Heel Spur Treatment
When you injure the soft tissues of your foot, such as with plantar fasciitis, the body may respond by depositing calcium onto the surface of the bone. The resulting bony outgrowth, called heel spurs, don’t always cause pain, but when they do it may feel like a jabbing, stabbing sensation whenever you get up and walk around. At Omega Medical Group, we provide comprehensive care for a range of heel pain conditions—including heel spurs—that is designed to get you back on your feet and doing what you love as quickly as possible.
The Pain of Heel Spurs
Contrary to popular belief, heel spurs are usually a symptom of another painful heel condition, rather than a cause. The spur itself, made from calcium, is not painful on its own. However, a particularly long or unfortunately shaped or positioned heel spur may cause pain by jabbing or poking into softer, fleshier tissues. This sensation tends to be centralized on the bottom of the foot toward the front of the heel, and is most pronounced during or after periods of activity. It may be sharp and acute, or chronic and aching from repetitive friction.
How Heel Spurs Form
Heel spurs are closely linked to plantar fasciitis. In this common form of heel pain, the band of tough tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot stretches and tears near where it connects with the heel bone. If your plantar fasciitis becomes chronic, small deposits of calcium can begin to build up at the base of the heel bone over a period of time; usually several months. (This can also occur in response to strains in foot muscles, or tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone.) Some spurs can even reach half an inch in length!
Athletes, people who work on their feet, and those who lead active lifestyles are especially likely to develop chronic heel pain and, ultimately, heel spurs as well. Badly fitting shoes, obesity, gait abnormalities, and flat feet are also risk factors.
Heel Spur Treatment
You may be surprised to know that heel spurs may not need to be removed, depending on what’s really causing your discomfort. Since plantar fasciitis and heel spurs can cause pain independent of one another—and the heel spur might not actually be causing pain at all—it’s entirely possible that treating the plantar fasciitis will be more than enough to relieve your symptoms. If it isn’t causing you pain, there’s no reason the bone spur must be removed.
We pride ourselves on our wide range of state-of-the-art care options for heel pain, including regenerative medicine techniques. Treatment may include one or more of the following:
- Custom orthotics, which are inserts that slip inside your shoes to cushion feet, support arches, and correct posture.
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP), which uses a sample of your own blood enriched with natural growth factors to promote healing.
- Clarix Flo, which uses injections of healthy, donated amniotic membrane tissue to reduce swelling and repair damaged tissues.
- Physical therapy, which uses stretches and exercises to relax and strengthen critical foot structures.
About 9 in 10 patients (or more) will manage to overcome their heel pain through conservative care alone. For those who have pain specifically related to their heel spur, of course, healing the soft tissues won’t be enough. In those cases, we can remove the spur surgically, and if necessary also release the plantar fascia tissue to loosen it. Whenever possible, we utilize minimally invasive surgical techniques to quicken your recovery time and reduce the amount of scarring.
Getting Back to Doing What You Love
We say this a lot: foot problems are never just about the feet. Painful heel spurs and plantar fasciitis won’t stay confined to your lower limbs. The pain will keep you from running, jumping, working, playing, and doing all the other things you love. That’s why we treat you with your whole body, and your lifestyle, in mind.
To set up an appointment with Dr. Marizeli Olacio, give us a call today at (305) 514-0404. You can also request an appointment online.