Heel Spurs: Bony Bumps
It is natural for your whole body to be affected when your feet hurt. Pain in your foot can cause you to limp, keep you from enjoying favorite activities, and even force you to take time off work. The most common form of heel pain stems from the bottom of the heel. It can be a sharp, searing pain and is often worse in the morning or when standing up after sitting for a while. The pain can radiate into your arch and even up the back of your leg. These symptoms describe plantar fasciitis, a condition that is frequently associated with heel spurs. If you are experiencing chronic pain, it could be due to heel spurs, and we can offer treatment that will bring relief.
A Little Extra Bone
Your heel is designed to support a great amount of weight. However, as with any other area of your body, it can succumb to prolonged stress. A heel spur is a calcium deposit on the underside of your heel bone. It is essentially a small, pointed growth of bone that develops in response to the strain of chronic stress, most often from plantar fasciitis. It is important to note that heel spurs are not the cause of plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the ligament located on the bottom of your foot. It connects the front of the foot to the heel bone and its main function is to support the arch. Under high stress and repeated pressure, the plantar fascia can become strained and sustain tiny tears, which causes irritation, pain, and inflammation.
This supporting ligament can then pull away from the heel bone, which is the biggest contributing factor in the development of a spur. The more the ligament swells and pulls, the more it encourages extra growth on the heel bone. While the extra bone itself isn’t painful, it can press into the soft tissues of the heel and cause significant discomfort. You may feel an aching sensation or even a jabbing pain when you put weight on your foot. Symptoms may go away after you are on your feet for a few minutes, but they may come back later in the day. In some cases, the heel spur causes no symptoms at all and is only discovered during an examination for other purposes.
Am I At Risk?
There are several risk factors involved; any excess strain on your foot could result in plantar fasciitis and these bony protrusions. Poorly fitting shoes, high arches, flat feet, obesity, running on hard surfaces, gait abnormalities, diabetes, and age are all contributing factors to this type of foot pain. The longer the issue goes unaddressed, the harder it will be to treat your pain with conservative methods. If you are suffering with chronic pain, read below on how we can help.
The key in treating your pain is finding out what caused the stress on your feet in the first place. The good news is that we can most often treat this type of pain with a variety of conservative measures and only in severe cases do we explore the option of surgery. We may suggest changing your footwear or using custom orthotics to remove some of the pressure on your heels. Icing can reduce the inflammation, and physical therapy can help stretch the plantar fascia so there isn’t as much pull on the heel bone. Anti-inflammatory medications and shockwave therapy may also help with chronic pain.
You do not have to live with the discomfort of heel pain. Dr. Joel W. Brook and David R. Northcutt can obtain proper diagnosis and offer treatment that will eliminate your pain. Contact Dallas Podiatry Works in Dallas, TX at (972) 566-7474 or in Plano, TX at (972) 943-3323 for an appointment today.