Heel Spurs

What is a Heel Spur?

A heel spur is calcium deposit located underneath the heel that causes small pieces of bone to protrude. Pain associated with heel spurs is often confused with another condition called plantar fasciitis—which refers to inflammation in plantar fascia ligament. A heel spur, on the other hand, is a piece of bone that forms on the heel bone itself.

In most cases, heel spurs do not cause any symptoms. Although there are cases where heel spurs are associated with intermittent or chronic pain. However, the heel spur itself is not necessarily the root of the pain. Instead, the pain is attributed to the inflammation or irritation of the plantar fascia ligament. Pain is usually worst in the morning when you first wake up, but it recedes as ligaments loosen.

Heel Spur Causes

Heel spurs take months to develop and may go completely unnoticed. Heel spurs are most often a result of too much stress or pressure on the ligaments in the foot. They can also be the result of repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone. The same physical activities that cause plantar fasciitis can result in heel spurs.

Other significant factors that contribute to the development of heel spurs include:

  • Mechanical defects that cause gait abnormalities
  • Tight calf muscles that limit ankle flexibility
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Poorly shoe choice
  • Activities that demand extended time on your feet

Treatment Options

Heel spurs cannot be diagnosed through a physical exam; they can only be seen using an x-ray. In fact, many heel spurs are diagnosed based off images your doctor takes while looking for something else. When heel pain persists for more than a month, you should contact your podiatrist. He or she may recommend the following non-invasive treatment methods:

  • Various stretching exercises
  • Shoe replacement
  • Custom orthotics
  • Padding
  • Physical therapy

Most cases of heel pain can be treated with conservative methods, but anti-inflammatory medications or injections may also be recommended. These medications not only reduce pain, but inflammation too.

Monticello Office

427 Broadway, Suite 2
Monticello, NY 12701
(845) 692-3668

Liberty Office

Colonial Square Mall
1987 Route 52, Suite 7
Liberty, NY 12754
(845) 692-3668

Callicoon Office

Catskill Regional Medical Center
8081 Route 97
Callicoon, NY 12723
(845) 692-3668

Middetown Office

390 Crystal Run Rd., Suite 110
Middletown, NY 10941
(845) 692-3668

Monroe Office

400 State Route 17M, Suite 17
Monroe, NY 10950
(845) 692-3668

Port Jervis Office

156 Pike Street
Port Jervis, NY 12771
(845) 692-3668