Heel pain

What are heel spurs?

Heel spurs are small bony protrusions on the bottom of your heel. On X-ray images, they look like tiny hooks that point towards the front of your foot. Often, heel spurs develop when you have plantar fasciitis - around 50% of plantar fasciitis sufferers also have heel spurs.

Heel spurs can also develop due to repeated muscle and ligament strain. Athletes can be prone to heel spurs due to the repetitive stress of running and jumping. Heel spurs can also develop for other reasons, including arthritis, irregular walking gait, and unsupportive footwear.

Is heel pain a symptom of heel spurs?

Not necessarily. Only about half of patients with heel spurs experience pain directly related to the heel spur. In many cases, if you have both heel pain and heel spurs, plantar fasciitis is the underlying cause of both. When you treat the plantar fasciitis, that resolves the heel pain.

If you have heel spurs, you may not even know it until your podiatrist takes X-ray images for another reason, for example, to diagnose plantar fasciitis.

If you have heel spur symptoms, you may experience some of the following things.

  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Heel is warm to the touch

If you have heel pain or any of the other heel spur symptoms above, see a specialists podiatrist for relief right away.

How are heel spurs treated?

Heel spur treatment depends on your symptoms and whether you have other conditions like plantar fasciitis as well. Treatment options can include:

  • Ice packs
  • Custom orthotics
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen
  • Physical therapy exercises
  • Rest after heavy exertion or prolonged time on your feet
  • Cortisone injections

If you have plantar fasciitis along with heel spurs, any symptoms caused by heel spurs are likely to go away after your plantar fasciitis treatment.

If your heel spurs are very large or cause chronic problems, you could need surgery to remove them. But, in most cases, you can reduce or eliminate heel pain and other problems caused by heel spurs with non-surgical options suggested by your podiatrist.

Don’t live with heel pain any longer. A specialists podiatrist is available to heal your heel, so book an appointment using the online scheduler or by calling the office location closest to you today.

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