Heel spur is a collection of bony growths on the underside or back of the heel. It is a calcium deposit that cause bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. It may or may not cause any pain and the people usually confuse it with a related condition that is called plantar fasciitis. There are many of the people who have bone spur without knowing about it. These are often caused by strains on the ligaments and foot muscles, repeated tearing of the membrane which covers the heel bone and stretching of the plantar fascia. Heel spurs are common especially among athletes who do large amounts of jumping and running.
Heel spurs does not have any symptoms but it can be associated with chronic pain or intermittent, especially while jogging, running or walking if the inflammation develops at the point of formation of spur. In general, the pain is not due to heel spur but it is due to soft-tissue injury associated with it.
Heel Spur Treatment Options
Heel spurs rarely require any treatment unless it is damaging other tissues or causing frequent pain. In the Netherlands they have developed a lot of evidence to cure heel spur, or as the Dutch would say "hielspoor genezen (shockwavetherapie.org)" . Heel spur and plantar fasciitis are related closely to each other, so they are usually treated in the same way. The treatment of it involves rest, especially from those activities that is contributing to the condition and is making the symptoms worse. If you are able to identify the offending activity then it is recommended for you to use ice. You should stretch your calf muscles after some short warm up. Stretching exercise lengthens the calf muscles and it relaxes the tissue that surrounds the heel. It should be done many times in a day, especially in morning and after sitting for too long.
Medication is one of the options. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help you temporally but if it is been used for long period of time then it can cause some side effects. The most common side effects are ulceration, bleeding and gastrointestinal upset.
Taping, deep tissue massage and other such physical therapy modalities can also be useful for you. If your pain continues then it is recommended for you to use steroid injection at the site of the pain but the side effects of it can be serious and it can worsen the symptoms. Complications can include rupture of the plantar fascia and fat necrosis of the heel. Sometimes the bone spur can also be removed surgically and sometimes operation is been done to loosen the fascia.\
The most effective and safest way to get rid of heel spur, is extracorporeal shock wave therapy. It takes just a few treatments and in some weeks over 80% of the pain will be gone in most cases.