An Absence of Pain

December 04, 2006

Heel Spur

During the summer of 2000 I started having pain in my left heel. It was worse in the morning and gradually lessened during the day. Standing in the shower when I first got up was at times extremely painful. After moving back to Illinois in the fall, I went to see a chiropractor I knew and trusted and he took the x-ray you see to the right. I had developed a rather large heel spur.

Through ultra-sound treatments he was able to reduce the calcium build up until the pain went away. When, several months later I started having the same pain sensation in my right foot I returned immediately and had that spur eliminated the same way.

Over the summer of 2004 I started having pain in my right big toe; it felt like my toe had been jammed and hurt enough that I tried different shoes thinking that my sport sandals were causing the problem. Massaging my toe at the end of the day helped, but the pain was pretty much constant, and marked worse when I would take my shoes off to go to bed.

Finally, after a year with no real relief, I sought out a chiropractor in Overland Park to see what could be done. As soon as I explained that I'd had heel spurs and now my big toe hurt, she said, "You've got fallen arches." Turns out there is a tendon attached to the heel and the big toe that runs through the arch of your foot. When the arch falls it stretches this tendon pulling on both insertion points. You either get a heel spur or a painfully sore toe, or, in my case, both.

There is no "cure" for fallen arches except to use a good arch support in all your foot gear. She sent me to the New Balance shoe store where I got a set of extra firm arch supports. Within a day of wearing the arch supports the pain in my toe disappeared. It was almost like magic. Having my skepticism alleviated, I returned to the store for a second set and a new pair of sneakers.

Recently my toe has started to hurt again; the supports are worn out after a year's use, so I went back to the store this weekend for replacements. Naturally they have changed the arch supports and no longer sell the ones I had and liked so much. I got one new pair to test and put them in my shoes today. As with a year ago, the pain has disappeared almost as if by magic.

The absence of pain is a huge relief.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.