Treatment For Bone Spurs In The Foot
Bone spurs can limit movement and cause a significant amount of discomfort. Caused mostly by generative diseases such as osteoarthritis, the likelihood of developing bone spurs increases with age. Athletes are also at a high risk of bone spurs, especially in the feet. Overly tight shoes and obesity can cause bone spurs along the heel and top of the foot. Treatment often includes over the counter pain medications and physical therapy. Surgery is reserved for more extreme cases.
What are bone spurs?
Bone spurs are tiny smooth projections along the edges of the bone. Most often found between joints, but bone spurs can also show up along the spine. Not all bone spurs cause problems and can go undetected for many years. Bones spurs become problematic when pressing on other structures of the body, such as tendons or nerves. Bone spurs are diagnosed via x-rays. Symptoms include joint pain, weakness/numbness in the extremities, muscle spasms, cramps, and pain when bending the affected joint. If the bone spur is pressing on the spine, this can cause bladder and bowel problems.
What causes bone spurs?
Most bone spurs are caused by degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis. As individuals age, the likelihood of developing bone spurs increases. When the cartilage along the ends of the bones begins to break down, the body will create bone spurs to replace the lost cushioning. Injuries can also lead to the creation of bone spurs as the body will try to fix damaged areas by adding more bone. Additional causes of bone spurs include genetics, obesity, and diet.
Bone spurs in the feet
Bone spurs in the foot are often caused by athletics, injury, and tight shoes. Obesity places extra weight on the feet and ankle joints, increasing the chances of bone spurs. Bone spurs in the feet appear mostly on the top or in the heel. Symptoms include redness, swelling, corns between the toes, and pain when walking or performing specific activities.
Not all bone spurs require extensive treatment. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to relieve discomfort and reduce swelling. Special attention will need to be paid as certain pain relievers can cause problems if taken for long periods. Rest can help reduce irritation caused by the bone rubbing up against joints or tendons. Steroid shots and heat/ice therapies can reduce joint pain/swelling. For bone spurs in the feet, changing footwear can help alleviate many symptoms. Though movement can be painful, physical therapy can improve joint strength and reduce pain/inflammation. Weight loss is crucial to reduce the pressure on the bones of the feet. Surgery is only used for more severe cases. Walking boots and rest post-surgery can aid in the recovery process.
Prevention is crucial
Bone spurs can go undetected for years. Most are found when the bone spur begins to put pressure on tendons/nerves. Maintaining a healthy weight and wearing proper footwear are the best methods in preventing bone spurs, in the feet. A healthy diet can lead to stronger bones and reduce the chances of developing osteoarthritis later in life. Treatment often includes a combination of pain medication and physical therapy. Anyone experiencing foot pain should speak with a healthcare provider or podiatrist for treatment options.