Spurs grow along the edges of the bone and can be extremely painful. Bone spurs are also known as osteophytes. These growths can occur anywhere in the body. In most cases, bone spurs are found near the joints. They are also extremely common in places where the muscles and other types of connective tissue connect to bone. Bone spurs are made up of mineral deposits that include large amounts of calcium. They often form in areas where the bones have been placed under excessive amounts of pressure or stress. This causes an influx of calcium and other minerals to help stabilize the bone. Instead of providing a healing response, the opposite occurs and can actually produce a painful spur.
Shoes that do not fit properly can cause pain throughout the foot and ankle, especially in the area of the heel. When a shoe does not fit properly, different areas of the feet may be forced to act unnaturally to help keep the shoes in the proper position. This can irritate the plantar fascia and put pressure on the heel and the arch of the foot. Shoes that slip on the foot can cause a person to walk with an abnormal gait that causes inflammation and pain. Wearing shoes that fit properly will support the arch of the foot and help to prevent heel and ankle pain. Shoes should be comfortably snug without binding or pinching the foot in any way.
Heel pain can be treated in many ways. In most cases, the treatment will depend on the cause of the pain. Elevating the foot, applying ice packs, and wearing braces or orthotics can reduce both pain and inflammation. The use of orthotics prevents excessive amounts of pressure on certain areas of the foot, protecting them from damage and supporting the arch and fascia. Over the counter pain medications can be used to reduce discomfort. Anti-inflammatory medications may be taken if the plantar fascia becomes inflamed or the ankle is injured in any way. Massage therapy may also provide relief from the pain and discomfort of sprains and strains to the ankle.