What is it a heel spur?
Heel spurs are abnormal growths that develop at the back of or under the heel. Inflammation around a spur can cause significant pain.
- Heel spurs develop in certain people that have a condition called plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs are formed when the plantar fascia separates from the calcaneus.
- Heel spurs are more common in people that have had plantar fasciitis for a long period of time and in middle-aged adults.
- People with flat feet or high arches and women who wear high heeled shoes are more prone to heel spurs
It is important to be aware that heel spurs may or may not cause symptoms. Symptoms are usually related to the plantar fasciitis. You may experience significant pain and it may be worse in the morning when you first wake up or during certain physical activities such as, walking, jogging, or running.
- In many cases treatment is non-surgical and can relieve pain, but may take from three months to a year to fully recover.
- Performing stretching exercises to help relax the tissues in the heel as well as rest, icing and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or prescription medications can help ease symptoms
- Customized orthotics or shoe inserts to position and cushion your heel can help.
- Surgery is usually considered after having no success with non-surgical treatment for at least a year.
- Plantar fascia release surgery is use to relax the plantar fascia and is commonly paired with tarsal tunnel release surgery. Fortunately, surgery is successful for the majority of people.
Recovery from non-surgical heel spur treatment usually takes three months to a year. Most podiatrist advice patients to have non-surgical treatments for at least one year before considering surgery.
Heel Spur symptoms can be prevented from returning by wearing proper shoes and using customized orthotics and insoles to relieve pressure. It is important to perform your exercises to help keep your foot stretched and relaxed.