Heel spurs are caused by the formation of calcium deposits on the underside of the heel bone. These spurs aren’t typically painful in and of themselves, but they can lead to a range of other painful conditions, most notably plantar fasciitis. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at heel spur onset, the conditions they can cause, and your non-operative and surgical treatment options.

Causes and Symptoms of Heel Spurs

As we mentioned in the intro, heel spurs are caused by the formation of calcium deposits on the underside of the heel bone. These deposits form over time and are typically the result of the healing process that occurs when the ligament that is attached to the heel bone is frequently stretched and torn. Osteoblasts are released to heal these tissues, and that can lead to the formation of calcium deposits on the underside of the heel.

Common risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing heel spurs include:

  • Repetitive overuse
  • Running or jogging regularly on hard surfaces
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Improperly fitting shoes
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Having diabetes
  • Having flat feet or high arches

And while heel spurs are often asymptomatic, if the calcium deposits grow large enough that they begin to irritate nearby tissues, inflammation and pain can develop. The most common condition associated with the onset of heel spurs is plantar fasciitis, which occurs when the thick band of ligaments that runs from your heel to your toes on the underside of your foot becomes irritated or inflamed. This can lead to mild to intense pain, a pins-and-needles sensation on the underside of your foot, a dull pain in the area throughout the day and inhibited walking or running.

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