Heel spurs are often a hot topic among podiatry patients, when discussing heel pain. If you talk to friends or coworkers about having heel pain, chances are at least half of them will mention a heel spur. Below, we will answer some of the Frequently Asked Questions about Heel Spurs.
What Is A Heel Spur?
A Heel Spur is a reactive response to increased tension on the plantar fascia (Bottom of the Heel) or Achilles tendon (Back of the Heel). If either structure is tight or contracted, it will slowly try to pull away from the area where it inserts on the heel bone (calcaneus). It is this pulling process that begins an inflammatory reaction, leading to pain. The bone spur only forms as a biologic response to tension from the tendon. Since the tendon is trying to "pull away" from the bone, the bone tries to "catch up" to the tendon, by building more bone in the direction of the pulling force. Over several months and years, this bony reaction will form a heel spur.
Where Do Heel Spurs Present?
Heel spurs can form on the bottom of the heel, as a response to Plantar Fasciitis. Spurs may also form on the back of the heel, as a response to Achilles Tendinitis. Please follow the links below to learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of each condition.
Why Does The Spur Hurt So Bad?
Actually, the heel spur is not a source of pain. Remember, the heel spur is a Reactive Response. The pain about the heel spur comes from the inflammatory response caused by stretching and small microscopic tears in the tendon, as it attempts to pull away from the bone.
How Do You Treat A Heel Spur?
Since the pain is not caused by the heel spur, you do not have to treat the heel spur. Treatment is geared towards gaining flexibility in the contracted tendon, so that the constant pulling force on the calcaneus is eliminated. This allows the inflammatory process to expire, and the stretched and torn tendon will begin to heal itself.
If you are suffering from heel pain, Call us at 512-593-2949 or CLICK HERE to Schedule an Appointment.