Heel spurs develop when calcium deposits at the bottom of the heel in an accelerated manner. This causes the bones of the heel to stick out a bit. Heel spurs are distinguished by causing calcification to develop on the heel bone.
The heel plays a major role in the body with regard to stability and mobility. Any pain in the heel can reduce those important characteristics. When heel spurs become large due to the constant calcium deposits, it will cause continued discomfort by affecting the plantar fascia ligament, which can then become swollen. At the early stages of when you first place weight on the feet, the ligaments surrounding the heel can become stiff and cause pain. As those ligaments loosen, the pain will subside.
Heel spurs can form slowly over time and can happen from excess pressure being placed on the foot that causes the ligaments to suffer. High-intensity activities or any participation in events that place quick and forceful pressure on the heel can lead to heel spurs. Factors that can make heel spurs more likely include rigid calf muscles because they prevent the heel from moving freely, obesity because the heel absorbs the brunt of body weight, and using the wrong types of shoes.
Treatment for this condition includes:
- Participating in physical therapy that can help to stretch the muscles and ligaments connected to the heel. This can help to counter pain caused by heel spurs.
- Using a pair of shoes that do not constrict foot movement within them so that the heel is not subject to continued unnecessary pain.
- Wearing custom-made orthotics to help alleviate pressure off of the heels.
At Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM located in Chicago, Illinois, our foot doctor, Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, will do his best to help eradicate your heel spurs by treating the root cause of pain being created. Please make an appointment by calling our office at (773) 561-8100 and check out our Patient Education Library for further helpful and reliable information about heel spurs and many other feet and ankle problems.