You may assume that the only way to treat heel spurs is with surgery. However, around 90% of men and women treated for heel spurs find relief with nonsurgical treatments like shoe inserts, orthotics, or night splints. Fortunately, for you, the medical team at Complete Foot and Ankle in Ridgewood and Garfield, New Jersey has plenty of tools in their arsenal to heal your foot pain. Make an appointment to see Jacob Reinkraut, DPM, FACFAS; Michelle Suh, DPM, ABPM; or Suneel Basra, DPM, FACFAS, by calling the clinic or using the online scheduler.
A heel spur is a bony growth on the heel bone that points toward the arch. The condition causes pain for some people while others don’t even know they have it.
Heel bone spurs are often associated with plantar fasciitis and high-impact sports. Calcium builds up under the heel from the ongoing strain on the foot muscles and plantar fascia ligament.
Your likelihood of getting heel spurs increases as you age. However, other factors contribute to your risk of developing bone spurs, too. These include:
When you visit the podiatrist with heel pain, they perform a physical exam to locate tender areas and examine the structure of your feet. They also ask questions about your health history and the intensity, location, and frequency of your pain to discover clues about your condition.
After the exam, your podiatrist orders an X-ray if they suspect a bone spur. If they do this, you’re more likely than not to receive a definitive diagnosis. X-rays are the best way to identify and diagnose heel spurs.
Your podiatrist works with you to find the treatment plan that provides the most relief. The treatment objective for heel spurs is to tame pain and inflammation and prevent re-injury.
Over-the-counter painkillers are usually all it takes to reduce pain and inflammation. If those don’t help, your podiatrist may suggest cortisone injections for their powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
Your doctor can also provide special exercises and stretches to try before you get out of bed in the morning since pain is often worse after rest. They can also give you night splints and athletic tape to reduce pressure and correct muscle imbalances.
Many patients at Complete Foot and Ankle find that shoe inserts and custom-made orthotics successfully redistribute pressure, lessening the pain.
Surgery is rarely needed for heel spurs, but it is possible to remove the bone spur or detach the plantar fascia in extreme cases.
If you’re suffering from heel pain, contact Complete Foot and Ankle online or over the phone for an evaluation.