One in every 10 people develops a heel spur at sometime during their life, but only about 5% of them experience pain or discomfort. At Universal Footcare in Chelsea, Manhattan, board-certified podiatrist Neha Pathak, DPM, works with patients to safely treat heel spurs. To schedule an appointment at the New York City-based practice, call the office or book online today.
A heel spur is a calcium deposit, or bone growth, that develops between your heel bone and the arch of your foot.
Heel spurs usually affect the area directly beneath and in front of your heel. As they grow in size, you might also experience pain in other parts of your foot.
Some heel spurs are large and visible. Others are tiny and undetectable to the naked eye.
The symptoms of a heel spur depend on its size and location. Common indications of a heel spur include:
Over time, you might also notice that the skin covering your heel is warm to the touch. You might also notice a small bulge or bump beneath the surface of your skin.
Heel spurs form due to repetitive strain on the muscles and ligaments in your feet. Over time, general wear-and-tear places stress on your heel bone, triggering the formation of spurs.
Heel spurs don’t form overnight. They develop over months or years of running, walking, or jumping on hard surfaces. Other common causes of heel spurs include:
You’re also more likely to develop a heel spur if you wear worn-out or poorly fitted shoes.
The bony protrusions heel spurs cause usually aren’t visible to the naked eye. As a result, Dr. Pathak orders X-rays to observe the bones and joints in your foot.
She also reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, and conducts a thorough exam of your feet, heels, and ankles.
During your exam, she might have you stand on one foot or take a brief walk around the office to observe your gait, balance, and overall posture.
Dr. Pathak usually prescribes conservative, noninvasive treatments to ease pain caused by heel spurs. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, she might recommend icing your heel with cold compresses, receiving corticosteroid injections, resting, or participating in physical therapy and stretching exercises.
If your pain persists or interferes with your ability to exercise, you might benefit from custom orthotics. Dr. Pathak provides custom orthotics onsite in her state-of-the-art office.
Sometimes, custom orthotics and conservative treatments don’t provide adequate relief. If this is the case, surgical intervention may be necessary. Heel spur surgery doesn’t just ease pain, it can also boost the mobility of your foot in general.
To explore your treatment options for a heel spur, make an appointment at Universal Footcare. Call the office or book online today.