Experienced New York Podiatrists Explain The Causes Of Heel Spurs
It can happen when waking up. You stand up and it feels like a sharp pain is at the bottom of your heel. The pain comes back after you stand up from sitting for a long time. It can happen after a lot of physical activity. You see a doctor and they tell you that you have a heel spur. What causes it? How can you treat it? How common is it?
Want to learn more about this? Experienced New York podiatrists explain the causes of heel spurs.
What Is a Heel Spur (Calcaneal Spur)?
This happens when a calcium deposit grows on the bottom of one’s heel bone. They can be as big as a half-inch, which may not seem large, but it is when compared to the overall size of the heel bone. The spur itself is not what causes the pain. It’s when it pushes through the membranes of ligaments that it hurts.
People do not get heel spurs over the course of a couple of days. It’s something that happens over the course of weeks and months, due to constant pushing and micro tearing of the heel ligaments. This is called a soft tissue injury.
Common Causes Of Heel Spurs
There can be many different causes for heel spurs, but these tend to be the most common:
Long-Term Muscle & Ligament Strains
These can be caused by how a person walks. Their gait can wind up causing stress on their feet. People with flat feet that don’t wear proper footwear and get arch supports can be prone to this.
Athletic Activities Can Increase The Risk Of Calcaneal Spurs
Athletes who do a lot of running and jumping may be at added risk to get heel spurs. That is because of al the pressure they put on their feet during these activities will wear down the membrane that protects the heel. It often goes hand-in-hand with plantar fasciitis.
Heel Spurs May Also Be Caused By Arthritis
It is generally linked to one type of arthritis: Osteoarthritis. This is when the flexible tissue that is found at the end of bones wears down. The heel spur can push through.
The Link Between Heel Pain & Obesity
Carrying a lot of weight puts tremendous pressure on the feet and that can cause issues while one walks or runs. Eventually, this can cause heel pain as the plantar pigment keeps stretching.
Older people can get them more often since the pad of their feet wears down over the years and thus opens the door for the heel spur to push through. People who stand on their feet for a long time can be susceptible to getting heel spurs.
Heel Spurs Treatments
When it comes to heel spurs, there are several treatment options available. They include:
- Doing certain stretching exercises
- Getting a good pair of shoes with proper support
- Wearing shoe inserts that can help people that have flat feet
- A physical therapist may help by having their patients do certain exercises and stretches
- Taping of the foot
- Wearing night splints
- Taking anti-inflammatories
- Icing the foot for 20 minutes at a time
Most of the time, this can help regulate the discomfort that one might feel with a heel spur. Up to a year may pass, though, and it is still there. Then a doctor may consider surgical options, like releasing the plantar fascia or removing the spur entirely.
Heel spurs are quite common and they can also be largely prevented by wearing shoes that are properly fitting and give feet a lot of support. People who are obese can shed some pounds to take off the pressure on their feet.
Do not expect heel spurs to go away on their own. Also, do not try to self-diagnose the problem. There can be other issues causing the foot pain and that can lead to more issues if a doctor does not take a look. An X-ray can reveal what is going on and then it is a matter of managing it.
Contact a Professional Podiatry In Levittown, NY!
Are you having foot pain? Contact a professional podiatrist In Levittown, NY! Dr. John J Hickey of Levittown Podiatry will be able to examine your foot and see if it is heel spurs. He has many years of experience and will help you with your situation. Give him a call today to make an appointment: 516-735-4545.
Phone: (516) 735-4545