Heel spurs are a common cause of foot pain. Often associated with plantar fasciitis, heel spurs can make it uncomfortable to put pressure on your feet and can make it more difficult to live an active lifestyle.
While heel spurs aren’t dangerous, they can be painful and limit your activities. Very often, the pain from heel spurs is worse upon waking up and may gradually go away over the course of the day.
They occur when calcium deposits form on your heel and build up over several months, which often causes inflammation. Heel spurs can stick out as much as half an inch from the bone. In this blog, the providers at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine explain six common causes of heel spurs.
1. Running or jogging
If you’re a runner, you might have a higher risk of developing heel spurs. This is especially unfortunate because they can interfere with your ability to run comfortably. The impact of your heels repeatedly striking the ground can put more pressure on your feet, which can cause heel spurs to develop.
2. Walking gait abnormalities
Having an abnormal walking gait can also increase your risk of developing heel spurs. A doctor may have told you that your walking gait is abnormal, but it’s also possible that you may not know. One way that you may be able to tell if your walking gait is abnormal is if your shoes wear unevenly. We can observe your walking gait if you suspect that it may not be normal.
3. Wearing improper shoes
Podiatrists talk a lot about the importance of wearing proper shoes because wearing improper shoes can cause many foot problems, including heel spurs. If your shoes are worn-out, don’t fit well, or haven’t been replaced in a while, it’s probably time to invest in a new pair.
4. Being overweight or obese
Excess weight puts extra stress on all of your bones and joints, and your feet are no exception. Being overweight or obese can increase your chances of developing heel spurs due to the increased pressure on your feet. If you’re overweight, losing weight may result in experiencing less foot pain.
5. Being on your feet all day
If you’re on your feet all day, you may deal with foot pain. And being on your feet all day may also lead to the development of heel spurs due to the increased pressure. Wearing supportive shoes may help alleviate some of the pressure, but you should try to rest your feet as much as possible.
6. Being diabetic
Diabetes, specifically Type 2 diabetes, is associated with a multitude of foot problems. One of the results of prolonged high blood glucose levels is that you may develop neuropathy in your feet, which can cause numbness, tingling, and a loss of sensation. Heel spurs are also more likely to occur if you have diabetes. If you have diabetes, you need a podiatrist as part of your health care team.
If you suspect or know you have heel spurs, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine today.