A calcium deposit causing a protrusion on the underside of the heel bone is known as a heel spur. Heel spurs are typically linked to plantar fasciitis (when the ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes is strained, weakened, swollen or irritated). Heel spurs are the result of strains on foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone. This is a common affliction of athletes who practice sports involving great amounts of running and jumping.
Heel spurs themselves do not cause pain but rather the soft tissue injuries associated with them. People suffering with heel spurs will often feel as if a pin is sticking into the bottom of their feet when the first stand up in the morning. The pain will typically subside over time but can return after standing or sitting for prolonged periods.
This condition can result from a number of different factors. Causes of heel spurs can include: walking gait (an abnormality that places excessive stress on the heel bone, ligaments and nerves near the heel); running on hard surfaces; ill-fitting shoes (in particular those lacking proper arch support); and carrying excess weight.
Treatments for heel spurs can include stretching exercises and physical therapy; anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and even surgery.
Heel spurs can easily be prevented and treated through the use of the BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ Strengthening System. The Barefoot Science insoles help to ease the tension and strain placed on the plantar fascia which heal the damaged tissues and prevent a recurrence of the problem. The insoles allow the arch to stabilize naturally, keeping the heel spur parallel to the ground, and less likely to protrude into surrounding tissue.
Pain and inflammation at the ball of the foot (known as the metatarsal) is referred to as metatarsalgia. This type of foot condition is most prevalent in people who participate in sports or activities that involve running or jumping. Ill-fitting shoes can also be a cause of metatarsalgia.
Symptoms typically associated with metatarsalgia are: sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of the foot (the part of the sole just behind the toes); pain that worsens when standing, ,walking, running or flexing the feet; sharp or shooting pain, numbness or tingling in the toes; and the feeling of having a pebble in your shoe. These symptoms can be brought on by a number of different factors such as: intense training or activity related to a high impact sport (runners are extremely vulnerable to this condition); having a high arch (which puts extra pressure on the metatarsals); foot deformities such as hammertoe and bunions; excess body weight which puts increased pressure on the metatarsals and poorly fitted shoes (such as heels or shoes with narrow toes, or shoes that aren’t well padded); and suffering from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
Remedies to aid the pain of metatarsalgia include: resting and elevating the feet after prolonged periods of standing or walking; icing the affected area; taking anti-inflammatory medication; and the use of arch supports or metatarsal pads.
BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ can remedy this problem through the use of the BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ insoles. Our insoles feature a dome contour that help to open up the affected area through gentle pressure thus reducing pain. The Barefoot Science System encourages the foot to work, increasing circulation and making the muscles stronger. The insoles also help with shock absorption and arch support helping to minimize problems with metatarsalgia.