Heel spurs are not a walk in the park. They are bony extensions of the heel bone that form as a result of repetitive irritation of the heel bone. They are frequently associated with plantar fasciitis, a condition that leads to swelling and irritation of the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes. Heel spurs lead to pain and swelling on the sole or back of the heel, which can extend to the Achilles tendon.
What causes heel spurs?
Contributing factors include excessive trauma to the heal, such as in the case of sports, obesity, poorly fitting shoes, and abnormal foot mechanics. The plantar fascia that runs across the sole from the heel to the toes absorbs pressure during walking, jumping, running, and other athletic activities. Sudden activity and increasing age are also common causes.
The pain and discomfort of heel spurs can quickly intensify if proper treatment is not sought from a foot doctor. A podiatrist may recommend the following treatments to reduce your symptoms:
- Utilize anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation at the bottom of your foot. This can also help to reduce pain.
- Ice your heel to reduce pain and swelling.
- Take part in targeted physical therapy that can help to stimulate muscles in your foot.
- Use appropriate shoes that do not increase the amount of friction absorbed by your heel.
- Place custom–fitted orthotics into your shoes. These support devices can route pressure away from your heel to other areas of your foot.
- Injection therapy
- Surgical procedures may be required when a bony heel growth has become too much to be controlled through conservative methods.
Here at Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, our expert podiatrist, Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, has many years of experience providing relief to his patients with heel spurs. If your feet hurt constantly and the pain emanates from your heel, don’t waste time and contact us for an appointment! Our office is conveniently located in Chicago, Illinois. Visit our Patient Education Library for more information about foot and ankle issues.