Heel spur pads are one of the best known methods of treating excruciating pain, which the calcium deposit in the heel bone is capable of causing.
Heel spur pads are simple orthotics devices. They are simple pads which can be positioned in the shoes of the patient and worn all through the day to alleviate the pain caused by heel spurs. They provide a cushion to the heels and help in absorbing pressure and force exerted to the plantar fascia, which helps the over-stressed tissues heal at a faster rate.
How heel spur pads help?
Heel spur pads are designed to help re-stretch the plantar fascia ligament while also increasing the density of fat at the heel, which is the natural shock absorber for the body. Besides this, the design should be such that it provides structural support to the heel bone and helps prevent the mid-foot area form collapsing. Pads which are designed keeping these specifications in mind can make life a lot easier for patients who have been facing a lot of trouble while standing, walking and all other forms of physical activity.
What to look for in heel spur pads?
Most people suffering from heel spurs make the mistake of going to the nearest medical store and picking up a pair of heel spur pads, usually without consulting their podiatrist. Such people need to keep in mind that while most heel spur pads do tend to add padding to a pair of wearied shoes, they lack the specific features that would help them address heel spur pain. While buying pads, make sure to pick up a pair of orthotics that applies acupressure at the right points along the heel to help mitigate the pain besides providing adequate cushioning to the heel thereby helping take off stress from the plantar fascia. Do not look for mere comfort. The most comfortable pair of orthotics need not necessarily be the best one in the long run and could even cause damage to the already over-stressed plantar fascia.
People with special needs
Flat-footed people or people with high arched feet who are at a greater risk of heel spurs due to the unnatural shape of their feet are likely to benefit more from heel spur pads. Such people can try horse shoe pads and specially designed shoe-inserts which help to redistribute the weight of the body while walking and standing in a manner that will relieve the plantar fascia tissue.
Types of heel spur pads
Heel spur pads can be of various types:
Low profile heel pads: These are shoe inserts made of medium density silicone which helps to absorb the pressure ob the heel. The silicone in the pads helps them to retain their shape, and not cause any deformation even after wearing for long periods. Besides, they are washable and can be reused.
Flexible dress heel spur pads: They are thin heel wraps made of silicone. Once they are placed in the heel area of the shoe, they keep the heel securely in one place and most of them can be trimmed according to the shape of the shoe worn by the patient or his foot-size.
Waffle-designed low profile pads: These low profile heel spur pads are thin and can, therefore, be worn comfortably with most types of shoes. Their waffle design maximizes shock absorption and they are ideal for activities which cause high stress to the plantar fascia. Most waffle designed pads are again washable and can be put to use for long periods.
Inspite of the easy availability of a variety of heel spur pads in the market under various brand names, people suffering from this problem should not make the mistake of randomly picking up orthotics without consulting a podiatrist. Heel spur pads should be chosen only after carefully studying the causes of the spur and the specific needs of the patient that need to be addressed.