A heel spur is a medical condition created by a bony outgrowth of the heel bone that extends between your heel bone and arch. Heel spurs result from the build-up of calcium deposits under the heel bones.
Heel spurs often develop in the front and underneath your heel and then gradually start affecting other parts of your foot. They can grow up to half an inch in length and may not be necessarily visible to the naked eye. Detecting the heel spur can be challenging. Heel spurs do not always result in pain.
What causes heel spurs?
The main reason for heel spurs is long-term muscle and ligament strain. The excessive strain stresses the heel bone calcaneus, causing spurs. They gradually develop over time and don’t suddenly occur after a sports event or a workout session. Instead, heel spurs occur when you start to ignore early signs like constant heel pain for a few days.
Repetitive stress on foot from walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces is a common cause of heel spurs. It can also develop from wearing shoes that don’t support your foot.
There can be some other causes for heel spurs like:
- Excess body weight
- Poorly fitted shoes
- Worn out shoes
- Walking gait issues
- Wearing flip flops frequently
Symptoms of heel spurs
Some common symptoms of heel spurs can include:
-Inflammation and swelling at the front heel
-Heat radiating from the affected area
-A minor or dull ache in the heel throughout the day
-Sharp pain in the heel while standing up
-Small-bony protrusion under the heel
-Point of tenderness at the bottom of the heel
Some people may not have any of these symptoms, and the heel spurs might be discovered only after X-rays.
There can be a range of activities that can increase the risk of heel spurs-
- Trauma to the heel: Injuring the heel and tearing the membrane that shields it can lead to heel spurs.
- Athletic activities: Running or jumping can wear down the heel.
- Being overweight: Obesity can also lead to heel spurs.
- Improper footwear: Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly are primarily responsible for heel spurs.
- Activities on hard surfaces: Walking or running on hard surfaces wear down the heel.
Treatments can include the following:
- Applying ice helps reduce pain and swelling. It is an effective home remedy to deal with pain and swelling.
- Anti-inflammatory medication can also be used to reduce swelling.
- Getting plenty of rest takes the pressure off the affected area, which can help to reduce the pain.
- Using custom-made orthotics can be used to take the pressure off the heels.
Call us today for a consultation. Our very own specialist, Dr Anuj Chawla is at your service to assist you.