A small, bony protrusion that grows from the back of your heel is called a heel spur. People who experience plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the tissue that spans the bottom of the foot, often experience the growth of a heel spur. Both conditions are caused by too much stress to the foot from participating in sports or from repetitive stress motions. Although heel spurs are not always painful, the protrusion can make it difficult to wear shoes without considerable pain and discomfort.
2 main factors that increase the chance of developing a heel spur include:
Wearing the wrong shoes—Properly-fitted shoes with the right arch support are essential to avoiding the tendon and ligament stress and damage that contribute to plantar fasciitis and lead to the growth of a heel spur.
Increased weight and age—Carrying extra weight decreases the flexibility of the plantar fascia. As we get older, the cushioning layer of skin in the heel also diminishes and heel spurs are more likely to occur.
How to treat heel spurs
Heel spurs can often be successfully treated with conservative measures:
Wearing properly fitted shoes with extra cushioning in the heel area
Physical therapy to increase strength and relax the swollen tissues
Custom-fitted orthotic inserts to increase stability and add heel cushioning
If you are experiencing heel pain, see your podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.