Many heel pains are linked to heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Detecting the actual cause of heel pain can be quite challenging without the help of an expert.
What Are Heel Spurs?
A heel spur is an outgrowth of calcium that causes a bony protrusion underneath the heel bone. This growth may be about a quarter to half an inch in length when examined by an X-ray.
What Are the Causes of Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs are caused by repeated straining of the muscles and ligaments, which wears out the soft tissues at the heel. This condition also results from repeated walking, jumping or running on hard surfaces. If you wear shoes that don’t support your feet, it can also contribute to this problem.
How to Prevent Heel Spurs
Take the following steps as much as possible to avoid heel spurs:
- Avoid placing excessive stress on your foot
- Take prompt action when you notice any heel pain by resting your heel and using ice until the pain subsides
- Wear the right type of footwear and in some cases, consider wearing orthotics to properly support your feet
Who Is Prone to This Issue?
The factors that increase the possibility of developing heel spurs include:
- Abnormal walking gaits such as excessive pronation that puts stress on the ligaments and heel bone
- Being obese or overweight
- Wearing shoes that provide inadequate arch support
- Growing older, which is linked to reduced flexibility of the plantar fascia
- Regularly spending a large part of the day standing
What Are Some Short-Term Heel Spur Treatment Options?
Immediate treatment options for this condition include the following:
- Using ice packs for cold compresses after walking or exercising
- Resting the foot after long hours of standing or other strenuous activities
- Using over-the-counter pain medication
What Are Long-Term Treatment Options for Heel Spurs?
Your podiatrist may recommend any of the following:
- Medications in the form of anti-inflammatory injections to reduce pain at the arch and heel
- Physical therapy exercises
- Use of orthotic shoe inserts to provide additional arch support
- Heel spur surgery to remove the growth
When Should You See Your Doctor for Treatment?
See a podiatrist when any of these symptoms occur:
- Intense pain with swelling and inflammation in front of the heel
- A warm feeling at the heel and arch of your foot
- A feeling of pain after standing continuously for a few hours
- A small bony protrusion that has become visible
Why Choose Dr. Robbins?
Dr. Alan Robbins is a caring and well-trusted podiatrist who provides treatment for all kinds of foot conditions from his practice in Fort Worth, TX. Whether you have pain in your heel or suspect that you have heel spurs or plantar fasciitis, you’ll receive a thorough diagnosis and treatment from Dr. Robbins. Give us a call at (817) 336-6600 to book an appointment, or contact Dr. Robbins through our website now.