How to Tell If You Have a Heel Spur

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Heel spurs are calcium deposits that result from tension and inflammation of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot that is attached to the heel bone. If you have pain upon standing and a history of plantar fasciitis, then it's possible you have a heel spur. To get a definitive diagnosis of heel spur an X-ray will be necessary. On X-ray film, a heel spur is evident as a protrusion penetrating the fleshy part of the heel.

  • Sit in a chair and, with both hands, hold the foot, thumbs on top, fingers on bottom. Press your fingers over the bottom of your foot starting at the center and go towards the heel. If you have pain on the plantar fascia, then rub that area to see if you feel a bony protrusion. If you feel some type of bump, it may be a heel spur.

  • Stand in place for 3 to 5 minutes soon after waking up. Notice if heel pain worsens as you stand there. If you feel a constant throbbing pain, you may have a heel spur. Walk around the house for five minutes and check your pain level. Plantar fasciitis pain usually is more evident upon waking from sleep or moving around after sitting for a prolonged period. The pain usually diminishes once you start moving around.

  • Go to your doctor or a podiatrist, a doctor specializing in foot problems. They can examine and X-ray your foot to determine if you have a heel spur. Then a treatment plan that includes stretching exercises and rest can be implemented. You will probably also wear a heel insert in your shoes until the pain subsides. Surgery should only be used as a last resort.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sometimes when you have a heel spur, you are not able to feel it with your hands. Pain over the area also does not necessarily mean that you have a heel spur.

References

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