Located on the underside of the heel bone, a heel spur is a pointed calcium deposit that can cause pain and inflammation in the heel. Heel spurs are also referred to as calcaneal spurs. They are often associated with conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
Heel Spurs Causes
A heel spurs usually develop where the heel attaches to the plantar fascia or the Achilles tendon. Sports involving running or jumping can cause excessive strain on this connective tissue. Pain can result from the stress and inflammation as the tissue pulls on the bone. In response to the stress, the body may generate extra bone in the form of heel spurs.
Heel spurs risk factors can include:
- Walking abnormalities that put excessive stress on the heel area
- Running on hard surfaces
- Footwear that doesn't fit, is worn, or lacks arch support
- Being overweight
Heel Spurs Symptoms
While many people with heel spurs experience no problems, some common symptoms may include:
- Pain with first steps after getting out of bed
- Pain that worsens with activity
- Pain when rising from a seated position
- Stabbing pain in the heel of the foot
- Swelling that does not subside
Heel Spurs Treatment
Heel spurs are diagnosed with an x-ray. Most cases are treated through self-care with recommended:
- Exercises - to stretch and strengthen the connective tissue
- Orthotics - shoe inserts to cushion the heel and relieve strain
- Taping - to relieve stress on muscles and tendons
- Icing - to reduce inflammation and swellingv
- Elevation - to relieve stress and pressure
When heel spurs not respond to these non-invasive treatments, surgery may be indicated to remove the spurs.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of heel spurs, contact us to schedule an appointment. We will provide a complete evaluation and prescribe the best course of treatment for you.