What is Heel Spur?

Heel Spur Symptoms: Treatment and Relief from Heel Spur

Heel Spur is a small calcium deposit which causes bony protrusions at the bottom of the heel’s bone. Developing most often over a period of a few months, it is primarily the result of a pre-existing plantar fasciitis condition. Heel spurs typically form when the plantar fascia, which is a long, stretched ligament at the bottom of the foot, separates slightly from the heel bone. Calcium deposits then grow at this site of inflammation, forming a “hook” shaped spur. This is a common condition amongst jumping or running athletes.

While many sufferers may have no symptoms, others have been known to suffer chronic pain. The heel may become inflamed during simple walks or runs, causing sharp pains that resemble a pins and needles sensation. Dull, aching sensations can also reverberate a day after engaging in strenuous physical activities. Unlike other foot related disorders, a heel spur condition does not typically improve with bed rest.

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Heel Spur Causes

Heel spurs typically occur when long-term ligament and muscle strain wears out the soft tissues of the heel. Tears of the membrane that covers the heel’s bone can also be a cause. The heel has a tendency to become more vulnerable as we age. As an individual individual gets older, the pads of the heel have a tendency to wear down and lose their ability to provide shock absorption to the foot. As a result, calcium deposits can build up in the heel, forming the bony protrusions which we call “heel spurs”.

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Symptoms

  • Inflammation and swelling of the heel
  • A small bone like protrusion from under the heel
  • Tenderness at the bottom of the heel that makes barefoot walking difficult
  • Knife like pain in the heel area in the morning
  • Dull aching in the heel area during the course of the day

Treatment of Heel Spurs

Wearing well fitting, properly sized footwear can help prevent heel spurs and heel pain in general. Treatment may include custom orthotics, prescribed rest, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory pain relievers/injections, depending on the root cause of the heel pain. If the pain being experienced doesn’t respond to these non-surgical treatments, a podiatrist may suggest the use of surgery to help relieve nerve pressure, removal of the actual heel spur, or treatment of any inflamed tendons.

Heel Spur Causes

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