Heel Pain: Is It Heel Spurs?

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Heel pain is no fun to deal with. This pain makes it hard to run and walk, and sometimes, it even makes standing uncomfortable. If you've been suffering from heel pain for more than a couple of days, then it's important to look into the cause of that pain. In some cases, that cause is heel spurs. Here's an overview of the condition and what it entails.

What are heel spurs?

A heel spur is a little projection from your heel bone. It's usually shaped like a tiny finger. The spur occurs on the base of the heel bone, which is also known as the calcaneus. This is why it hurts so much to walk and stand when you have a heel spur; you're stepping on that little, bony projection, and it is digging into the muscle and other soft tissue on your heel.

How do people get heel spurs?

You're probably wondering why this has happened to you and what caused it. Usually, heel spurs are caused by repeated trauma to the arch and heel of the foot. Running a lot, walking all day, and even standing and working on your feet all day can lead to heel spurs. Overuse strains the ligaments connected to your heel bone, and your bone starts creating extra calcified tissue in order to protect itself. This calcified, bony tissue eventually forms the heel spur.

How do you treat heel spurs?

Some people with mild heel spurs get better with rest. The pain you're feeling may be mostly related to strain and pressure on the ligaments connected to your heel. If this is the case, taking time off from physical activity and icing your heel a few times a day should cause the pain to diminish over time.

If your heel spurs do not get better with rest and ice therapy, then you may need surgery. During this surgery, your surgeon will remove the bony projection from your heel bone. They will also repair any damaged ligaments and tendons in the area if needed. You'll need to stay off your feet for a few weeks to heal and then perhaps take part in some physical therapy.

If you're suffering from ongoing heel pain, it's wise to see a podiatrist. They can look you over, x-ray your foot, and find out for certain whether your pain is due to heel spurs.

Contact a clinic like MARLBORO PODIATRY CENTER INC to learn more.