Heel spurs contain a bony outgrowth made up of calcium deposits. They develop under the skin and can be difficult to see, but you can usually feel them. One of the most common reasons that people develop heel spurs is that they have plantar fasciitis. The cause of plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the tissue that stretches across the bottom of the foot and connects the heels and toes together.
Other Causes of Heel Spurs
Heel spurs can also develop in response to other underlying conditions, including arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Here are some additional reasons you may develop a heel spur:
- Wearing non-supportive or improperly fitted footwear such as flip-flops.
- Overuse injuries that develop from jumping and running on hard floors and other surfaces. These actions can cause heel spurs by wearing down the arch and heel of your foot.
- Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on your feet and can eventually lead to heel spurs.
Typical Symptoms Associated with Heel Spurs
Although heel spurs are not always visible without an X-ray, some people notice a small protrusion on the area of their heel where they feel pain. Other common symptoms include:
- Hot and burning sensations
- Inflammation and swelling
- Tenderness in the heel makes it difficult to walk barefoot or with non-supportive shoes
We encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Lamour, your local podiatrist in Austin, TX, if you notice any of these symptoms. He will examine your foot and take an X-ray to help him make a formal diagnosis.
Heel Spur Treatment
Resting your foot and placing ice on the heel is the first-line treatment for heel spurs. Dr. Lamour will also give you stretching exercises and advise you to take anti-inflammatory medication if needed. Physical therapy, special orthotic shoes, and cortisone injections are additional options to consider.