A heel spur is a bony growth near the heel bone. It causes discomfort in the foot centered around the heel bone. It is often quite painful in the morning or at any time where pressure is changed such as going from sitting to standing or spending long times on your feet. When the muscles surrounding your heel are strained, the membrane surrounding the muscle is torn away and tissue is exposed to additional pressure. These symptoms do not heal if no changes are made to lifestyle or exercise habits.
Heel spurs are caused by a variety of factors. Excessive running or jogging while on hard surfaces such as concrete can injure the foot and cause tightness in the calf. Irregularities in walking gait can put additional stress on the muscles around the heel. Bad shoes or shoes that are not the correct size can cause issues. Finally, obesity can put undue pressure on the heel and cause injury. The excessive pressure or repeated force can cause the calcium deposits to build up in response to injury.
Typically, heel spurs are treated by ice, reduced activity, improved stretching of the foot, and improved shoes or orthotic inserts. Taping can be utilized if participating in a sport. Over the counter pain medication can be utilized while the foot is healing. If pain is more severe, a doctor can provide corticosteroid as a pain reduction method. If the heel spur is severe enough, surgery may be warranted. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with one of the podiatrists at the Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Jersey. Foot pain should not be accepted as normal, especially when there are many effective treatments available.