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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

Heel Pain and Bone Spurs

Heel pain can have many causes, but plantar fasciitis is one of the most frequently seen reasons. A bone spur often goes hand-in-hand with this condition. Treating a heel spur usually means healing the plantar fasciitis, as the spur itself is usually not painful unless it is pressing on irritated tissue. It is usually fairly easy to treat both of these conditions without invasive means.

What is a Heel Spur?

A heel spur is a bony deposit that develops on the bottom of the heel. They can be painless, but if left untreated they may become irritating or even painful. These calcium deposits are usually found as a result of having plantar fasciitis. When you have inflammation of the plantar fascia it is because you have been putting a lot of strain on the ligaments and muscles in your feet. The fascia pulls against the bone, which builds up extra calcium at the site of the stress to protect itself. Those who are at a higher risk of developing a heel spur include athletes who run on hard surfaces, people who are overweight, people with gait abnormalities, and those whose shoes do not fit their feet properly.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs are characterized by a sharp, shooting pain in your feet the first thing in the morning. It usually gets better while using your feet throughout the day and may turn into more of a dull ache. The plantar fascia is responsible for supporting your arches, so people with arch deformities are at an increased risk of developing this problem. Plantar fasciitis is usually easy to heal and does not require the use of invasive treatments.

Treatment for Heel Pain

Treatment for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs usually involves conservative measures. Custom-made orthotics or shoe inserts can help immensely with arch support. You can also try taping your feet to help with sore muscles and tendons. One of the best ways to help ease this pain is with stretching and physical therapy. Try rolling a ball or a frozen bottle of water along your arches. This can help relieve pain while stretching various parts of your feet. You can also help strengthen these muscles by scrunching up a towel or picking up marbles with your toes. Your doctor might also prescribe certain medications for the pain. If conservative options are not working then you may need to get more invasive with corticosteroid injections, or even surgery. To treat a heel spur with surgery your doctor may perform a release of the plantar fascia or simply remove the spur.

Getting Medical Attention

If you have questions about preventing or treating bone spurs or plantar fasciitis call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel, podiatrist North Andover, at (888) 616-2512 to schedule an appointment. We have three Massachusetts office locations available for your convenience. We can help diagnose and treat your heel pain so you can get yourself back on the path to foot health and wellness.