Don’t let heel spurs keep you off your feet

Do you experience stabbing pain when you walk or run? Do the bottoms of your feet ache? You might have heel spurs.

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.

There are multiple treatment options for heel spurs

Some people who have heel spurs do not 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

If your doctor suspects you have a heel spur, he or she 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
  • Orthotics
  • 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.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.