Foot Pain Caused by Heel Spurs

Heel spurs cause prick-like pain when walking. Is there a way to cure them? What's the treatment? Keep reading and we'll tell you all about it.
Foot Pain Caused by Heel Spurs

Last update: 11 November, 2020

Having some sort of pain in your foot can be really limiting. Every step you take is going to be a real pain, which is true for heel spurs.

First of all, it’s important to understand the cause of heel pain, because you need to treat it as soon as possible. This annoyance doesn’t allow for a normal life, and even going from the couch to the bathroom can be a hassle. Next, we’re going to analyze one of the possible causes of heel pain: bone spurs.

What are heel spurs?

As complicated as it sounds, this term simply means that the bone has grown where it shouldn’t. That is, there’s been some process that has led the body to believe that creating bone would make things better. However, the only thing that usually happens is that it causes more pain. Sometimes, heel spurs can be asymptomatic.

For heel spurs, we’re talking about the calcaneal spur, which is the name of the heel bone where it appears. Since they’re so common, it’s been studied in-depth, and there are effective treatments. In addition, given the location, there are usually symptoms because the weight of the body rests on it.

Causes of heel spurs

The cause of pain from heel spurs is chronic plantar fasciitisThe body knows that it has a problem with the fascia on the sole of the foot and thinks that calcifying it will make it more resistant. However, this ends up creating a bony protrusion that, whenever you step on it, hurts.

An x-ray of heel spurs.

In these circumstances, the first way to avoid heel spurs is to treat plantar fasciitis in time. It’s important to receive proper treatment if you notice problems in the sole of the foot. As with many other pathologies, prevention is better than a cure.

Heel pain

As we’ve mentioned, getting a proper diagnosis for heel pain is important as there are many possible causes. In the case of pain from heel spurs, it’s usually a stabbing pain that’s more acute in the morning and during physical activityIn fact, the more intense the activity, the more acute the pain.

The presence of the spur will also cause calluses, since the body will try to protect the bone that it just created.

The good thing about this pathology is that it’s easily diagnosed with an X-ray. Since it’s bone, it’ll be clear that there’s irregular bone growth, and there won’t be any confusion.

Treatment for heel spurs

First, treatment will be aimed at eliminating plantar fasciitis and improving symptoms. This involves losing weight if you’re overweight, stretching the Achilles tendon, and taking pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication if necessary. It’ll also be convenient to rest for a few days and apply ice or heat, depending on whether the pain has lasted several days or if it’s recent.

Afterward, it’s a good idea to go to a physical therapist. Aside from using ice or heat and stretching, there are several other effective techniques you can use. This includes ultrasounds and electric stimulation, mainly.

Physical therapy to treat heel spurs.

On the other hand, you’ll also need to wear appropriate footwear throughout the day. Especially if you do sports, you need to wear shoes that are appropriate for your activities.

In more serious cases, you might need procedures to treat inflammation. Similarly, there are also surgical treatments if it’s very severe.

Is there a cure for heel pain?

Above all, there are two most important points. First, you have to try to prevent this condition. To do this, wear good footwear, avoid being overweight, and don’t exercise too hard. This way, you’ll stop plantar fasciitis and, eventually, heel spurs.

If you’re already suffering from them, the second fact is that there is a cure. Either by a more conservative method or an aggressive one, a doctor will diagnose it and find a solution.

Finally, as always, follow the instructions of your doctor or specialist. The key isn’t just to heal, but also to avoid future relapses.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • J. Rodríguez, B. González, A. de Toro et al. Eficacia de las ondas de choque como método de tratamiento en espolón calcáneo. Fisioterapia. Volume 36, Issue 3, May–June 2014, Pages 135-142
  • S. Apóstol y J. Herrera. Cirugía percutánea en fascitis plantar por espolón calcáneo. Acta Ortop Mex. Volume 23, Issue 4, 2009.
  • E. O’Relly, B. Carmona, K. Martínez et al. Ondas de choque en el tratamiento de espolón calcáneo con fascitis plantar en adulto mayor. Revista Cubana de Medicina Física y Rehabilitación. Volume 8, Issue 2, 2017.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.