Do you experience pain in your heel area on a regular basis? If so, have you ever considered wearing an insole in your shoe to address the problem? For those who are not familiar with these types of products, now might be a good time to learn how to alleviate your pain.
Heel spur insoles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, but they all have the same goal: adding extra support for your foot to relieve heel pain. Although heel spurs are usually not responsible for the pain, in most cases they are related to other painful foot conditions. Treating these conditions will in turn relieve your pain, and heel spur insoles are often the perfect solution to accomplish this.
Understanding Heel Spurs and How They Relate to Pain
A heel spur is a type of bone spur that develops towards the back of the calcaneus, or heel bone. These bony growths are made of calcium and form slowly over time, when structures in the heel are pushed beyond their limits.
Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis – This condition occurs when a ligament called the plantar fascia becomes inflamed or irritated. The plantar fascia connects the back of the heel to the front of the toes, and its job is to be a shock absorber for your feet. Plantar fasciitis results from too much damage to this ligament, and typically leads to a stabbing pain under the arch and/or heel of the foot.
- Achilles tendinitis – The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It attaches the calf muscles to the back of the heel and allows you to stand on your toes when walking, running, or jumping. Achilles tendinitis often develops when active individuals train too hard or intensely without enough rest, and it leads to pain at the back of the heel or directly above it.
If either of these conditions comes about, a heel spur is likely to grow in response. In fact, according to one study, approximately 50% of patients with plantar fasciitis also have bone spurs. What happens in both cases is that after the plantar fascia or Achilles tendon becomes damaged, the body creates a heel spur to try to provide extra support for the heel.
When a heel spur forms, it is usually not responsible for causing any foot pain on its own. Instead, the pain is due to the foot condition that caused the spur. So, if you have a heel spur and notice pain at the back of the heel, you probably have Achilles tendinitis. If the pain is on the bottom of the heel, plantar fasciitis is most likely the reason. Many people have heel spurs without any symptoms at all, and experts are still trying to figure out exactly how spurs relate to heel pain.
How Heel Spur Insoles Can Address the Problem
Since heel spurs are more of the result rather than the cause of heel pain, treatment tends to focus on fixing the actual foot problem. Some of the most commonly recommended treatments for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis include rest, ice, pain-relieving medications, and physical therapy. A physical therapist can also provide specific stretching and strengthening exercises for the heel region to reduce pain and improve your function.
Another essential ingredient to treating these conditions is a heel spur insole. These orthotic devices are placed in any type of shoe and are worn regularly to support and stabilize the foot. After wearing them for enough time, insoles will relieve heel spur pain and prevent it from coming back. Heel spur insoles are available in three specific designs: heel cups, orthotic insoles, and night splints:
- The smallest and simplest type of orthotic for heel pain relief: can be easily inserted into just about any pair of shoes. Some have a sticky backing to keep them in place.
- Made of gel, silicone, or plastic
- Address foot pain in two ways:
- 1) Lift up the heel slightly, which reduces tension on the Achilles tendon, and this in turn alleviates pressure on the plantar fascia.
- 2) Provide shock absorption for the heel, which reduces stress on the plantar fascia even more.
- Be sure to wear heel cups in both shoes, or other problems can develop.
- Provide arch support and cushioning for some or all of the foot
- Ideal for correcting foot shape issues like flat feet or high arches, which may be contributing to heel pain associated with spurs
- Available in full length, 2/3 length, or 1/2 length sizes
- Range from over-the-counter to semi-customizable and fully customizable
- Tread Labs offers three types of semi-customizable orthotic insoles
- The Stride, Stride Thin, and Stride Short are each designed to provide therapeutic support for every type of shoes. With several arch height options, this guarantees a perfect fit.
- Treat heel pain related to plantar fasciitis throughout the night.
- Hold the foot and toes back so that the calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia are kept slightly stretched (since most people usually sleep with their feet pointing down).
- Simple and effective way to alleviate heel pain that strikes in the morning with the first steps of the day.
- Available in a boot style cast, sleep supports, and sock style supports
Walk Better. Feel Better. Live Better.
There is absolutely no reason you should let pain associated with a heel spur hold you back from enjoying your life. Most foot problems that cause this type of pain can be corrected with straightforward steps that you can take on your own. We recommend that you try our plantar fasciitis inserts for your heel pain. They correct the cause of the problem better than a gel heel cup, and we believe you’ll soon notice a major difference in your comfort. If you still need more convincing, read some of our glowing customer reviews and see how our insoles have been changing people’s lives for the better.