What is a Heel Spur?
A heel spur is a bone growth on the heel bone from the chronic over stretching of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia attaches to the bottom of the heel bone and usually surrounds the area of the spur. When you have heel spur pain it is due to swelling of the tissue around the spur, not the presence of the spur. Therefore the spur will not go away. However, with proper treatment the pain will go away once the swelling is resolved.
Heel Pain in the Morning
This common symptom is associated with both plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. The plantar fascia is the ligament on the bottom of the foot which supports the arch. If the arch is not supported well throughout the day, the plantar fascia becomes inflamed due to the fatiguing and over stretching of the plantar fascia. During sleep time the tissue is able to relax and contract so when you get up in the morning and stand the tissue will be stressed by your normal body weight which causes pain in the heel region.
Heel Pain and Heel Spur Treatment
At American Foot and Leg Specialists, the typical starting point for any heel pain treatment is reducing the swelling with anti-inflammatory medication and ice therapy. The next step in treating heel pain or heel spurs is learning how and when to stretch the tissue and to ice down the tissue. Finally, by providing support for the plantar fascia ligament allows it to rest and not become chronically over fatigued or over stretched. In some resistant cases, cortisone injections can be used when the swelling and pain do not seem to be improving. These options work 95-98% of the time with good results.