Philadelphia Tri-state Area Podiatrists Answer Foot Health Questions
We believe that every question deserves a good answer. Healthmark Foot and Ankle provides you the best up-to date information for your concerns.
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Who is likely to suffer a heel spur?
While there are certain risk factors for bone spurs, the truth is that no one is immune from the condition. In fact, many people have bone spurs throughout their bodies without ever experiencing any pain. However, heel spurs are a specific type of bone spur that is typically found at the back or underside of the heel, causing pain as it burrows into the surrounding tissues—and certain people are more prone to get them than others.
The following people are most likely to suffer the pain of a heel spur in Philadelphia:
- Middle-aged patients. Heel spurs are most often seen in middle-aged patients because the bones and ligaments are more likely to degenerate, causing a lack of tension and padding in the foot.
- Women. Tight or constricted footwear is a major cause of foot problems, including bone spurs. High heels in particular contribute to spurs as they place added pressure on the heel.
- Plantar fasciitis sufferers. Heel spurs are very common in patients who have a history of plantar fasciitis, a foot condition that involves the swelling of the long tendon beneath the foot. In these cases, the spur may be secondary; the majority of the pain is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia.
The podiatrists at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates can help you discover if a heel spur or plantar fasciitis is causing you pain. An x-ray will help conclude what type of treatment will work for you, getting you on the road to recovery from your first consultation.
To find the solution for your heel spurs today, call us at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville to set up an appointment.
What are symptoms of a heel spur?
Heel spurs are incredibly painful foot conditions that make it difficult for patients to walk, run, and stand. They are caused by pointy irregular growths on the heel bone that burrow into the surrounding tissues, causing pain and inflammation at the back of the heel or on the sole of the foot.
Heel spurs can be difficult to diagnose, since they are closely related to other foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and inflammation of the Achilles tendon (the long tendon at the back of the heel). The most common indications of a heel spur in Philadelphia include:
- Pain and tenderness. Depending on where your spur is located, you may feel pain on the bottom of the heel when walking barefoot on hard surfaces, or at the back of the heel which is especially noticeable as you push off the ball of the foot.
- Swelling. Your foot may swell noticeably at the end of the day or after you have been walking or standing for an extended period of time.
- Bone protrusion. You will likely not be able to feel the bone in your foot that is causing you pain, but your doctor can confirm your condition with an x-ray of the heel bone.
The good news is that heel spurs are treatable with non-surgical methods, allowing you to get back into your daily life, pain-free. Our Philadelphia podiatrists at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates can help you find the solution for your heel spurs that works with your schedule, lifestyle, and body type. Call us today at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville to begin your first consultation.
How long will my heel spur take to heal?
It depends. Some patients prolong their healing times by trying to “tough it out” or “walk through the pain,” which can make an already painful condition completely debilitating.
Heel spurs are directly linked to plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the ligament running along the bottom of the foot. Many people have bone spurs that cause no pain at all; others may begin to show symptoms when plantar fasciitis puts pressure on the spur and causes sudden pain in their heel.
Because heel spurs are exacerbated by soft-tissue problems in the feet, the most effective treatment is rest. People with fast-paced jobs or those who spend a lot of time on their feet might be unwilling to spend time off their feet. But refusing to take adequate time for the spur to heal can turn a relatively mild problem into a recurring or long-term condition.
People with heel spurs are likely to experience ups and downs during their recovery time. Often they will think the condition is improving, so they will stop resting and cease treatment, which can cause the pain to return at full force. The best course of action is to be extremely gentle when walking or standing until the pain is completely gone; at that point, activity can be gradually and carefully increased.
Healing can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the spur and how diligently it is treated. Patients who are overweight or those who put off seeing a doctor for a diagnosis are more likely to suffer for a longer period and are also more likely to have the pain come back.
If you’ve been trying to treat heel spurs at home for a while, the podiatrists at Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates can help you find a more effective solution. Call us today at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville to set up a consultation.
Why am I more likely to suffer from heel pain if I am overweight?
There are several reasons why overweight individuals experience pain in the bottom of their feet. Most of these conditions are treatable, but it is important to discover why you are experiencing pain—something our Philadelphia foot and ankle doctors can help you with.
For instance, you may be suffering from:
- Plantar fasciitis. This condition is often caused by undue strain on the arch on the foot, causing increased pressure on the heel.
- A heel spur. These bony growths, which often develop as a result of plantar fasciitis, can cause pain in the heel while standing.
- Stress fractures. Overweight people who spend long hours on their feet are more likely to develop tiny cracks in the bones of the heel that can cause pain and swelling.
Many doctors recommend that obese people lose weight as part of their treatment for foot pain. However, the pain caused by obesity makes it doubly hard to exercise—especially first thing in the morning, when the pain is often worst.
It’s important that you seek immediate treatment for heel pain. The longer the condition continues, the more damage it can cause. Our podiatrists can work with you to find a solution that will work with your lifestyle and help you get back on your feet without the pain.
The Media podiatrists at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates have years of experience treating patients of all ages. Get started on your recovery today. Call us at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville to begin your initial consultation.
What can working professionals do to reduce the likelihood of heel spurs?
Whether you're a working Orlando mother afflicted with heel spurs, and every day is a struggle; or you're a recovering foot surgery patient who wants to avoid similar agony in the future, here are tips for treating your feet well, even if you have a lot on your plate:
- Invest in better shoes. Tight fitting shoes can, over time, lead to the development of bone spurs and damage to the plantar fascia. Especially if you're on your feet all day as a waitress or a manual laborer, your choice of footwear can make a substantial impact on your foot health. You might not feel or notice a difference right away. But heel spurs don’t form overnight, so err on the side of caution!
- Keep a journal of your symptoms. Calcium deposits and strains on the fibrous tissue on the bottom of your feet develop slowly over time. But the warning signs can come early. Be an attentive patient. Consider journaling your state of health and vigor before and after your shifts. Write in your pain journal every day, to determine what activities or movements put you in the most discomfort. By noticing your own patterns—what works for your body and what just doesn’t—you can take strategic action to protect your body and your feet.
For instance, after reviewing your journal, you might notice that the long shifts hit you the hardest. So you could insist to your boss that you need to take more regular breaks.
Get in touch with a board-certified Pennsylvania podiatrist at the first sign of a trouble. Don’t wait until heel spurs have become painfully debilitating to get them checked out. The team here at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates can provide an integrated, compassionate, and thorough evaluation of your heel spur or other foot problem. Call our offices today at 610-565-3668.