Bone spurs are potentially troublesome buildups of calcium on the edges of a bone. Although they can occur anywhere in the body, they are commonly found at the back or underside of the heel bone. An x-ray can determine whether you have a bone spur, as well as whether it’s pointed or hooked shape is the cause of your heel pain.
Treatment for Bone Spurs on the Heel
While heel spurs can cause discomfort, many people with bone spurs do not experience any pain. Only one out of every 20 people with a heel spur will suffer symptoms, which may include swelling, tenderness, or a sharp pain in the heel when standing. Bone spurs are most likely to occur in patients who:
- Have plantar fasciitis. Over half of patients with plantar fasciitis will experience bone spurs, with either (or both) conditions causing pain.
- Are overweight. The risk of bone spurs and plantar fasciitis increases along with body weight, making those who are overweight or obese especially likely to suffer from heel pain.
- Wear the wrong shoes. Footwear that doesn’t fit properly, have enough cushioning or support, or places too much stress on the heel can bone spurs.
- Put too much stress on their feet. Lack of exercise can cause heel spurs, but so can repetitive activities such as running or jumping. A sudden increase in physical activity can strain the heel and arch, causing a number of painful foot conditions.
Surgery is rarely performed for heel spurs, with treatment following a similar course to plantar fasciitis treatment. In both cases, rest and ice can reduce inflammation and pain. Our podiatrists may also recommend orthotics and physical therapy exercises to stretch the plantar fascia, as well as shock wave therapy or corticosteroids to control persistent pain.
If you are struggling with pain in your feet or ankles, the specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry are here to help. Simply fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up your free initial consultation.