Heel Spur: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 18. June 2015 05:19

Heel Spur, also known as Osteophytes are a pointy, bony outgrowth on the bottom of the heel. They are calcium deposits at the end of the heel bone which is caused due to repeated strain. This condition is often confused with a related condition known as Plantar Fasciitis which causes pain in the same part of the foot. Heel Spurs can also make it difficult to walk, run or stand barefoot on hard surfaces. This condition can occur to anyone but are more often found in middle aged people.

Causes

  • Walking abnormalities: Walking improperly can place excessive stress on the heel bone and ligaments. It can also strain the nerves near the heel and lead to an injury to the nerves. Repeated strain to the foot muscles and tissues can lead to the deposition of calcium at the end of the heel bone.
  • Improper shoes: Improper shoes can result in overstressing particular areas of the feet. Wearing shoes which lack support can exhaust the tissues of the heel and may lead to the development of Heel Spurs.
  • Injuries: Injuries to the muscles and tissues of the foot can be caused by abnormal stretch in the band of tissue, which connects the heel and ball of the foot, also known as Plantar Fascia. Repeated injuries can also lead to such outgrowths as the body’s defense mechanism.
  • Excessive weight: Overstraining of the muscles in the feet, specially the muscles in the heel can be caused due to excessive weight. It can also harm the Plantar Fascia.
  • Running or jogging: Excessive jogging or running on hard surfaces can also damage the muscles and tendons of the feet and harm the tissues which can lead to Heel spurs.

Symptoms

  • Pain while walking, running or standing
  • Pain in the bottom of the heel
  • Inflammation below or on the side of the heel
  • Tenderness in the adjacent tissues
  • Pain increases after exercise
  • Mild pain while getting out of bed

Diagnosis

The foot doctor may diagnose the condition with the help of physical examination. The patient may be asked to walk barefoot on a hard ground and describe the pain. The doctor may suggest imaging tests like X-rays or ultrasounds to view the bone spur closely and confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

The doctor generally recommends the patient to perform stretching exercises in order to strengthen the muscles and tissues near the heel. If any exercise causes pain, application of ice is suggested. He may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce pain and tenderness.

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