Heel spurs are a common reason for people to visit their podiatrist serving Scottsdale. These small calcium deposits can cause major pain, but treatments are available to relieve your symptoms. Heel
spurs grow along the plantar fascia and create a sensation similar to that of a pebble being stuck in your shoe. Your podiatrist will use a physical exam plus X-rays to determine if a heel spur is
the cause of your foot pain before beginning treatment. If you do have a heel spur, your podiatrist may recommend a cortisone injection to ease inflammation. Other techniques, such as stretching the
calf muscles, treating the heel with ice, and wearing a custom orthotic may also provide relief from the discomfort of a heel spur.
Heel spurs under the sole of the foot (plantar area) are associated with inflammation of the plantar fascia (fasciitis), the "bowstring-like" tissue stretching underneath the sole that attaches at
the heel. Plantar heel spurs cause localized tenderness and pain made worse when stepping down on the heel. Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can occur alone or be related to underlying diseases that
cause arthritis (inflammation of the joints), such as reactive arthritis (formerly called Reiter's disease), ankylosing spondylitis, and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. It is important to
note that heel spurs may cause no symptoms at all and may be incidentally discovered during X-ray exams taken for other purposes.
Major symptoms consist of pain in the region surrounding the spur, which typically increases in intensity after prolonged periods of rest. Patients may report heel pain to be more severe when waking
up in the morning. Patients may not be able to bear weight on the afflicted heel comfortably. Running, walking, or lifting heavy weight may exacerbate the issue.
The diagnosis of heel pain and heel spurs is made by a through history of the course of the condition and by physical exam. Weight bearing x-rays are useful in determining if a heel spur is present
and to rule out rare causes of heel pain such as a stress fracture of the heel bone, the presence of bone tumors or evidence of soft tissue damage caused by certain connective tissue disorders.
Non Surgical Treatment
In some cases, heel spur pain may not be resolved through conservative treatment options. In those cases, cortisone injections may be used to reduce inflammation associated with the condition,
helping to reduce discomfort. However, treatment options such as these must be discussed in detail with your physician, since more serious forms of treatment could yield negative side effects, such
as atrophy of the heel's fat pad, or the rupture of the plantar fascia ligament. Although such side effects are rare, they are potential problems that could deliver added heel pain.
Almost 90% of the people suffering from heel spur get better with nonsurgical treatments. However, if the conservative treatments do not help you and you still have pain even after 9 to 12 months,
your doctor may advise surgery for treating heel spur. The surgery helps in reducing the pain and improving your mobility. Some of the surgical techniques used by doctors are release of the plantar
fascia. Removal of a spur. Before the surgery, the doctor will go for some pre-surgical tests and exams. After the operation, you will need to follow some specific recommendations which may include
elevation of the foot, waiting time only after which you can put weight on the foot etc.
A variety of steps can be taken to avoid heel pain and accompanying afflictions. Wear shoes that fit well-front, back, and sides-and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel
counters. Wear the proper shoes for each activity. Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles. Prepare properly before exercising. Warm up and do stretching exercises before and after
running. Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities. Don't underestimate your body's need for rest and good nutrition. If obese, lose weight.