Do you often feel pain or swelling in your heels? You may have heel spurs.
Heel spurs are bony growths on your heel that often form a hook, making it painful to stand and walk. This condition is caused by the buildup of calcium deposits in the heel. Calcium deposits can build up over several months and are often caused by strain on foot muscles and ligaments. Heel spurs are caused by continual pressure on the portion where the heel bone connects to the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes.
At Newtown Foot and Ankle Specialists, we make it our mission to give patients comprehensive podiatry services. Our doctors will work with you to find the best treatments to correct pain caused by heel spurs in Newtown, PA.
But what conditions accompany heel spurs, and what are the risk factors for developing chronic heel pain?
Problems Connected to Heel Spurs
Multiple issues that can occur in conjunction with heel spurs include:
- Sports injuries
- Calcium deficiencies
- Inflammatory diseases
- Plantar fasciitis
Please let us know if you encounter these problems besides your heel spurs so we can treat you accordingly. If you do not address heel spurs when you notice pain or inflammation at the bottom of your foot, you can traumatize your foot’s nerves.
Untreated, painful heel spurs can lead to neuropathy over time. Neuropathy, or damage to the nerves, may be permanent. Contact our office for heel spur treatment to prevent chronic pain and the possibility of developing more foot problems.
Heel Spur Risk Factors
Several conditions may cause some patients to be more prone to developing heel spurs than others:
- Placing an excessive weight on the heel bone
- Wearing poorly fitting shoes or shoes without arch support
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Standing for periods time
- Running on hard surfaces
Heel spurs are associated with chronic pain in the heel when walking, jogging, or running. This pain may feel worse after prolonged rest or extensive walking.
Initially, you may need to run less frequently if you encounter a heel spur. Once your heel spur improves, you can gradually begin activities like jogging or running. However, if you can’t avoid standing for prolonged periods, or you can’t escape risk factors like naturally flat feet or high arches, you will require treatment from a podiatrist.
Heel Spur Treatment in Newtown, PA
You can treat heel spurs with comfortable shoe inserts and stretching exercises, although sometimes professional help may be needed. Our doctors in Bucks County can determine relevant solutions for your specific ailment.
There are multiple professional treatment options for heel spurs, including:
- Physical therapy
- Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT)
- Night splints
- Prescription medicine (anti-inflammatory)
- Orthotic devices
- Cortisone injections
Before choosing your treatment option or a combination of several treatment options, our doctors will discuss your symptoms and medical history to determine which treatment is correct for you and your needs. We strive to provide the most comfortable care possible in our Newtown, PA office.
Our office offers shockwave therapy, a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment for painful heel spurs. During this therapy, we use sound waves to stimulate healing in the foot. Treatment can take about 30 minutes per foot. Shockwave therapy can also address plantar fasciitis.
We can provide cortisone injections to reduce inflammation from heel spurs. In our office, we can inject cortisone into the foot to help relieve pain and swelling for up to 6 months.
At home, we recommend resting your feet, icing the bottom of your feet, and wearing shoe inserts that help support your foot arch. Additionally, you can wear a splint at night to keep your foot stable and gently stretch your foot during sleep. The splint will prevent your tendon from contracting and offer compression for your foot.
We can recommend physical therapy exercises to alleviate inflammation and foot pain from your heel spurs. These exercises reduce inflammation and irritation at the site of your heel spur.
Most patients will not require surgery to relieve their heel spur. However, in severe cases, you may need surgery to release the plantar fascia, the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. This tissue causes pain when inflamed, and plantar fasciitis, or tissue inflammation, can occur in conjunction with heel spurs.
We will evaluate your heel spur before recommending surgery to determine if it’s a proper treatment for your heel spur. Heel spur surgery is only required for patients who are resistant to treatment for their pain.
Heel Spur FAQs
Learn more about heel spurs and the answers to frequently asked questions below.
What is the difference between heel spurs and plantar fasciitis?
A heel spur is a calcium deposit that causes a protrusion in the heel. Plantar fasciitis is the painful inflammation of the tissue on the underside of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a symptom of heel spurs. Chances are that if you have plantar fasciitis, you have a heel spur.
Are heel spurs permanent?
No, heel spurs are rarely permanent. Plantar fasciitis, which causes inflammation, is treatable. A surgeon can also remove heel spurs. Many patients with heel spurs or plantar fasciitis improve with the professional treatment options that we offer in our Newtown, PA office.
Do I need surgery to remove a heel spur?
No. Most patients will not need surgery to heal a heel spur. We can provide physical therapy and other non-surgical treatments to reduce symptoms and cure heel spur issues. It is best to seek treatment and not leave a heel spur untreated. You can expect significant pain and inability to walk or move if left untreated.
What happens if you keep walking or running on a heel spur?
Continual pressure on your heel spur will increase inflammation and pain. You may walk differently to avoid heel pain, which will affect your gait. Treating your heel spur can prevent these problems.
How long does a heel spur last?
A heel spur can last several weeks or months if left untreated. If you notice pain or inflammation at the bottom of your heel, it’s a good idea to rest your foot, wear orthotics, and avoid putting weight on your heel. You can also change your exercises to avoid too much pressure on your heel. If your pain persists, you will need professional treatment.
How does weight affect heel spurs?
In addition to hard surfaces, extra weight can increase pressure on the heel and increase the risk of developing heel spurs. To prevent heel spurs, don’t overdo exercises that are new to you, and make sure your shoes have proper arch support.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Relieve chronic pain caused by heel spurs. Call Newtown Foot and Ankle Specialists to treat your heel spurs in Newtown, PA, and speak to a board-certified doctor today at 215.234.3772. You can also schedule a consultation with our professionals online. We will work with you every step of the way, from an initial assessment through treatment and recovery.