A heel spur can be caused by chronic plantar fasciitis or the inflammation of the plantar fascia. People suffering from plantar fasciitis have a high risk for developing a heel spur. However, heel spurs may also develop even without plantar fasciitis.
A heel spur is a small bony projection formed at the underside of the heel bone. This condition is commonly found in athletes, especially runners. The condition can be properly diagnosed through imaging procedures such as an X-ray. This is why heel spurs are hard to detect especially for people who don’t exhibit any symptoms.
It can only be seen through radiological tests such as an X-ray. This is the reason why this condition will go unnoticed, especially to patients who do not exhibit any symptoms. Dr. Joseph Stuto is a podiatrist who specializes in helping people with heel spurs.
When to see a podiatrist
Patients suffering from plantar fasciitis even for those without a heel spur. They should consult his condition to a podiatrist or foot, leg and hip specialist to prevent from further complications. Those who are experiencing pain and swelling of the joints must immediately see a podiatrist for immediate treatment. A podiatrist is in the best position to properly asses, make a treatment plan and prescribe edication to the patient.
Treating Heel Spurs
The first step in treating heel spurs is immediate rest and inflammation control. But this only relieves the symptoms and not treat the condition. However, heel spurs that limit the activities of a patient may require surgical removal. The podiatrist may suggest surgical treatments such as:
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
- Gastrocnemius release
- Endoscopic Plantar Fascial Release
Pros and Cons of Heel Spur Removal
Most heel spurs are asymptomatic and don’t cause pain. A podiatrist may recommend heel spurs surgery if a patient reports severe pain. One major benefit of heel spur removal is it eliminates symptoms and pain. Complications include soft tissue damage and nerve damage.
Heel Spur Management
Foot related conditions require wearing appropriate foot wear. A podiatrist may recommend wearing appropriate foot wear for managing heel spurs. They might also recommend weight management to decrease the pressure on the ligaments, tendons and bones of the feet.
Heel management may include:
- Proper stretching and exercise
- RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
- Wear arch supports
- Take anti-inflammatory medications, only if prescribed by the podiatrist