Heel pain is very common and often painful. There are many heel conditions that arise from the wear and tear and stress on your heel bone. One of the conditions being heel spurs. A heel spur (or osteophyte) is a small bony growth or collection of bony growths on the back or underside of the heel. Fortunately, most of the time they are painless, and cause minimal discomfort and generally have no symptoms.
Heel spurs are often associated with plantar fasciitis, although similar, they are two completely different diagnoses. About 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis have a heel spur that can be seen with an X-ray. Usually, plantar fasciitis is followed by a heel spur.
Calcium deposits building on the underside of the heel bone is how a heel spur is formed. This process take a long time to form. The cause of heel spurs are often caused by strains on foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone. Heel spurs are typically prevalent among athletes whose activities include large amounts of running and jumping.
The recommended treatment of heel spurs is to rest from any physical activity, apply ice to heel area, and stretch the calf muscle and foot. Stretches and exercise will help relax the tissues that surround the bone. Going to a physical therapist will help you take care of all heel spurs. You may also take anti-inflammatory medication to help control the pain, and if pain worsen, an injection of cortisone. It is also important to be sure to wear well- fitting shoes.
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