Heel Spurs

What are Heel Spurs?

Heel pain is a common foot condition characterized by discomfort or pain in the heel area. This pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse injuries, inflammatory conditions, or structural abnormalities. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the band of tissue (plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. Other causes can include Achilles tendinitis, heel spurs, bursitis, or arthritis. Proper diagnosis is essential for effective treatment, as the underlying cause of the pain can vary significantly.

What are signs & symptoms of Heel Spurs?

Heel spurs themselves may not always cause symptoms, but when they do, these can include:

  • Sharp, stabbing pain in the heel, especially with the first steps in the morning
  • Pain that typically decreases with more walking but might return after periods of rest
  • Swelling and inflammation at the front of the heel
  • Heat radiating from the affected area
  • Visible protrusion under the heel in severe cases

It’s important to note that many people with heel spurs don’t experience any symptoms.

What are some treatments for Heel Spurs?

Treatment for heel spurs often focuses on relieving the associated pain and preventing further damage:

  • Rest and reducing activities that put stress on the heel
  • Ice packs applied to the affected area to reduce inflammation
  • Orthotic shoe inserts or heel pads to provide extra cushioning
  • Physical therapy to improve strength and flexibility in the foot
  • Corticosteroid injections or surgical removal of the spur
  • Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Stretching exercises to relieve tension in the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon

Consulting a healthcare provider or podiatrist is recommended to receive a tailored treatment plan, especially if the pain is severe or does not improve with home treatments.