If you have pain in your heel when standing or walking, you might have what is called a heel spur. This is caused by a bony protrusion on your heel bone from calcium deposits. It is easily treatable after you have been diagnosed. Here are some things to know about heel spurs, including what your treatment options are.
You Might Be At a Higher Risk For Heel Spurs
While anyone can get heel spurs, some people are at a higher risk for developing the foot condition. Heel spurs are the often a result of straining the ligaments and muscles in the foot. Stretching the plantar fascia can also lead to tearing the membrane and cause the buildup of calcium deposits that ultimately cause bone spurs. Therefore, if you are an athlete or someone who is physically active and enjoys fitness, you are at a higher risk. This is especially true for activities that require jumping and running. Some other risk factors for heel spurs include obesity, shoes with poor support, diabetes, and having a job where you spend most of the time on your feet.
Start With Home Treatments
If you think you have heel spurs, you may not need to start with medical treatments just yet. Many podiatrists and doctors like to recommend non-invasive treatments at home to start with. If you think you got the heel spurs from your fitness regimen, you will need to take a break. Try to spend less time on your feet, whether through exercise or your job. You will also be taught some gentle stretching exercises that can relax the tissue and ease the pain from the heel spurs. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers can also help, in addition to having custom orthotics made.
Surgery May Be Needed
If the at-home treatment doesn't help with your heel spurs, you may need to have minor surgery performed. There are some different surgical procedures that can be performed, depending on how bad the heel spurs are. The first procedure is called a plantar fascia release, where the foot surgeon loosens the fascia to give you relief. Another procedure allows the surgeon to remove the bone spur itself. In both cases, you will need to take it easy after the procedure and wear custom orthotic shoes during the recovery period.
Speak to a doctor or podiatrist, like those at Center for Foot Care, if you have signs of heel spurs and want to talk about the different treatments available.