A heel spur is a calcium deposit which causes a bony bump on the underside of the heel bone. On an X-ray, a heel spur can extend forward by as much as a half-inch. Without visible X-ray evidence, the condition is sometimes known as Heel Spur Syndrome. Usually heel spurs are painless but may sometimes cause heel pain. They are associated with plantar fasciitis which is pain in the bottom part of the foot.
Heel spurs generally show no symptoms. But heel spurs can be associated with intermediate or chronic pain especially while walking, jogging, or running. It can cause pain if the inflammation develops at the point of the spur formation. In general, the cause of the pain is not the heel spurs itself but the soft-tissue injury associated with it. Many people describe the pain of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis as a knife or pin sticking into the bottom of their feet when they first stand up in the morning.
Heel spurs are very common among athletes or with people associated to a lot of physical activity. Excessive stress on the heel can also cause pain the lower heel and result in spurs. Old age, diabetes, and flat feet can also cause heel spurs.
There are a number of surgical and non-surgical treatment options for heel spurs. Non-surgical treatments include the use of shoe inserts, orthotic devices, stretching exercises, and physiotherapy. Surgical treatments include removal of the spur or release of plantar fascia.
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