A heel spur is basically a bone growth that is pointed and outgrown from the heel. This can be quite a frustrating problem because not only does it lead to heel pain, but it can also lead to other ailments. Spurs are generally located on the back of the heel but may also appear under the heel.
Heel spurs can lead to inflammation of the area, Achilles Tendinitis, and fascia or plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of a heel spur include:
- Intense heel pain, especially after long hours of rest
- Difficulty standing and walking after activity
- Pain starts at the center of the heel then spreads across the entire heel over time
- Dull ache in the heel
- Tender heel that is warm to the touch (sign of inflammation)
HEEL SPUR DIAGNOSIS
On a visit to your podiatrist, expect them to manipulate and handle your heel to pinpoint tenderness. Try to be as descriptive as possible about your heel pain. Using the history of pain and tenderness, the Podiatrist will determine if a heel spur is a possibility. If it is, an x-ray will show the spur and its location.
HOW TO TREAT A HEEL SPUR
Treatment for a heel spur focuses on the reduction of inflammation and avoiding reinjury. Some or all of the following may be implemented:
- Icing to reduce pain and inflammation
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Cortisone injections
- Orthotic devices or shoe inserts to take the pressure off the spur
- Surgery may be necessary occasionally on chronically inflamed heel spurs
Heel spurs usually respond well to non-surgical treatment methods and don’t require any further treatment. To prevent such problems from happening, it may be necessary to treat an underlying inflammatory disease such as arthritis.