Heel spurs are frequently associated with plantar fasciitis.
Heel spurs are the result of a calcium deposit which causes a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. The pain felt from a heel spur may, in fact, be pain from plantar fasciitis, rather than from the actual bones. As many as 70 percent of patients with plantar fasciitis have a bone spur. Heel spurs can be due to overstretching of the plantar fascia, as well as strain on the ligaments and muscles of the foot. Athletes who commonly engage in high levels of jumping and/or running may be more likely to develop heel spurs than less active people. When seen on an x-ray, a heel spur can extend forward by as much as half an inch.
Causes and Symptoms Associated with Heel Spurs
Heel spurs can be located at the back of the heel, or under the heel, beneath the sole. Those at the back of the heel often go hand-in-hand with Achilles tendon inflammation, causing pain at the back of the heel when you push off the ball of your foot. Heel spurs located under the sole of the foot are more likely to be associated with plantar fasciitis, and cause localized pain that is worsened when you step down on your heel. Other causes of heel spurs include an uneven gait, wearing worn or ill-fitting shoes, employment which requires long hours standing, and the normal aging process which results in a decrease in ligament elasticity. Heel spurs may occur on their own, or could be related to an underlying medical condition, including:
- Reactive arthritis
- Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Inflammation of the joints
Heel spurs have been described as a “jabbing,” “stabbing,” or “aching” sensation on or under the heel bone. The pain of heel spurs tends to be worse in the morning, or when standing up after a prolonged bout of sitting. After walking for a bit, the discomfort and pain may lessen, only to return. The pain of heel spurs can be chronic, or intermittent.
Treatment of Heel Spurs
If you suffer from heel spurs, you want relief from your pain. At Seattle Pain, we will evaluate your heel spurs, then work with you to develop a customized, comprehensive pain treatment program. We offer both traditional and non-traditional treatments at Seattle Pain, including the following:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Corticosteroid injections
Could the source of your heel pain be caused by a heel spur?
Contact Our Pain Management Specialists
At Seattle Pain, we can help relieve heel pain caused by painful heel spurs, and significantly improve your quality of life. We believe in treating the whole patient – and not just the injury. You do not have to live in pain. Call us today at 253-944-1289 or complete a contact form today.