A heel spur is a bony growth called a calcium deposit, that can develop between your heel bone and arch. They begin forming at the front of and just underneath your heel and will eventually grow to affect other areas of your foot. While they are not always visible to the naked eye, some can grow to half an inch long.

Some people may not feel any discomfort from a heel spur, while others will experience significant pain that can make everyday tasks difficult.

Symptoms of Heel Spurs

Heel spurs can cause the following symptoms:

  • swelling at the front area of your heel
  • inflammation
  • pain in the heel
  • the area around them will feel warm to the touch

The pain may also spread to the arch of the foot, and you may be able to see a small bony protrusion. Most often, they can only be detected through X-rays or other tests.

How They Affect Everyday Tasks?

Heel spurs can grow for months without drawing any attention to themselves through pain or discomfort.

However, once they do start making their presence felt, walking may become difficult as you may feel a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel with every step. They may also make it challenging to run without pain if that is your preferred method of exercising.

Workers who are required to stand for long periods will find painful spurs troublesome, as the constant pressure put on the heel from standing can cause discomfort and pain. Lifting heavy objects may also aggravate the pain in the heel, as the extra weight will put more stress onto the foot.

Treatments and Surgeries

Less severe spurs may be treatable with an orthotic insert (not ones from the supermarket) to ease the pressure on the heel. Heel spurs may be the body’s healing response to a weakened plantar fascia, so stretching exercises are recommended for strengthening the area and improving flexibility.

Occasionally, medical intervention may be required for treating them. If you think you have a heel spur and it is beginning to become an issue, visit Northwest Surgery Center, where you can book a consultation to discuss your options.