Heel Spur

How do I get rid of heel spurs?

Heel spurs are bony growths that develop on the heel bone. In the early stages, they are often unnoticeable. However, if they are left to grow large enough, they can become incredibly painful.

Heel spurs can usually be treated with rest and stretching. Still, if they become unbearably painful, our foot, ankle, and podiatry specialists at OrthoNeuro can perform an ankle arthroscopy to treat the condition.

According to data from the Cleveland Clinic, roughly 15% of the population suffers from heel spurs.

Although they are not always painful, it’s best to speak with our professionals at OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio to understand the condition better.

What Is a Heel Spur?

Heel spurs are small bony protrusions that develop on the heel bone. While they are often harmless, they can cause immense heel pain and discomfort if left untreated.

Some bone spurs are often described as looking like a small nail sticking out from the foot. Others are much smaller and can only be seen under a microscope.

What Causes Heel Spurs?

Heel spurs are often caused by repetitive heel bone stress, such as excessive running or jumping. They can also be caused by risk factors such as arthritis or wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support to the heel.

It is not entirely clear how these problems lead to heel spur development.

However, it is thought that the repetitive strain on the heel bone causes calcium deposits to grow abnormally along the bone. This results in a bony outgrowth, known as a bone spur.

Symptoms of a Heel Spur

The symptoms of a heel spur vary depending on the size and severity of the outgrowth. Many patients do not feel any discomfort or pain in the early stages.

However, as the outgrowth gets more significant, you may notice the following heel spur symptoms:

  • Achy, dull pain in the heel
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Sharp pain that worsens with activity
  • Chronic pain that improves with rest or stretching
If you experience any of the above symptoms, please schedule a consultation with OrthoNeuro as soon as possible.

Is a Heel Spur the Same as Plantar Fasciitis?

Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are two different conditions.

Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia ligament, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, becomes damaged and inflamed, leading to foot pain.

Heel spurs are bony growths that develop on the heel bone.

However, plantar fasciitis and heel spurs may occur together. This is because heel spurs are often caused by plantar fasciitis, as the inflammation of the plantar fascia can lead to the development of a heel spur.

How Are Heel Spurs Diagnosed and Treated?

A heel spur is often diagnosed through a physical examination, during which your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, perform a physical exam of your foot and leg, and may order an x-ray or an MRI to view the bony protrusion.

Mild heel spurs do not usually require treatment. However, several treatments are available if your heel spur is causing pain.

Heel spur treatment options include the following:

  • Rest: One of the best ways to treat a heel spur is to reduce the weight you place on your heel. This can be done by wearing supportive shoes, avoiding high-impact activities, or using shoe inserts.
  • Stretching and doing heel spur exercises: Stretching the calf and Achilles tendon, performing calf raises, or doing other foot and leg exercises can help to relieve foot pain and loosen tight muscles.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can often demonstrate effective ways to relieve pain, improve flexibility, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the foot and leg.
  • Steroid injections: Steroid injections are anti-inflammatory and can help to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Heel spur surgery: In worst-case scenarios, surgery may be necessary to extract the bone spur. Ideally, though, our doctors at OrthoNeuro prefer to perform an ankle arthroscopy to view the damaged tissue and trim it down to prevent excess damage.

How to Prevent Heel Spurs

It is possible to prevent and reduce the risk of developing heel spurs. Ideally, you should wear appropriate shoes with heel pads designed for flat feet or feet with high arches.

Additionally, stretching your calf muscles and Achilles tendons can help with plantar fascia release, reducing stress on your heels.

If you have been struggling with chronic heel pain, we recommend contacting OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio today to schedule an examination with our trained physicians.

They can inspect your heels and determine whether you have fasciitis or bone spurs.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Specialist Today!

If you have been suffering the symptoms of a heel spur, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Foot and Ankle Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus.

Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.

Foot, Ankle, and Podiatry Specialists


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