Heel Spurs

Podiatrists located in Pawtucket, RI

Heel Spurs

Up to 15% of Americans have heel spurs –– hard, painful growths that form on the back of the heel bone. At Blackstone Valley Foot and Ankle in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, experienced podiatrist Joseph Domenico, DPM, and his team offer complete care for heel spurs. As sports medicine specialists, they know how to treat heel spurs, stop the pain, and help you return to your favorite activities. To receive heel spur treatment, call the office today or book your appointment online. 

Heel Spurs Q & A

Are heel spurs and plantar fasciitis the same?

Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis both cause heel pain, but they aren’t the same thing.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that causes inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament that supports the arch of the foot. When small tears develop in the plantar fascia, they cause sharp, stabbing heel pain.

Heel spurs

Heel spurs are calcified growths that develop on the back of the heel bones. They form when the tendons and ligaments in your feet undergo stress or strain. Anyone can experience heel spurs, but they’re most common in runners and people with an abnormal gait (an unusual walking pattern). 

What are the symptoms of heel spurs?

Heel spurs don’t always cause symptoms. Some people have them for years and don’t realize they’re there. But for other people, heel spurs cause:

  • Heel pain
  • Swelling
  • Skin discoloration
  • Pain when walking or exercising
  • Pain that’s worse when barefoot
  • A noticeable bump at the back of your heel

Sometimes, heel spurs place pressure on the nerves in the feet. This triggers symptoms like numbness, tingling, and burning.

How does a podiatrist diagnose heel spurs?

Your Blackstone Valley Foot and Ankle provider asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, including how often you exercise and what type of shoes you wear. They examine the bottom, back, and sides of your heel, looking for redness and swelling, and gently press on your heel to pinpoint sensitive areas.

Some heel spurs are large enough to feel with a simple exam, but your provider also orders X-rays to get a closer look at your heel bone. If you have heel spurs and they cause you pain or affect your mobility, your provider makes a personalized treatment plan. 

How are heel spurs treated?

Blackstone Valley Foot and Ankle treats heel spurs using a conservative, minimally invasive approach. They might suggest:

  • Ice and rest
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Custom orthotics (prescription shoe inserts)
  • Heel pads to cushion the back of your foot

If your heel pain continues or worsens after one or more of these treatments, the team might recommend surgery. During heel spur surgery, your provider makes two small incisions on the sides of your heel and carefully removes the bone spur.

Learn more about the benefits of heel spur treatment by making an appointment at Blackstone Valley Foot and Ankle. Call the office today or book your visit online.