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heel spurs - pain for life?

Posted by Sarah on 1/26/99 at 00:00 (003901)

I recently had an x-ray of my foot and the x-ray showed a heel spur. The podiatrist said I will always need to wear orthotics, other wise the pain will be severe. Do heel spurs ever go away?

Re: heel spurs - pain for life?

Barbara on 1/26/99 at 00:00 (003907)

Hi Sarah--it's my understanding that heel spurs never go away but I have also been told that some people have huge heel spurs and no pain! Go figure...

Re: heel spurs - pain for life?

Kathy on 1/26/99 at 00:00 (003911)

My pod showed me the x-ray of my left foot. He said I had a 'quite significant' heel spur. That was a year ago. Since then I have tried everything that he has suggested. The orthotics only provide moderate relief, but I am petrified to go without them because even moderate relief is better than none. I have very flat feet and was told that I would have to wear to orthotics for the rest of my life, even if I do have the spur removed (which I will probably do in May). He also told me that the spur you see in the x-ray is only the part of the spur, it is actually about 1' - 1 1/2' across your heel. The spur will never go away without surgery, but if you can find the right treatment, you may be able to be relatively pain-free for awhile. keep us posted, this board is a real life (and sanity)saver for me, and i'm sure you'll find a lot of info and support too! Good luck!

Re: heel spurs - pain for life?

debbie on 1/26/99 at 00:00 (003923)

HI. I had pf and heel spurs in each foot. I had surgery for pf and removal of the heel spur in my left foot. Was on crutches for 10 wks. Dr. said the heel spur was huge! My foot was worse after the surgery. I was suppose to have my other foot done and cancelled. What's the point if my surgery foot wasn't as successful as I thought it should be. My last resort was acupuncture. He says it is not the bone that is hurting you, it is the tissue around it. Makes sense. I had acu and it worked, I don't recommend surgery. The acupncturist says surgery isn't necessary unless the spur is sticking straight down. I do everything now. I recommend acu to everyone, no side affects, and you have nothing to lose. good luck. Debbie

Re: heel spurs - pain for life?

jimmy on 1/26/99 at 00:00 (003950)

my heel spur story is still going on,i had been going to a doctor who
was treating me for a plantars wart on the bottom of my foot. i first
thought the shaving and freezing every other week would take care of
the soreness and the wart. so one night after awaking at 2:00am in the morning from
the pain,i went to another podiatrist who x-rayed the foot
and saw the spur. after 4 shots,two months of ultra- sound treatments
and massages i am not better than i was 8 mths ago. i still have alot
of pain. he told me to use a heated parafin wax that the insurance
paid for and dip my heel in it and let the heated wax bring the blood
to my heel and this will speed up the recovery of the fascia muscle.
no where do i see heat as a cure! should i be icing it?

Re: heel spurs - pain for life?

Dayna on 1/27/99 at 00:00 (003979)

Not all heel spurs hurt, mine don't, they grow straight forward to take the strain off my PF tendon. If you still have the wart, don't have a good answer for you. If you have pain on the bottom, right where the heel bone starts and/or on the side of the heel on the inside, what you've likely got is PF. I haven't found that heat helps, but when I have a bad flare-up I've taken to using the vibrator (Not That Kind of Vibrator!)for 10 - 15 minutes followed by cradling my heel in a bag full of broken up ice. That seems to help, and I also add arch support bands to my normal orthotics. Stay off the feet as much as possible and in a few days it's bearable at least. I also experienced relief with ultrasound, but my new insurance won't pay for a podiatrist without a referral and I can't get one, so if I go I pay for it myself, that's why I'm using the home method. Not as good, but it's free.

Re: heel spurs - taking it off might not be the best idea for you

Dayna on 1/27/99 at 00:00 (003981)

Not all heel spurs hurt, mine don't, they grow straight forward to take the strain off my PF tendon. I had them for years before the PF showed up. My podiatrist said there's no point in taking the spur off, the tendon's too short as it is, best case they'd come back, and they're not what's causing the pain so why bother. I also have very flat feet and have to wear my orthotics and shoes 23 1/2 hours a day, only get to go without them in the shower (have other shoes for that and a bench so I don't have to stand). Best relief I've found is ice and reasonable use of feet, luckily I have a desk job. Other thing I can recommend is good shoes that lace all the way up the foot, no slip-ons, if you can't do that use arch support bands. They should be tight but not painfully so, and practice curling your toes under and then extending them, that helps the tendon relax before you stand on it, reduces the chance of tearing, inflammation and pain.

Re: heel spurs - pain for life?

Dayna on 1/27/99 at 00:00 (003982)

Not all heel spurs hurt, mine don't, they grow straight forward to take the strain off my PF tendon. I had them for years before the PF showed up. My podiatrist said there's no point in taking the spur off, the tendon's too short as it is, best case they'd come back, and they're not what's causing the pain so why bother. The heel spurs may be a symptom of the PF, not the cause, if this was a 'you have heel spurs hence you have PF' 5 minute exam, I suggest you get another opinion, many of us here have proven that some doctors aren't worth the ink on their diplomas when it comes to PF.

I have very flat feet and have to wear my orthotics and shoes 23 1/2 hours a day, only get to go without them in the shower (have other shoes for that and a bench so I don't have to stand). You might not have flat feet and/or have to be so drastic about wearing shoes all the time, but do try not to go barefoot if at all possible. Best relief I've found is ice and reasonable use of feet, luckily I have a desk job. Other thing I can recommend, again, don't know if you have flat feet or not, is good shoes that lace all the way up the foot, no slip-ons, if you can't do that use arch support bands. They should be tight but not painfully so, and practice curling your toes under and then extending them, that helps the tendon relax before you stand on it, reduces the chance of tearing, inflammation and pain.


Re: heel spurs - pain for life?

Sarah on 1/28/99 at 00:00 (004021)

Where can I get an arch support band? Are heel spurs caused from untreated pf? I think maybe the hardwood floors in my house, along with the weight I gained recently contributed to my foot pain.

Re: heel spurs - pain for life?

Sarah on 1/28/99 at 00:00 (004024)

My first time having pf 5 years ago, was after being treated for a plantar's wart. Ice, stretching, and anti-inflammatories cured me.
This time the pain is more stubborn. I use both ice and warm foot baths for relief, it's hard for me to rest because I have a one year old.

Re: heel spurs - pain for life?

Dayna on 1/29/99 at 00:00 (004123)

I got them from my podiatrist, to use until my orthotics were done. They're a band of very elastic fabric, heavier than an ace bandage. It looks like a four inch wide fabric coated hair thingee. If you can't find them, you can use an ace bandage instead, but wrap it tight but not painful, getting the tension correct is more difficult.
You can email me if you want.