Heel Spurs: who are most at risk?

The heel is the body’s largest bone in the foot. When there is heel pain, the entire foot hurts. Heel spurs are frequently the cause of pain in the heel.

Repeated stress on the foot’s muscles and ligaments cause calcium to be deposited in the heel. This causes the connecting band of tissue between the heel and the toes known as the plantar fascia to elongate and results in tears to the membrane that covers the calcaneus. This is how a heel spur develops. Following are risk factors for heel spurs:

  • High impact exercises including jumping and running;
  • Long periods of standing or walking;
  • Abnormalities when walking that add additional stress to the heel;
  • Inappropriate shoes that lack arch support;
  • Obesity.

More women develop a heel spur most probably due to the unusual shapes and designs of female footwear. Another interesting statistic is that majority of people with a heel spur are in their 40’s. Other factors that contribute to development of a heel spur are poor blood circulation, some types of arthritis, plantar fasciitis and other degenerative conditions.

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