Detecting a Painful Bone Spur

Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, can occur anywhere in the skeletal system, and the feet are no exception. Bone spurs are overgrowths of bone that can develop on any normal bone, but they most commonly form where two bones come together. Bone spurs in the feet are normally painless, but when strenuous activity or tight footwear places pressure on them, these excessive growths can rub against other nerve endings or soft tissues, 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 as a result of the body's normal response to repair itself. The following activities and conditions are also common causes of bone spurs in the feet:

  • Aging
  • Excessive weight
  • High-impact activities, such as running
  • Poorly fitting footwear
  • Tightening of the plantar fasciitis due to excessive stress

Because there are no obvious symptoms associated with bone spurs in the feet, diagnosing the disorder can be difficult. Some people may seek medical care when they experience unbearable pain in particular areas of their feet when they are exposed to pressure. Other people can go long periods of time without realizing they even have a bone spur. An X-ray can identify a bone spur in your foot, but if it isn't causing you pain, damaging other tissues, or restricting your movement, treatment probably won't be necessary.

Identifying the cause of your bone spur, such as ill-fitting shoes or weight gain, and making the proper adjustments in your footwear or diet will often reduce the pressure that is causing the pain.

Conservative Treatments for Bone Spurs 

There are a number of conservative treatments you can implement in order to reduce problems caused by bone spurs:

  • Change in footwear
  • Deep tissue massage and stretching
  • Padding or insoles
  • Weight loss

If you're experiencing chronic foot pain, schedule an appointment at our New Orleans or Metairie office. At New Orleans Podiatry Associates, we'll 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 a treatment plan that best fits your needs and puts an end to your frustrating foot pain.

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