A Heel Spur is a hook of bone that can form on the heel bone (calcaneus). Heel spurs are caused by a build-up of calcium on the bottom of the heel bone. It is a process that occurs over a prolonged period. The process may be triggered by a ligament or muscle strain in the foot or by stretching the plantar fascia. Athletes that partake in running, jumping or jogging tend to get them.
The Heel Spur itself is not thought to be painful. Patients who experience pain with Plantar Fasciitis are suffering from inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia. This the primary cause of pain and not the Heel Spur.
Heel spurs can form in some patients who have plantar fasciitis, it is more likely that it will occur in patients who have had plantar fasciitis for a prolonged period of time. For example, about 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis have a heel spur. In addition, 50% of people who have no symptoms of plantar fasciitis also have a heel spur.
Commonly, pain is intermittent and is often felt on standing in the morning. Over time, pain subsides and returns after periods of rest or during activities such as walking or jogging.
Treatment of Heel Spurs is the same as treatment of plantar fasciitis.
To arrive at an accurate diagnosis, our foot and ankle Chartered Physiotherapists will obtain your medical history and examine your foot. Throughout this process the highly skilled Physiotherapist will rule out all the possible causes for your heel pain other than plantar fasciitis.
The following treatment may be used:
- Inflammation reduction
- Taping and Strapping
High arches, flat feet, being overweight, Diabetes, and improper shoes can increase your risk of developing Heel Spurs.
The terms Heel Spur and plantar fasciitis are often confused. While these two diagnoses are related, they are not the same. The diagnosis of heel spurs can be confused with tarsal tunnel syndrome. Heel spurs are common in patients who have a history of foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
A Heel Spur diagnosis is made when an X-ray shows a hook of bone protruding from the bottom of the foot at the point where the plantar fascia is attached to the heel bone. The plantar fascia is the thick, connective tissue that runs from the calcaneus (heel bone) to the ball of the foot and helps maintain the arch of the foot.
Our Chartered Physiotherapists can assess, diagnose and treatment this painful condition, helping you to get back on your feet.