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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A heel spur develops when calcium builds up on the underside of your heel bone. Heel spurs can be caused by inflammation or strains on your foot muscles and ligaments. Heel spurs are often painless unless the tissue around your heel swells. This pain is often worse when you walk, jog, or run.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your pain gets worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Your healthcare provider may suggest any of the following:
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Rest your injured foot so that it can heal. You may need to avoid putting any weight on your leg for at least 48 hours. Return to normal activities as directed.
- Ice the injury for 20 minutes every 4 hours, or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel to protect your skin. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
- Stretch before you get out of bed and as directed. This loosens your muscles and tendons in your legs and feet. Ask your healthcare provider which stretches you should do and how often to do them.
- Your healthcare provider may give you a shoe insert such as a pad or heel cup. He may tell you to tape your foot. Ask your healthcare provider to show you how to tape your feet properly. Decrease stress on your muscles and tendons in your feet by taping your foot or wearing the insert.
- Wear properly fitting shoes. Shoes with good arch and heel support decrease the pressure on your heels.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Pressure on your heels increases with increased weight. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss program if you are overweight.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need special inserts for your shoes. You may need more tests or treatments. Your healthcare provider may suggest physical therapy. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.