What Causes Heel Spurs?
As heel spurs are the result of repetitive stress or strain on the foot, their main cause is unaddressed and/or long-term plantar fasciitis. However, other causes relate to lifestyle choices as well as other factors. They include:
- Certain exercises: Running, jumping, and other high-impact exercises expose the plantar fascia to repeated stress.
- Hard surfaces: Exercising on hard floors or ground causes more significant impact on the feet.
- Unsupportive footwear: Repeated stress on the foot’s arch due to improper footwear can lead to plantar fasciitis, causing heel spurs to develop later.
- Injury/Trauma: Injury or trauma to the heel area like bruising or tearing of the membrane.
- Age: Heel spurs are more common in people over forty years old.
- Weight: Excess weight puts prolonged stress on the feet, leading to heel spurs in some cases.
- Gender: Though men can also experience them, heel spurs are more common among women.
Heel Spurs Treatment
When considering treatment options for heel spurs, it’s important to correctly diagnose the source of your heel pain first. This is because most heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis, which can then lead to heel spurs if not treated accordingly.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis is non-invasive, and much of it can be done at home under the direction of our podiatrists. Some suggestions might include:
- Supportive footwear.
- Custom orthotics for your unique foot shape.
- Low-impact, gentle exercise like cycling or swimming.
- Plantar fascia strengthening exercises and stretches.
- Cortisone injections for pain/inflammation.
- Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy for faster healing.
- Night splints to support and stretch the surrounding muscles.
- Ice to relieve pain/inflammation.
- In rare cases, surgery.
If there are indeed heel spurs present, the only way to remove them is through surgery. However, this is only recommended once treatment for the plantar fasciitis has been completed. There are also actions you can take at home to alleviate your heel spur pain, including:
- Rest: Take a break from exercise when pain presents in the heel while exercising.
- Ice: Icing the bottom of your foot and/or heel area to reduce pain and swelling.
- Supportive footwear/Orthotics: Cushioning and supporting the plantar fascia to relieve stress on the area.
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine: To relieve pain and inflammation.
Contact Us Today
Whether your heel pain stems from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or any other source, we’ll work with you to determine the cause and recommend the best course of action. Contact us today for a consultation with our expert podiatrists, and we’ll get you back to being pain-free!