If you’ve ever had a bone spur on the top of your foot, you know how annoying it can be. Bone spurs are actually a common problem and often appear on the top of the mid-foot, which is a collection of joints in the middle of the foot.
Best described as a bony projection, bone spurs on top of the foot can develop for a number of reasons. These spurs lead to inflammation of soft tissue in a way that’s similar to arthritis. In some instances, bone spurs don’t cause any symptoms and go undetected for months or years. In other cases, there is aching pain or a sharp pain associated with spurs.
While most people think of a bone spur as a sharp bone, it’s really an extra bone that’s usually smooth but causes problems when it presses or rubs on other bones, soft tissue, or tendons.
Foot Bone Spur: Causes and Symptoms
Bone spurs can be difficult to diagnose due to a lack of symptoms. Bone spur causes can usually be detected when pain, swelling, or corns and calluses appear.
The following list outlines causes of bone spurs on top of the foot:
- Age: Bone spurs tend to become more common as we age. Extra bone builds up as a way of protecting and repairing the area. Excessive pressure over a long period of time can lead to the formation of spurs. Also, when cartilage starts to wear off due to aging, spurs can form. This can cause pain since there’s no cushion between bones.
- Activities: Running, dancing, and other activities that put stress and pressure on the foot can cause bone spurs. Often what happens is that the long ligament at the bottom of the foot called plantar fascia becomes tight and over-stressed.
- Footwear: When shoes are too tight, and they’re worn on a regular basis, this causes repetitive friction, which is traumatic for your feet.
- Injury: A serious fracture or even a minor bruise can lead to a build-up of calcium that could develop into a spur.
- Being Overweight: Spurs can be the result of being overweight. Often, the long ligament found on the bottom of the foot becomes tight and stressed with excess weight, which then causes a pull in the heel that leads to inflammation of the ligament and eventually the formation of a bone spur on the foot.
- Flat Foot: Some people have an improperly aligned arch in their foot that can lead to bone spurs.
- Osteoarthritis: This is a degenerative process. In some cases of osteoarthritis, bone cartilage breaks up and tries to cover the loss by developing extra bone growth.
With wear-and-tear or injury damage articular cartilage, raw bone ends can rub together. At this stage, a bone spur may develop on top of the bone. This can prevent the toe from bending the way it needs to when you’re walking, so you may end up with a bone spur on top of the foot near the big toe. This is commonly referred to as a stiff big toe or hallux rigidus. A bone spur on top of the foot near the big toe can be painful and confining for some people.
The symptoms of a bone spur on the foot vary depending on the location and cause. In many cases, people don’t feel any symptoms, at least in the beginning. Most people notice that they have a problem when the bone spur starts to rub against nerves, muscle, or other bones.
Stiffness, pain, and numbness are typical complaints. There are cases where the foot will swell and be tender. It can be hard to wear shoes or walk. You can feel a bone spur on the foot, as it will be like a hard lump.
Natural Treatment Tips for Bone Spurs on Top of the Foot
Bone spur on top of foot treatment is required when pain, swelling, and other symptoms are severe. If you have an uncomfortable spur, you might have to try a few different approaches before you find one that works best for you. Keep in mind that you have natural remedies to choose from as well as traditional treatments.
Here are some common treatments for bone spurs on top of the foot, including natural remedies:
- Icepack: Applying an ice pack on the affected joint four to five times per day may help reduce inflammation. You can also try a heating pad if icepacks are not working for you. Some people find that taking alternate hot and cold baths also address inflammation.
- Herbs: There are herbs that seem to help relieve the pain that’s associated with bone spurs. Consuming 500–1500 mg of curcumin on an empty stomach three to four times a day is one treatment. Taking linseed oil, warming it up a little, soaking a cheesecloth in it and then placing it over the affected spot can be helpful, especially if you cover the cloth with plastic and then place a heating pad over it for an hour or two.
- Weight Loss: Some people find that once they drop weight, it takes the pressure off the bones and pain diminishes. Losing weight is particularly helpful if you suffer from osteoarthritis or plantar fasciitis.
- Changing Footwear: Making adjustments like ensuring your shoes are fitting properly and using shoe inserts can help improve the condition.
- Don’t ignore Corns: It’s important not to overlook treating corns or calluses on the foot. Treatment will help ease pain linked to bone spurs.
- Pain Relievers: There are those who find that no matter what they do, the pain persists. If some of the above approaches don’t work for you, you may want to discuss painkillers with your doctor. Some doctors recommend corticosteroid injections but it really does depend on the severity of your condition.
Bone spur on top of the foot surgery is a reality for some individuals. In fact, bone spurs are one of the most common reasons for foot surgery. When a bone spur is on the toes, a doctor can remove it with a procedure that involves a minimal incision. Basically, a small incision is made above the bone spur and a high-powered drill is used to remove the spur. It’s a procedure that’s done under local anesthesia.
It can be difficult to prevent bone spurs altogether since there are some causes that remain a mystery. Still, there are steps you can take to avoid bone spurs in the foot. For instance, make sure when you purchase shoes that they fit properly. If you have high or low arches, consider orthotics or padding. Additionally, if you already know you have arthritis, consider the risks of a bone spur on the foot and speak with your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of spur symptoms.
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