Heel spurs don’t always cause pain, but when they do – the pain can be disabling. These bony-like growths that form on the bottom of your heel and extend between your heel bone and arch can cause pain, inflammation, and swelling. Usually starting at the front of your heel, the pain can affect other parts of your foot, too.
Of course you want to prevent heel spurs from forming in the first place to prevent the pain and dysfunction they cause. At Go Feet in Mays Landing, and Linwood, New
Jersey, the experienced podiatrists recommend the following steps to avoid heel spurs.
What causes heel spurs?
To prevent heel spurs, you have to understand what causes them in the first place. Long-term muscle and ligament strain leads to the calcium deposits that make up heel spurs.
A heel spur doesn’t just show up after one workout or a long time on your feet. They develop with repetitive, excessive strain.
When the first signs of a heel spur, such as pain in the heel and swelling, appear, make an appointment at Go Feet for an evaluation. Ignoring these signs won’t make them go away and will make it more likely that you’ll develop a larger, more symptomatic heel spur.
Issues such as arthritis and bruising of the heel can also lead to heel spurs. These issues may not be avoidable, so taking other steps to discourage heel spurs is important.
How do I reduce stress on the heel?
Repetitively walking, jumping, or running on hard surfaces can lead to heel spurs. Choose dirt or grass trails or running tracks when you go out for a hike or jog. Dance classes or aerobics classes are best done on a sprung wood floor – not cement.
Do shoes matter?
Yes, your shoes matter, too. Wearing poorly fitting shoes or shoes that have worn-out cushioning can also contribute to heel spurs. If you’re a fan of flip-flops, invest in a pair that supports your foot rather than a cheap set you picked up at the dollar store. Wearing unsupportive flip flops often is a definite way to set yourself up for heel spurs.
The team at Go Feet can help you choose shoes that are smart for your chosen activity, whether that’s running, hiking, dancing, or a job that has you on your feet all day. The right shoes can help prevent the development of heel spurs.
Should I lose weight?
Excess weight does put a lot of extra pressure on your joints and your feet. If your doctor suggests losing weight to improve your risk of health problems like heart disease and diabetes, you might also consider it to reduce your risk of developing heel spurs.
How else can a podiatrist help?
Gait issues, such as excessive supination or pronation, can contribute to heel spurs. The podiatrists at Go Feet can provide a gait analysis and offer orthotics and shoe recommendations accordingly.
The team at Go Feet can also evaluate your help pain to determine if it isn’t caused by heel spurs at all but rather by plantar fasciitis, which, when left untreated, can lead to the development of heel spurs. You’ll receive expert treatment of plantar fasciitis so that you reduce pain and get back to all your normal activities as soon as possible.
If you have mild heel pain or suspect heel spurs, contact Go Feet. The podiatrists can help you avoid long-term pain that reduces your quality of life. Call the nearest location, or book online to set up an appointment that meets all your foot and ankle needs.