Experiencing Pain in Your Heel? You Could Be Developing a Heel Spur

Love wearing those trendy, super high heels? What about playing high-impact sports? These are just few things that put you at risk of getting a heel spur. Of course, that job that keeps you on your feet all day long isn’t doing wonders for your heels either.

At Complete Foot and Ankle, our doctors see heel spurs frequently. But don’t worry, our Ridgewood and Garfield, NJ locations are ready to help you create a custom treatment plan right away.

Know the Symptoms

One of the biggest problems surrounding heel spurs is you may not even know you have one until you start experiencing pain your heel. According to WebMD, only some heel spurs are painful. This makes it even harder for you to know if you’re suffering from one.

For those that don’t cause pain, you might not even notice any symptoms, at least right away.

However, some red flags to look for include:

  • Sharp pain in your heel when standing, walking, or running
  • Noticeable inflammation around the area of the heel spur
  • Chronic heel pain, especially when limited to one specific point
  • Heel pain that disappears or dulls when sitting only to reappear when standing
  • Small protrusion on the bottom of your heel

It’s important to note that the pain itself isn’t due to the heel spur, but the damage to the soft tissue surrounding the spur.

Development of Heel Spurs

Think of heel spurs as almost an extra little bone that gradually develops. It usually takes months for one to fully develop and it may take even longer for you to notice it. Over time, calcium deposits start to build up under your heel bone. This leads to the spur itself, which may or may not be visibly noticeable.

Of course, as with any foot-related injury, certain things put you at a higher risk than others, such as:

  • Excessive weight
  • Walking abnormally, such as with a heavy gait or limp
  • Shoes that don’t provide proper arch support, such as thin flats and high heels
  • High-impact sports
  • Jogging or running often, especially if you do so on harder surfaces
  • Jobs that require you to stand and/or walk most of your shift on hard surfaces like concrete

As you can see, it’s not always easy to avoid these risk factors. What you should do is be aware of your risk and pay close attention to what your feet are telling you.

Dangers Surrounding Heel Spurs

While not all heel spurs mean something else is wrong with your foot, they could actually be the result of a different type of condition called plantar fasciitis. Doctors have recently discovered that some heels spurs are caused by plantar fasciitis, which is pain and inflammation caused by a tear in the band of tissue that stretches from your heel to your toes.

For women under the age of 50, plantar fasciitis, and thus heel spurs, are far more common than they are in men. As with heel spurs, wearing the wrong shoes and staying on your feet all day are the two most common risk factors.

Moving on After Diagnosis

All this might sound terrifying, but heel spurs are treatable. However, we highly recommend a custom treatment for each patient as it’ll vary based on the type of spur, any underlying conditions, and even the cause of the injury.

If you experience any heel pain, see your podiatrist immediately to check. Even that slight stabbing pain that happens occasionally could be a heel spur. An X-ray is the best way to know for sure. Surgery is only needed in severe cases.

Changing your routine, wearing more supportive shoes such as those with custom orthotics, doing recommended stretches, and taking medication for the inflammation are the most common treatments. By taking good care of your foot, you’ll be able to resume your daily activities in no time.

Is your heel pain a sign of a heel spur? Don’t guess! Make an appointment today at Complete Foot and Ankle today to know for certain.

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