A heel spur is a bony outgrowth from the heel bone. Heels spurs are typically detected by a radiographic examination (commonly referred to as an "x-ray").
When a foot is exposed to constant stress, calcium deposits build up on the bottom of the heel bone. Generally, this has no effect on a person's daily life. However, repeated damage can cause these deposits to pile up on each other, causing a spur-shaped deformity, called a calcaneal (or heel) spur.
Signs and symptoms
Major symptoms consist of pain in the region surrounding the spur, which typically increases in intensity after prolonged periods of rest. Patients may report heel pain to be more severe when waking up in the morning. Patients may not be able to bear weight on the afflicted heel comfortably. Running, walking, or lifting heavy weight may exacerbate the issue.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of calcaneal (heel) spurs. Generally, a heel spur develops when proper care is not given to the foot and heels. People who are obese, have flat feet, or who often wear high-heeled shoes are most susceptible to heel spurs.
It is often seen as a repetitive stress injury, thus lifestyle modification is typically the basic course of management strategies. For example, a person should begin doing foot and calf workouts. Strong muscles in the calves and lower legs will help take the stress off the bone and thus help cure or prevent heel spurs. Icing the area is an effective way to get immediate pain relief.