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Palm Beach Podiatry

Understanding Heel Spurs

There are an abundance of reasons that one might be experiencing heel pain. For younger patients, it could potentially be a case of Sever’s disease. Active patients might have the pain as a symptom of Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis. One other potential culprit is a condition known as a heel spur.

Bone Spurs

A heel spur can be painful, or never felt at all. The doctors at Palm Beach Podiatry can help determine the best course of action for one.Your body can form deposits of calcium on existing bone tissue (frequently along the edges of bones) over the course of months and until they become a noticeable bump. Typically, these bony bumps form in response to external pressure or friction as a defensive measure. They also can develop when the body attempts to repair loss of tissue from osteoporosis.

In many cases, you might develop a bone spur without even noticing. They do not always have symptoms and can become apparent only when affecting nearby soft tissue.

Understanding Heel Spur Causes and Symptoms

The bony protrusions usually develop on the underside of the calcaneus (heel bone). They may extend forward up to half an inch in length and lead to the pain you’re experiencing underneath your heel.

These are frequently caused by strains on your foot ligaments and muscles, along with repeated tearing of the membrane covering your heel bone. This condition frequently is associated with plantar fasciitis, which happens when the thick band of fibrous tissue (plantar fascia) is excessively stretched and becomes irritated. These bone spurs are particularly common among runners and those who play basketball and tennis, because of the constant stress on their feet.

These bone growths do not cause symptoms on their own, but they can result in pain, either chronic or intermittent, if they lead to inflammation in the area. As such, the pain and discomfort is actually a soft tissue issue more so than a problem with the boney protrusion itself.

Given its association with plantar fasciitis, the pain is usually worse first thing in the morning and becomes progressively better throughout the day. The exception to this is that the intense pain will often reappear after extended periods of sitting or standing in one place.

Heel Spur Treatment and Prevention

Conservative treatment for pain associated with this condition include such methods as:

  • Stretches
  • Changes in shoes
  • Taping or strapping feet
  • Orthotic devices or shoe inserts
  • Physical therapy

Approximately ninety percent of cases are successfully managed with the use of conservative treatments, but there are still instances that require surgery. Our office will always attempt to treat the condition with nonsurgical methods first. When it comes time for surgery, we will either release the tension on the plantar fascia or remove the spur outright.

Prevention measures for heel spurs include wearing shoes that fit properly (which helps prevent many common foot and ankle conditions), warming up and stretching prior to physical activity, wearing appropriate shoes for athletic endeavors, and not rushing too quickly into new physical activities.

Heel Pain Treatment in Fort Pierce, FL

No matter if you require treatment for painful heels or would like more information about this condition so you can prevent a case from happening to you, Palm Beach Podiatry is here for you. We offer expert care for any foot or ankle condition you may sustain. Contact us today for your appointment by using our online form or calling our Boynton Beach, FL office (561) 734-3100; our Loxahatchee office at (561) 791-7773; or our Fort Pierce office at (772) 468-0089.