Do I have a Heel Spur?
Let’s first define what a heel spur is for you. A heel spur is a pointed bony outgrowth of the bone of the heel. Heel spurs can be located at the back of the heel or under the heel, beneath the sole of the foot. A heel spur protrusion can extend forward by as much as a half-inch.
Many people describe the pain of heel spurs and plantar fascilitis as a knife or pin sticking into the bottom of their feet when they first stand up in the morning -- a pain that later turns into a dull ache.
Heel spurs occur when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone, a process that usually occurs over a period of many months. Heel spurs are often caused by strains on foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone. Heel spurs are especially common among athletes whose activities include large amounts of running and jumping and people that lift heavy objects regularly.
Risk factors for heel spurs include:
- Walking gait abnormalities, which place excessive stress on the heel bone, ligaments, and nerves near the heel
- Running or jogging, especially on hard surfaces
- Poorly fitted or badly worn shoes, especially those lacking appropriate arch support
- Excess weight
Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, corrective shoes, and/or orthotics (special shoe inserts) are some of the common treatments for spurs. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication. Surgery may be prescribed if spurring around the joint becomes severe or leads to recurrent pain from persistent corns.
Contact our offices Laurel Foot & Ankle Center or Northern Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates and schedule an appointment today.
To learn more about Exercise and Your Feet, go to Heel Pain Institute of America and Laurel Foot & Ankle Center or Northern Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates