Heel spurs are small lumps of excess bone that grow and stick out on the calcaneus, aka heel bone. They usually develop in response to friction, tightness, inflammation or injury when the body lays
down extra layers of bone to try and protect itself. There are two areas where heel bone spurs tend to develop. At the back of the heel: these are usually due to conditions such as Achilles
tendonitis, tight calf muscles or wearing tight footwear. These are known as posterior calcaneal spurs. Underneath the heel: these are usually due to conditions such as plantar fasciitis, muscle
imbalance or altered foot biomechanics. These are known as inferior calcaneal spurs.
The plantar fascia is a thick, ligamentous connective tissue that runs from the calcaneus (heel bone) to the ball of the foot. This strong and tight tissue helps maintain the arch of the foot. It is
also one of the major transmitters of weight across the foot as you walk or run. That's why tremendous stress is placed on the plantar fascia.
Most bone spurs cause no signs or symptoms. You might not realize you have bone spurs until an X-ray for another condition reveals the growths. In some cases, though, bone spurs can cause pain and
loss of motion in your joints.
Most patients who are suffering with heel spurs can see them with an X-ray scan. They are normally hooked and extend into the heel. Some people who have heel spur may not even have noticeable
symptoms, although could still be able to see a spur in an X-ray scan.
Non Surgical Treatment
Heel spurs can be solved with simple solutions that do not involve surgery. Avoiding extended periods of activity such as running, sports and walking. Applying ice directly to the heel for 5 minutes
at a time. This helps soothe and reduce inflammation. Lose weight to reduce stress on your heels. A series of simple exercises. Inexpensive orthotic shoe inserts. The best way to treat heel spurs is
by treating the underlying cause of the problem. This involves correcting the dynamics of your foot motion with orthotic insoles.
When chronic heel pain fails to respond to conservative treatment, surgical treatment may be necessary. Heel surgery can provide pain relief and restore mobility. The type of procedure used is based
on examination and usually consists of releasing the excessive tightness of the plantar fascia, called a plantar fascia release. The procedure may also include removal of heel spurs.