Detecting a Painful Bone Spur
By Windy Hill Podiatry Associates PC
April 02, 2012
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bone Spurs  

Bone SpursBone spurs, also known as osteophytes, can occur anywhere in the skeletal system, and the feet are no exception. Bone spurs are simply overgrowths of bone that can develop on any normal bone, but most commonly form where two bones come together. Bone spurs in the feet can be painless, but pressure from an acitvity or poorly fitting shoes may cause the spurs to rub against nerve endings or other structures in the foot, resulting in pain.

Causes of Bone Spurs in the Feet

When your feet are repeatedly exposed to excessive pressure and stress, a bone spur can form from the body's normal response to repair itself. The following activities and conditions can also cause bone spurs in the feet:

  • High-impact activities, such as running and fitness walking
  • Excessive weight
  • Poor-fitting footwear
  • Tightening of the plantar fascia due to excessive stress
  • Aging
  • Arthritis

Because sometimes there are no obvious symptoms associated with bone spurs, diagnosing the disorder can be difficult. Some people experience frequent pain in particular areas of their foot when exposed to pressure, which prompts them to seek medical care. Other people can go long periods of time with no symptoms even if they have a large spur. An x-ray can easily identify the spur, but if it isn't causing pain, damaging other tissues, or restricting your movement, treatment probably won't be necessary.

Identifying the cause of your bone spur, such as poor-fitting shoes and making subtle changes in fit or style, may be enough to reduce the pressure and relieve the pain.

Conservative treatments for bone spurs include:

  • Change in footwear
  • Custom orthotic devices
  • Weight loss
  • Padding
  • Deep tissue massage and stretching
  • Cortisone injections

If you're experiencing chronic foot pain, schedule an appointment at either of our offices.  Dr. Rothstein will carefully examine your feet and evaluate your symptoms to better understand your condition. If you've developed a bone spur, we can work with you to create an appropriate treatment plan that best fits your needs and puts an end to your frustrating foot pain.