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Heel Spurs Are a Common Cause of Heel Pain

A heel spur is a small, bony protrusion that sticks out from the bottom of the heel bone and is often associated with plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the plantar fascia.

The plantar fascia is a thick tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from the heel bone towards your toes. When this tissue is over-stretched a painful heel spur may result. Other causes of heel spurs are straining of the foot ligaments or muscles or recurring tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone.

Symptoms of Heel Spurs

Many people are unaware that they have heel spurs because they don’t have pain or any other symptoms.

However, this small calcium deposit that builds up over many months can cause either intermittent or chronic pain. The pain is usually worse first thing in the morning when getting out of bed or when standing up after a long period of sitting.

Are You At Risk of a Heel Spur?

You may be more at risk of a painful heel spur if you run or jog on hard surfaces, or if you have to stand for long periods of time on rigid floors.

Others at risk include those who:

  • Have flat feet or high arches
  • Wear shoes that are worn out or that don’t fit correctly
  • Are overweight
  • Participate in sports with extensive jumping or running
  • Have an abnormal walking gait including one that stretches the heel too much
  • Have diabetes

Also, as we age the plantar fascia decreases in flexibility and heel’s protective fat pad gets thinner which can trigger a heel spur.

Don’t Ignore Heel Pain

You may have tried to rest your painful heel but usually that gives only temporary relief.

For effective treatment of heel spurs, schedule an appointment with Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM at our Heel Pain Center. There are several causes of heel pain so we will first give your feet a comprehensive examination.

We find that conservative treatments succeed in 90% of our patients, including:

  • Changing your footwear to sturdier shoes with extra shock absorption and cushioning
  • Gentle stretches for the heel, foot and calf
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescribing shoe inserts or custom-fitted orthotics
  • Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen – with your doctor’s permission
  • Corticosteroid injection which can ease inflammation

If after a few months these methods prove ineffective, we will discuss surgery to relieve your pain and restore mobility. Our goal will be to remove the bone spur and release the plantar fascia.

Heel Spurs Will Not Go Away On Their Own

Don’t delay – contact Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist to start treatment for painful heel spurs. You can reach us at our Chicago office at 773-561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Whether heel spurs, plantar fasciitis or another foot or heel issue, we will diagnose your problem and begin the right treatments to relieve your pain.