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Are You at Risk for Heel Spurs?

If you spent all New Year’s Eve on your feet, then woke up to start the New Year with heel pain, sorry, but it sounds like you need to lay low for a while! Heel pain in the morning is a sure sign of plantar fasciitis – inflammation of the tissues spanning your arch — and if you don’t rest, you are at risk for developing a heel spur, too!

Heel spurs are calcium deposits that form a bony “hook” extending forward from your heel bone, sometimes as much as a half an inch. While not always the source of your actual discomfort, the conditions with which heel spurs are associated often result in heel pain — plantar fasciitis being the most common.

If the place you were standing to ring in the New Year happened to be a hard surface, that too is a risk factor for heel spurs. And if the shoes on your feet were old and worn or a smidge too small, well, you just increased your risk even more!

Gait abnormalities, high or no arches, sudden physical activity, and excessive weight all boost your odds of getting a heel spur as well. In addition, those with diabetes are at a greater risk, and we hate to tell you, but the older you get, the more susceptible you become. That’s because, as you age, your plantar fascia becomes less flexible and the fat pad on the bottom of your heel becomes thinner.

Obviously, you can’t help but get older, but there are some things you can do to lessen your chances of heel spurs forming. Make sure you wear supportive and comfortable shoes that fit. Avoid spending long periods of time on your feet, especially on hard surfaces. That goes for exercising too! Don’t just jump into fitness — train gradually and stay off hard terrain. Also, managing your weight as well as any underlying diseases can go a long way toward decreasing your risk.

Follow these guidelines and both you and your feet are sure to have a happy, healthy and heel spur-free New Year!

If you want more information, just give us a call! You can reach our Metairie, LA office at (504) 708-4810, or our Covington location at (985) 809-1464.

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