Heel spurs: Symptoms and Risk Factors
Signs that you may have a heel spur include pain felt in the heel region, swelling at the front of the heel, and inflammation. If the affected area also feels warm to the touch, you may be experiencing the symptoms of a heel spur. Heel spurs are extremely uncomfortable and can often lead to a great deal of pain if left untreated. They may develop due to excess body weight, complications with arthritis, wearing poorly fitted shoes, and bruising of the heel.
Causes of Heel Spurs and their Prevention
A heel spur takes the form of a bony-like growth. This is due to a calcium deposit that extends between the heel bone and foot arch. They can grow up to half an inch in length; however, they may not be outwardly visible. Because heel spurs tend to grow, increasing the overall discomfort felt, it’s important that you seek professional help as soon as pain is experienced for early detection.
It is possible to have a heel spur without showing signs of any symptoms. However, if inflammation develops at the point of the spur’s formation, you may have pain while walking or running. In terms of diagnosis, sometimes all a doctor needs to know is that the patient is experiencing a sharp pain localized to the heel to diagnose a heel spur. Other times, an x-ray may be needed to confirm the presence of a heel spur.
Heel spurs can be prevented by wearing well-fitting shoes that have shock-absorbent soles. You should also be sure that you are choosing the right shoe for the activity you want to partake in; for example, do not wear walking shoes when you want to go on a run. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight can be beneficial toward preventing heel spurs, as it will prevent an excess amount of pressure being placed on the ligaments.
Orthopedic shoes are specially designed footwear for people who suffer with foot problems. Orthopedics offer a rubber sole, which cushions the heel and adds comfort to those who suffer from heel spurs. Another simple way to help the pain of heel spurs is to elevate the ankle to diminish the pain. When elevating the ankle, the blood is not focused on that area of the foot and can bring some relief. When all these options have been attempted, and there is still no relief from heel spurs, or the heel spurs return, surgery can be the more dramatic and permanent way to rid patient of heel spurs.
For a proper diagnosis and recommendations for treatment, we suggest you consult with a podiatrist about any heel pain concerns.