Understanding Heel Spurs

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When the heel is subjected to constant wear and tear over a long period of time, the membrane that covers the heel bone can be torn and exposed.  Bone-forming cells then migrate to the site of the tear and deposit calcium at the site, causing tiny, irregularly shaped growths called heel spurs.

Middle-aged men and women are most at risk of heel spurs, although anyone can get them. Heel spurs often present with the same symptoms as plantar fasciitis and the two conditions are often mistaken for each other. In fact, the two conditions often occur simultaneously. When observed with x-ray, 70% of people with plantar fasciitis are found to also have heel spurs.

Many possible factors contribute to the formation heel spurs, including:

  • Repetitive motion from running, jogging, jumping, walking, or “court sports,” especially on hard surfaces
  • Atypical posture when standing or gait when walking
  • Obesity and excess weight
  • Poorly fitted or badly worn shoes, especially those without support at the arch

Although it’s possible for heel spurs to be asymptomatic, they are more often accompanied by deep, stabbing pain. Typically, the area of the heel spur and the surrounding tissue get inflamed, leading to chronic heel pain, especially when walking. The pain is especially sharp when first using the foot after a long period of rest. It calms down to a dull throb, but revives when engaging in physical activity.

Are you experiencing morning heel pain? It’s time for a visit to the foot doctor. With years of specialized training and experience, your podiatrist is the best-qualified professional to treat all issues related to the health of your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Contact us online or call Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. at 410-224-4448 to schedule a convenient appointment with podiatrist Dr. James M. McKee in our comfortable office on Solomons Island Road. Dr. McKee will thoroughly examine your feet using state of the art methods and equipment, accurately diagnose any current or potential areas of concern, create an individualized plan for your treatment, and provide comprehensive follow up to ensure that you continue feeling great.