Heel spurs are a common cause of heel pain. They are hooked, bony growths that protrude from the heel bone, and often occur alongside plantar fasciitis. Pain, if any, results not from the bony growths but from inflammation and irritation of the surrounding tissues.
Common causes of heel spurs include repetitive trauma to the base of the heel, poor walking/running technique, poorly fitting shoes, obesity, or hereditary conditions. Heel spurs are most common in middle-aged men and women.
Symptoms include pain and tenderness in the heel, pain and discomfort with weight bearing, and pain with prolonged standing and walking.
The foot and ankle specialists will be able to see heel spurs on an X-ray and determine the best course of treatment. Conservative treatments include rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. Orthotics or shoe inserts may help relieve pressure on the bone spur and reduce pain. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pain.