Heel spurs can be very painful and may mimic the same pain as plantar fasciitis. It is a pain in the heel that is caused by excessive bone growth on the heel that rubs on the nerves, joints, and other areas of the foot. Heel spurs can happen to both men and women, although they can occur more often in women. Read on for symptoms and treatment options.
Heel Spur Symptoms
Heel spurs sound like they would be sharp, spur-shaped objects inside the foot, but they are actually smooth growths on the heel bone. Heel spurs can be caused by a number of things including wearing improper fitting footwear, being overweight, or from high-impact exercise such as running where the foot is hitting the ground hard. Some symptoms of heel spurs include:
- Sharp pain in the heel where the spur may be located. It can vary depending on the activity you are doing.
- Pain early in the morning when you take your first steps.
- Redness or inflammation at the point of the heel spur.
The pain from the bone spur occurs when the spur rubs against anything else in the foot. For some people, the spurs may not cause any pain at all.
Heel Spur Treatment Options
Heel spurs can be treated with the help of exercises and stretches. In some severe cases surgery may be used to remove the heel spurs. Some exercises and stretches you can do at home include:
- Bottle-rolling exercise. Freeze a bottle of water and then roll it on a towel using the spot where your heel spur is located. Roll it back and forth for about 5 minutes. Repeat the process a few times throughout the day to ease the pain associated with heel spurs.
- Towel stretch. Sit on the floor with your legs and feet in front of you. Use a towel around your foot and gently pull on the towel at the heel where the point of pain is located. Allow the foot to rest and repeat the process. Do this for at least 2 minutes.
- Wall stretch. Stand in front of a wall and place your hands on the wall in front of you. Bend your knee on one of your legs and leave the other slightly behind the other without bending the knee. This stretches the calf and the foot as well. Do this stretch for at least 5 minutes.
Heel spurs can be quite painful. If you are experiencing any pain in your heel, see your podiatrist for an exact diagnosis and treatment options. Be sure to wear comfortable-fitting shoes with enough support for the entire foot to prevent heel spurs and other types of foot pain issues. You can also contact companies like Chesapeake Research Group, LLC for more information.