What Are Heel or Toe Bone Spurs?
Whenever people suffer from heel pain, it’s common for them to assume that a heel spur is the cause of it. A heel spur is called a calcium deposit, a bony-like growth that extends between your heel bone and arch. They usually form in the front of your heel and over time move to other parts of your foot. You can’t always see them with the naked eye since they are about a quarter of an inch in length. Not all heel pain is caused by spurs and not all spurs are painful.
Symptoms of a Heel Spur
Symptoms of heel spurs may involve inflammation, pain, and swelling at the front of your heel. You may feel the symptoms at the arch of the foot and the area could be warm to the touch. After a while, you may notice a small bony protrusion.
Sometimes, you may not experience any symptoms at all from heel spurs. Only around 50 percent of those with heel spurs feel pain from them. You also may not notice any differences in the bones surrounding the heel or soft tissues. It’s very common for heel spurs to be discovered when X-rays or other analyses are done for other foot problems.
The reason it’s hard to diagnose a heel spur is that it shares many symptoms to other foot problems or forms of heel pain. For a proper diagnosis, you will need to see a specialist such as a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon.
What Causes Heel Spurs?
Heel or toe bone spurs are caused by long-term ligament and muscle strain. Over time, this additional strain soft tissues in your heel, causing them to wear out. Heel spurs to appear suddenly after a sports event or after a workout, they develop over time. People who ignore the early symptoms such as heel pain are at an increased risk to develop heel spurs. Repetitive strain from running, walking, or jumping on hard surfaces are some of the most common causes of heel spurs. Wear shoes that don’t properly support your foot can also lead to their development.
Some of the causes of heel spurs are:
- bruising of the heel
- excess body weight
- poorly fitted shoes
- walking gait issues
- wearing flip-flops too often
- worn-out shoes
According to the Mayo Clinic, over half of the people who develop heel spurs also suffer from plantar fasciitis. This is a painful condition where tough, fibrous tissue runs between your toes and heel. Those with plantar fasciitis are at an increased risk to ultimately develop heel spurs.