How Your Podiatrist Can Treat Heel Spurs Without Surgical Intervention

18 July 2022
 Categories: , Blog


Pain in the heels of your feet can be caused by a number of different injuries and underlying conditions. Heel spurs, also known as calcaneal spurs, are among the most painful and debilitating of these conditions. Without prompt, effective treatment from a podiatrist, heel spurs in one or both of your feet can significantly impact your mobility and quality of life.

What Are Heel Spurs?

When bones are placed under repeated stress for long periods, they can develop calcium deposits on their surfaces. The body creates these deposits to thicken the bone and protect it from stress fractures. Unfortunately, when this process occurs in the heels of your feet, it can do more harm than good.

Heel spurs occur when calcium deposits start developing on the surface of your heel bone. If the heel bones are placed under severe or abnormal stress, these deposits can accumulate into a pointed spur shape that juts out from the back of the heel bone. 

The repeated stress that causes heel spurs to develop can have a number of causes. Long-distance runners and other endurance athletes are vulnerable to bone spurs, but being overweight can also put your heel bones under significant pressure. 

You are also more likely to develop heel spurs if you already suffer from other painful foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis. The pain caused by these conditions can alter your gait, placing more pressure than usual on your heel bones. 

As you can imagine, a sharp, bony protrusion growing inside your foot can cause a significant amount of pain. This pain is generally most intense when you stand up after sleeping or resting for long periods. 

How Can Podiatrists Treat Heel Spurs Without Surgical Intervention?

In some extreme cases, the best way to treat heel spurs is to surgically remove the calcium deposits from the affected heel. However, this is considered a treatment of last resort, and it can take you a long time to recover from heel spur surgery. Your podiatrist can offer a range of effective, non-invasive treatments that will save most people from having to go under the knife.

The first priority when treating heel spurs is to take pressure off the affected heel, preventing the spurs from growing any larger. Your podiatrist can conduct a gait analysis to determine whether you place too much stress on your heels when you stand, walk and run.

If gait problems are worsening your heel spurs, your podiatrist can craft custom orthotics, which will modify the way you walk and help you achieve a healthy gait. These custom-crafted insoles can be worn in your everyday footwear and will help take pressure off your heels, allowing the spurs to break down by themselves over time.

For more immediate pain relief, your podiatrist can supply you with oral analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications. If your pain is severe, they may also administer corticosteroid injections into the affected heel. These steroids can significantly lessen pain and inflammation for up to a month at a time, giving you much-needed long-term pain relief.

For more information, contact a company like Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists.