Heel spur and chronic fasciitis plantaris are the most common consequences of permanent overloading of the feet soles in the developed world. Hard floors and inflexible, supporting shoes, mean a large portion of the load while walking and standing has to be borne by the heel.
This often leads to long-term pain and complaints in the area of the heel.
The solutions offered by medicine and the footwear industry are either extremely expensive, or tend to aggravate the problem in the long run because they only address the symptoms and not the causes.
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Inflammation on the sole of the foot, more precisely at the insertion point of the plantar tendon to the heel bone. In more chronic cases of inflammation, a bony ganglion (spur) can form. These are called heel spurs.
Increased ossification of the posterior upper tendon insertion on the heel with complaints due to pressure from the edge of the shoe.
It is not important where the spur/ossification is located. The treatment for both clinical pictures is the same: It is important that the foot rolls over and that the shortened/stiffened musculature/tendons are mobilised. The kybun shoe/kybun mat is ideal here.
A typical analysis
Inflammation of the plantar fascia is the body’s reaction to excessive strain in this area. Plantar fasciitis is usually caused by too great a load on the painful point. The plantar fascias shorten and agglutinate as a result (the body wants to strengthen them in order to counteract the excessive strain). This puts even more pressure on the painful area.
One of the main causes of shortening of the plantar tendon is limited movement of the feet in everyday life. Since we usually walk on hard surfaces such as concrete and wear rigid shoes (e.g. business shoes with stiff soles or shoes with heels), freedom of movement for the feet is extremely restricted. As a result, most ankle joints are never really used fully. They appear superfluous to the body, and it begins adapting the feet – constructed by nature to be highly mobile – to everyday life in western civilisation by stabilising or ‘stiffening’ them.
From the view of the fascia
The whole body is enveloped by fascia, which are connected to each other. Thus the painful area of the heel spur is also connected to each other over the whole rear Myo-Fascial chain. If there are adhesions and/or shortenings in one or more areas of this chain, this causes an unnatural amount of tension in the whole line. These adhesions and shortenings are caused by the unnatural walking and standing on the hard, flat everyday floors, as well as long periods of sitting.
If we have a heavy load on the sole of the foot (plantar fascia) due to the prolonged tension, the periosteum (consisting of fascia) surrounding the heel is pulled away from the bone. The body's reaction now is that it wants to fill the resulting cavity with additional bone material. It does this with so-called osteoblasts (bone-forming cells). The bone thus grows in the direction where its shell is "pulled away". A heel spur (ossification) is formed. The pain itself is not directly triggered by the heel spur (or ossification) (because this is actually a natural process), but the pain arises when the heel spur comes into contact with a sensitive nerve.
In response to pain over many months, the body develops compensating mechanisms to relieve the painful area on the foot when the underlying problem is left untreated. Increased strain is placed on the sound foot, the affected individual begins limping and this leads to improper strain on other joints (the knee, hip, back ...). Since every person responds differently, many different compensating mechanisms are developed by affected individuals. This means various joints can be overstrained.
Most doctors prescribe a pad that is placed under the heel.
Orthopaedic insoles are also prescribed in some cases.
In physiotherapy, heel spur is treated with ultrasound and/or electrotherapy, trigger point therapy and massage, among other things. Exercises are used to actively stretch and strengthen the foot and lower leg muscles.
When the plantar tendon is inflamed with/without a tear in the aponeurosis or heel spur, it is important to be gentle with the affected point so that it can heal. In the kybun shoe, the foot is able to achieve a natural rollover on the soft, elastic sole. This results in gentle mobilisation and stretching of the plantar tendon. This is important for the healing process because good circulation of the plantar tendon is achieved by rollover. Circulation, in turn, removes inflammatory substances from the tissue and promotes healing by providing a good supply of oxygen. The cause of the plantar tendon problem is thereby treated. Furthermore, when the kybun shoe or the kybun mat is used, the weight of the foot is distributed over the entire sole of the foot, which reduces point pressure and relieves the heel.
Only plantar tendon therapy with stretching and mobilisation provides relief for the painful point (heel spur at the tendon insertion), alleviating the inflammation.
Specific initial reactions with heel spur:
Due to the shortening of the calf musculature and the aponeurosis in the foot, pronounced stretching may occur, which can lead to inflammations. If this occurs with you, it is important to take breaks and/or integrate a ‘gentle trot’ with the kybun shoe in your daily routine. It is better to walk in the kyBoot rather than stand, but it is absolutely essential to wear it regularly.
If the kybun shoe is only worn occasionally, the stretching will not be maintained and inflammatory pain is always going to return.
Click here for the general initial reactions experienced by kybun mat and kybun shoe beginners: Initial reactions
For information about the special kybun shoe exercises or the basic kybun mat exercises, please click here: kybun exercises
The following adaptations to the standard implementation of interval walking are important in case of heel spur :
- Take short steps and avoid excessive rollover on the heel in order to prevent further irritation
- Focus more on exercising slowly
– in case of severe pain, also walk backwards
- Avoid excessive rollover during fast exercises (prevent irritation)
The most important thing is to avoid any impact on the painful area of the heel if possible! This is best achieved in the beginning by taking small steps with the kybun shoe or kybun mat and setting the heel down gently.
Then perform the rollover across the entire foot and push off over the big toe. This alternately stretches the aponeurosis in the sole of the foot and relaxes it in the swing phase.
If you feel the sole of your foot cramping, I advise you to relax the affected foot in the air while standing (move the foot in a circular motion, wiggle the toes, move the foot in all possible directions; whatever feels good to you).
We advise wearing the kybun shoe without insoles. If you have orthopaedic insoles, you can put them in your ‘normal’ shoes and wear them during kybun shoe breaks as passive relief for the feet. Many kybun shoe users who used to wear insoles report that they no longer need them. But everybody will react differently!
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