When you wake up in the morning, you should be able to get out of bed feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything that the day might have in store for you. If however, you arise and immediately feel a stabbing pain in your heel the moment you set your foot on the floor, it is unlikely that you will be able to focus on the day’s tasks. You will likely only be concentrating on your heel pain and hoping that it subsides quickly.
Any time there is a pain in the foot, it can seriously negatively impact your overall health and happiness. Whether you go into the office daily, stand in a checkout line, work at home, or have any other job which requires you to walk and/stand, pain in your feet can make you feel that much worse. Heel spur pain can be very distracting, so you must find a way to eliminate this heel pain from your life.
What Are Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs (also known as bone spurs, foot spurs, and calcaneal spurs) are pointed outgrowths of the heel bone, generally located at the back or under the heel’s side or the sole foot. They are typically attributed to inflammation which is consistent at the soft tissues of the tendons or plantar fascia in the heel area.
Many people do not even realize they have heel spurs until doctors discover them on x-rays taken for a different condition. That is when the calcium deposit can be seen on the heel. There may not be any pain whatsoever, and heel pain can begin suddenly with no notice. You do not need to have incurred heel trauma or injury to develop a heel spur.
When a heel spur does cause symptoms, the most common ones reported by patients include:
- sharp heel pain, especially in the morning
- dull ache throughout the day
- inflammation and swelling
- radiating heat
- protrusion under the heel
- tenderness at the bottom of the heel
Contact an experienced podiatrist in Eagle Mountain, UT, such as ours at Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute to diagnose your heel pain and discomfort and for treatment options such as prescribed physical therapy.
What Aggravates Heel Spurs to Cause Heel Pain?
Heel spurs may develop on their own or could be related to other underlying medical conditions. Such conditions as reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, and plantar fasciitis can be connected to the development of heel spurs.
Other risk factors for the development of heel pain caused by heel spurs in patients include:
- Athletic activities such as running and jumping wear down the heel and arch
- Standing, walking, running, and other activities on hard surfaces
- Injury or trauma to the heel
- Gender – women often deal with heel spurs more than men
- Excess body weight
- Inappropriate or bad footwear – high-heeled shoes, shoes with no arch support, improperly fitting shoes, and flip flop-type shoes can lead to heel pain.
It is often difficult to avoid many of these risk factors (especially ones you have no control over, such as age or gender), so you can take steps to help prevent heel pain and reduce the risks of developing a heel spur.
Ways to Prevent Heel Spurs from Worsening in the Heel Bone
Some of the best ways to avoid dealing with heel pain associated with heel spurs include:
- Avoid wearing flip flops or wearing high heels
- Wear comfortable shoes which take pressure off the heel
- Use shoe inserts for an extra cushion on the heel
- Elevate your feet while resting
- Seek out medical attention for diagnosis and treatment
- Make an appointment with an experienced podiatrist for cases of severe pain
Suppose you are dealing with a heel spur or other condition such as plantar fasciitis. In that case, you may need the help of a professional podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and recommend treatments.
How to Heal a Heel Spur
When you have foot pain in the heel, you have various treatment options available to you. Most physicians will start with conservative treatment before going to any extremes. While you are at home, you can get plenty of rest and take pressure off the heel to reduce the heel pain and swelling. Ice can also help with the reduction of swelling.
When you need to be on your feet, wearing cushioned sports shoes (like running shoes) or a custom-made orthotic shoe insert can relieve the pressure and help to prevent worsening symptoms of heel spur syndrome or even a stress fracture. If these do not provide enough relief, you may need anti-inflammatory medication or even cortisone injections to reduce the swelling and heel pain.
In the most extreme situation, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to remove the heel spur completely, but this is not the most common treatment since the others already described tend to relieve heel pain and patient suffering.
Worried You May Have Heel Spurs or Plantar Fasciitis? Contact Us for a Diagnosis!
If you are dealing with heel pain that you believe may be caused by spurs, contact our skilled podiatrists at Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute for diagnosis and treatment options. We will discuss your condition with you and determine if you have spurs, plantar fasciitis, or any other condition causing discomfort in your heels, Achilles tendon, or any part of the right or left foot. Our podiatrists will also examine your lifestyle to figure out if some changes might make a difference.
After diagnosing your symptoms, the doctor will develop a treatment plan and recommend orthotics, at-home remedies, and physical therapists to help with treatments to reduce pain. Feel free to call our podiatric doctors in Eagle Mountain, UT, so that we can help relieve the pain in your left or right foot and get you back on your feet.
At Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute, each doctor cares deeply about every patient’s feet, toes, ankles, muscles, and other areas. When you are feeling pain, that can affect your overall health. Contact a staff member today at 801-756-4200 to schedule an appointment.