The footpad tendon connects your forefoot to your heel. We refer to it as heel spurs when this tendon is overloaded. This means the tendon’s attachment is infected and under tension. This can cause a sharp and stabbing pain when walking, sitting or standing. People over 40 are particularly affected by it. There are various different causes for heel spur complaints. For example, you can suffer symptoms as a result of:
- Too heavy and taxing work. You will especially have an increased risk of heel spurs when you have to stand a lot.
- Exercising or running on a paved surface.
- Being overweight.
- Abnormal feet, such as a flat foot.
- Any heavy overload you’re not used to.
You have a sharp and stabbing pain in your heel while walking, sitting or standing. This will instantly stop when you rest and elevate your foot. The symptoms usually disappear on their own and last an average of four months. Most people get rid of it within a year.
There are a number of things you can do about heel spurs yourself. For example, it’s important that you:
- Continue to move carefully. Take sufficient rest, because overexertion slows down recovery.
- Wear good and appropriate sports shoes during exercise.
- Don’t overdo any sports training and build it up gradually. Again, avoid overloading.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight.
- Stretch your foot and calf muscles. You can request exercises from a physiotherapist.
- Not doing certain activities if they cause too much pain.
In addition, you can:
- Take a paracetamol for the pain. Read the package leaflet for the correct dosage, or ask your pharmacist for advice.
- Take an ibuprofen or diclofenac for severe pain. Obtain proper advice about the use of these from your GP or pharmacist.
Call your GP if the symptoms have not improved after two to four weeks. Your GP can provide you with further advice and refer you to a physiotherapist or podiatrist.