Heel spurs are a common complaint and cause of heel pain. Heel spurs, also known as calcaneal spurs, can be on the bottom of the heel bone or at the back near the Achilles tendon. A large part of the time, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis occur at the same time.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation in the plantar fascial ligament and heel spurs often grow inside of the plantar fascial ligament. In my experience, if someone has suffered from plantar fasciitis for a long period of time, they are more likely to have developed a heel spur.
Treatment initially consists of some at-home physical therapy exercises to stretch the plantar fascial ligament as well as ice, modalities like ultrasound, massage, cold laser and electrical stimulation, and oral anti-inflammatories to control pain and inflammation. Also, we often inject around the heel spur to reduce inflammation and pain. These injections will not dissolve or remove the spur, but in the majority of cases, if you can remove the inflammation and heel the ligament associated with that spur, the pain can resolve. Most of the time, the spur itself is not causing the pain, but the inflammation caused by the spur is the pain limiting factor. However, in cases of very large heel spurs, they can be the direct source of pain. Custom orthotics can also be implemented to offload the heel spur area. If more conservative care does not help, surgical excision of the spur is recommended.
If you are suffering from heel pain, contact our office today at 865-524-1234. Our team blends traditional podiatry with physical therapy, massage therapy, walk-in medical care, and chiropractic to give our patients a wider selection of treatment options so they can heal faster with longer lasting results.
-Written by Dr. Bradley Gipson