Heel spurs happen when calcium deposits form a bony protrusion (lump) on your heel bone. Many times, if you have plantar fasciitis (irritation of the tissue that supports the arch of your foot), you may also have a heel spur. Main Line Health offers both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options to help relieve the pain of heel spurs.
Orthopaedics at Main Line Health offers highly-trained orthopaedic specialists experienced in both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options to help relieve the pain of heel spurs.
Symptoms of heel spurs
Some people who have heel spurs don't have any symptoms. Others only experience symptoms when they walk or run, or if they stand on their feet for a long time. Heel spurs may cause symptoms ranging from sharp pain in the heel to a dull ache on the bottom of the foot.
Heel spurs can be caused by multiple factors, including:
- Gait (walking) abnormalities
- Muscle strain
- Ligament strain
- Obesity (excess weight)
- Plantar fasciitis
- Running often on hard surfaces
- Shoes that do not fit correctly
Treatment and recovery
If your doctor suspects you have a heel spur, they may do an X-ray to confirm the problem. There are many nonsurgical treatment options for heel spurs, including:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines
- Cortisone injections
- Icing the heel
- Padding in the shoes
- Physical therapy
- Resting the heel
- Shoe modifications
Your doctor may also recommend extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), which uses high-energy impulses to stimulate the healing process in your damaged tissue. If none of the nonsurgical treatment options help relieve your symptoms, you may need surgery.