Bone spurs, clinically known as osteophytes, are calcium deposits that develop on otherwise normal bone due to constant pressure. When the form on the heel, we unsurprisingly refer to them as 'heel spurs.' The spurs sometimes go undetected as long as they are painless, but pain, tingling and swelling can occur if they grow large enough to interfere with nearby tissues, nerves or tendons. Painful heel spurs sometimes form as a result of plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the ligament that stretches between the heel bone and the ball of the foot.
Dr. Steven Vetter, your podiatrist located in Fairfax, Virginia at Oakton Foot & Ankle Center, can help alleviate your heel spur pain.
What does heel spur pain feel like?
Heel spur pain may be intermittent - an occasional pain associated with walking or running - or it may be chronic, which means it is constant. Many of your Fairfax podiatrist's patients describe the pain as a sharp, knife-like pain that they feel when they first get up out of bed in the morning or after standing after sitting for a while. This pain gradually eases to a dull but noticeable ache.
How can heel spurs be treated?
It may seem like rest is the most obvious solution when dealing with heel spurs, but Dr. Vetter, your podiatrist in Fairfax, actually cautions against too much time off your feet, especially if your heel spurs are associated with plantar fasciitis. When the ligament stretches after long periods of rest, it can actually feel worse. For this reason, Dr. Steven Vetter has a series of stretching exercises that he recommends to his Fairfax podiatry patients. He may also recommend specialized shoes or shoe inserts to help support the feet. Since it's estimated that 90 percent of those who deal with heel spurs will recover, surgery is not common and is only for those who do not respond well to conservative treatments within a year's time.
If you've had recurrent heel pain, don't delay in contacting the podiatry staff at Oakton Foot & Ankle Center in Fairfax for a thorough evaluation.