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Heel Spurs

Heel Spurs: What You Need to Know.

Heel Spurs: What You Need to Know.
Patients often describe the pain and discomfort associated with Heel Spurs asif asharp object, like a knife or pin, is sticking into the bottom of their feet, especially after prolonged periods of being off their feet. Often the pain is most present in the morning, when first standing up out of bed.Frequently,the pain subsides after a bit of walking around, then it often evolves into a dull ache.

What are Heel Spurs?
A Heel Spur is an actual calcium deposit that causes a bony protrusion on the heel bone. The spur can appear quite large on an x-ray. Ironically, the Heel Spur itself isn’t the source of the pain, but rather the pain comes from inflammation of the fibrous band of connective tissue that runs along the heel bone to the bottom of the foot. 
Symptoms of Heel Spurs.The main symptom of Heel Spurs is intermittent or chronic pain when walking, running, or after standingsuddenly after being off your feet.
What Causes Heel Spurs.Most Common Risk Factors Include.

  1. Walking or gait irregularities
  2. Running on hard surfaces
  3. Improper shoes – those without arch support and worn out.
  4. Being overweight or obese
  5. Increasing age, which decreases plantar fascia flexibility and thins the heel’s protective fat pad
  6. Diabetes
  7. Being on your feet all day
  8. Frequent short bursts of physical activity
  9. Flat feet or high arches

How to Treat Heel Spurs.
There are several treatments our doctors at Laurel Foot & Ankle Center or Northern Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates  can recommend. There are exercises, custom made orthotics, night splints, specific shoe recommendations, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections. Finally, if these less invasive treatments are unsuccessful, surgery is an option as well.

Prevention of Heel Spurs.
Shoes are of critical importance to protect your feet and prevent Heel Spurs. Shoes that fit well with shock absorbing soles and supportive heel counters is essential.  Even the most supportive shoes break down over time not offering you the support that they do when new. So make sure to inspect and replace your shoes often.
Also, make sure your feet and body are warmed up properly before any physical activity. Finally, maintaining a proper weight is important as being overweight is also a risk factor for developing Heel Spurs.

Surgery for Heel Spurs.
Surgery is considered a last resort for Heel Spurs. In fact, more than 90 percent of people get better with nonsurgical treatments. If the treatments described here does not provide relief after a period of 9 to 12 months, surgery may be necessary to relieve pain and restore mobility. Surgical techniques include:

  1. Release of the plantar fascia
  2. Removal of a spur

When Should You See a Podiatrist?
If you have heel pain or discomfort, then it’s time to contact us for a diagnosis and the best in recommended care. Our doctors can provide you with multiple, conservative treatments to treat Heel Spurs, and get you back on your feet pain free.
Contact our offices Laurel Foot & Ankle Center or Northern Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates  and schedule an appointment today.
To learn more about Heel Spurs, go to Heel Pain Institute of America and Laurel Foot & Ankle Center or Northern Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates.

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Author

Francis J. Smith, D.P.M., A.B.F.A.S.
Board certified in Foot Surgery and Michael A. Klein, D.P.M. A.B.F.A.S.
Board certified in Foot Surgery​

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