Severe heel pain? You may be suffering from a Calcaneal Thorn.
People living with heel spurs often compare the sensation to that of a spike digging into their heel with every step. Sufferers describe a particularly pronounced pain when they wake up in the morning, and as the day progresses, this painful sensation diminishes. In fact, the pain gradually diminishes as the musculo-fascial tissues of the sole of the foot and calf relax with movement.
However, if you don't engage in physical activity immediately, the initial heel pain may progress to the development of a heel spur. Stabbing heel pain can persist and severely limit your daily activities. As a result, this pathology can lead to a constant feeling of discomfort and restriction in your usual routine.
What is a Calcanean Thorn?
Calcaneal Spur is a thorn-like bony growth that can form on the calcaneus, the heel bone. This condition usually results from irritation of the plantar fascia, a band of tendinous tissue located under the sole of the foot, hence its other name, plantar fasciitis. Calcaneal spur can also be triggered by overuse of the Achilles tendon, which encourages the development of this bony growth on the upper part of the calcaneus. The persistence of overuse exerts tension on the periosteum, leading to the formation of calluses and bone calcifications. This is commonly known as Calcaneal Spur. Although not usually visible to the naked eye, it can be diagnosed on X-ray.
There are two types of Clacanean Thorn :
Posterior calcaneal spine (cranial calcaneal spine) : In this case, the bony outgrowth forms at the base of the calcaneus, at the Achilles tendon. Pain is felt under the heel. Posterior calcaneal spur occurs when the Achilles tendon is overworked.
Inferior heel spur (plantar heel spur) : The bony deformity appears here on the underside of the heel. The inferior heel spur is created when the plantar fascia is overworked.
What are the symptoms of Calcanean Spur?
When you set out to do something, you may feel a stabbing pain in your heel. Mornings bring their share of "cold" pains, especially when you take your first steps after waking up. These pains are not limited to the foot, but can also radiate down the leg.
As a result of the inflammatory reaction, the calcaneal spur may swell, creating a sensation of heat in the heel area. Sometimes, a slight elevation may even be visible or palpable in the heel. Although heel spurs can often go unnoticed due to the absence of obvious symptoms, some people do suffer from them. At one time, heel spurs were often treated surgically, with little success in alleviating long-term pain. However, the good news is that surgery is only necessary in exceptional cases. On the other hand, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort of heel spurs with the tips below.
What causes a Calcanean Spur?
Inadequate postural habits and excessive strain when standing, walking or running are the main sources of heel spurs.
Calcaneal spur caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia or, more rarely, the Achilles tendon:
When you subject the tendons in your feet to excessive and prolonged strain due to long periods of standing or sporting activity, non-physiological tensions can emerge. In fact, micro-tears or inflammations can also develop in the heel area. In fact, micro-tears or inflammations can also develop in the heel. This is known as plantar fasciitis. So, in response to this incorrect posture, your body adapts by accumulating calcium at the base of the tendons under increased pressure. This accumulation is designed to strengthen the calcaneus and restore the natural tension balance. However, this bony outgrowth is not responsible for the pain. This is the result of increased tension on the periosteum and, in advanced stages, chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia. More rarely, heel pain can result from increased tension and inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
Calcaneal Spur caused by a lack of mobility at the sacroiliac joint:
The sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum to the ilium, the back of the pelvis to the spine. Although it may seem surprising, reduced pelvic mobility can lead to heel problems. Indeed, the often unilateral lack of mobility of the sacroiliac joint can lead to misalignment of the pelvis. Altered tensions along the posterior myofascial chain create a length imbalance between the legs. As a result, weight is distributed unevenly across your feet. As a result, the calf and foot muscles are overloaded on the side with the greatest stress. The heel adopts an unnatural position, over-tensioning the plantar fascia and causing inflammation.Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
What to do in case of Calcanean Thorn?
At rest: To begin with, pay particular attention to protecting the affected area. For example, avoid activities that place high demands on your feet, such as prolonged standing, running, jogging or jumping. Ideally, take a break from your sporting activities to allow the area to recover.
Hot and cold therapy: Applying cold can soothe pain associated with inflammation, while heat helps loosen tense muscles and fascia. So choose the method that gives you the most comfort and relief.
Massages: Evidence shows that self-massage of the plantar fascia and calf muscles can improve mobility and reduce muscle tension. So, when self-massaging the plantar fascia, pay attention to a few key points: work close to the heel spur, apply light pressure in the painful area. Don't forget to pay attention to the mobility of the sacroiliac joint. These simple measures can help relieve heel spur symptoms and promote a faster recovery.
Muscle stretching: Incorporating stretching exercises in a recumbent position can be beneficial for stretching shortened foot and calf muscles. In fact, this approach helps to promote the restoration of connective tissue, supporting a more effective healing process.
Wear orthopedic insoles:
When dealing with heel spurs and heel pain, there are beneficial measures to consider. It's crucial to restore the natural balance of tension in the connective tissues and strengthen the muscles in your feet.
The orthopedic insoles for Calcanean Thorn prove to be invaluable allies. Custom-designed to fit the unique structure of your feet perfectly, these insoles offer targeted support and strategic cushioning where it matters most. Indeed, heel spur, a painful bony growth in the heel, is often the result of increased tension on the plantar fascia and surrounding tissues. Orthotics play an essential role in reducing this excessive tension and distributing weight more evenly over the whole foot.
How to avoid a Calcanean Thorn :
Choose your footwear wisely and vary your running shoes regularly. Worn shoes and those with a pronounced arch (a significant difference in height between the heel and the forefoot) can encourage the development of Calcaneal Spurs.
Equip yourself with thermoformed orthopedic insoles, designed with cushioning materials and good arch support structures.
Manage your weight: If you're overweight, the pressure on your heel can become excessive.
Experiment with barefoot walking: Gradually try walking without shoes. This approach redistributes weight not along the joint chain, but through the musculo-fascial chain. This is particularly useful in summer, when you can walk outdoors on a variety of surfaces. Grass, moss and sand are particularly suitable.
Engage in regular activities to mobilize and stimulate your foot muscles.
New Equilibre insoles, the essential accessory:
Designed by French orthopedists based on over 30 years' experience working with thousands of patients, New Equilibre offers high-tech insoles to improve your daily comfort. It's important to note that New Equilibre insoles are not just a treatment solution. They are also a means of long-term prevention. By correcting biomechanical imbalances and improving posture, they can help prevent recurrences of heel spur and promote better overall foot health. In short, orthotics offer a proactive, personalized approach to effective heel spur relief, enabling you to regain comfort and mobility in your daily life.
Discover all New Equilibre insoles on our online store: