With trigger point massage, the heel spur is treated by massaging trigger points. A property of trigger points is that they cause so-called "derived pain". The pain then does not occur where the actual problem is, but in a "derived" place. In the case of heel spurs the pain in the heel is caused by issues in the calf muscles (often the scholar muscle), but it can also be found in the foot muscles.
What are trigger points?
Trigger points can be recognized as painful knots in the muscles. These muscle nodes can cause painful and stiff muscles. They can be detected by massaging the muscle and looking for extra sensitive points. They often arise in fixed places, so that a good therapist can also track them quickly. The cause of the trigger points is not always clear, but it usually has to do with a form of overload, such as bad posture or stress. This can ensure that the muscles are permanently tensioned locally, while they should actually be relaxed. The circulation of the muscle is then bad, with all kinds of unpleasant consequences.
The remarkable thing is that this often causes a kind of derived pain in places other than where the trigger points are located. This is also called myofascial pain. In the case of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis, these trigger points will mainly be in the calves, although they may also be located in the sole of the foot, knee cavity or the upper leg.
Treatment of trigger points: massage
Treatment of the heel spur related trigger points is done by massaging them. This can be done by hand, but tools are sometimes also used as a stump stick, especially with smaller trigger points in difficult to handle areas, for example; one of the trigger points can be directly below the heel trace in the tendon plate, and that is too deep in the tissue to massage by hand, that must be done with a stump stick. Each trigger point must then be massaged 30-60 seconds several times a day. This can easily be done by yourself, although there are also therapists who have specialized in this.
The trigger points in the calf can also be treated by rubbing the calf over the knee, especially on the more painful spots. Achilles tendonitis can be treated in much the same way.