condition ambush you, even kill you. You have a choice. Manage your body meticulously like a forensic accountant looking for fraudulent or unusual activity or assume that all is just fine. When you need to pay a bill and realize that your account that you thought was full has been hacked and exhausted … you will remember that the last time you checked it was too long ago. That negligence has left you open for a lethal attack on your health account.

SAAF CAMP is not about weight loss!!! Unfortunately, we have to use that phrase to attract attention to our programs. We are a means to prevent NCDs and numerous other conditions that can disrupt and offset the quality of your life. Now that you have completed a phase of your journey … it is up to you to continue the practices of prevention! Give your body the tools it needs to do the job it is designed for. Your body will repay you by fighting against illnesses and preventable conditions. Celebrate Your Health Daily. Mazel Tov.         -KD