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Grab your favorite shoes in spite of heel spurs: with shock waves against pain
Colorful ballerinas and airy sandals are among the favorite shoes of many women in summer. If unpadded shoes lead to heel pain with every step, a heel spur, a thorny, bony extension on the heel bone, often causes the discomfort. Between ten and twenty percent of all adults between the ages of 50 and 60 suffer from such calcium deposits, whereby women are affected far more frequently than men. In many cases, small exercises help to prevent the development or to alleviate existing complaints. In addition, shock wave therapy provides a gentle treatment alternative to surgery.
"Not only the wrong footwear, but also overloading during sports, being overweight and misaligned feet favor the formation of such a spur," explains Dr. Ramin Nazemi, board member of "orthonet-NRW", an association of established orthopedic surgeons from North Rhine-Westphalia. People who do their job standing up often complain of aching heels. In order to ensure greater stability and relief of the tendons, the body deposits limescale on the tendon attachments. Over time, a bony extension forms. Basically, such a deposit does not always cause complaints. Uncomfortable pain only arises when the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed.
If you feel like stepping into a nail at every step, the best thing to do is to see an orthopedic surgeon. He determines the right treatment method based on the type and extent of the spur. With short-term complaints, it usually helps to relieve the pressure on the foot and to cool it until the pain subsides. Padded insoles help to heal the inflammation. It minimizes pressure on the heel. When conservative treatments don't work, experts often use shock wave therapy. With this method, bundled sound waves hit the affected area, which leads to a softening of the process. They stimulate the metabolism and accelerate the healing process. In contrast to an operation, the treatment poses no risk with high chances of success. Many patients experience an improvement after the first treatment. The treatment achieves an optimal result after three to six applications.
It doesn't have to go that far, however. Those who do not want to do without their sandals on warm days prefer to treat their feet to a change. Other padded shoes that optimally support the foot prevent overloading. Small exercises also reduce discomfort and have a preventive effect. They take up little time and are easy to integrate into everyday life. Folding a towel with your feet or massaging the soles of your feet with a hedgehog ball relieves the ligaments and promotes physical stability. “These exercises stretch and strong tendons and muscles of the sole of the foot. The best way for patients to learn them is under the guidance of an orthopedic surgeon and to continue them at home on a regular basis, ”advises Dr. Nazemi. (pm)