Heel Pain: Heel Spur

Heel Spur heel pain is another common foot problem that can be easily confused with plantar fasciitis because of its location on the foot. To get a better understanding of the pathology we need to take a closer look at the heel bone. Looking at the image below you can see the point of insertion for the plantar fascia is also where the heel spur would be located.  But before we get stuck in to the science of it all- What is a heel spur? A heel spur is a build up of calcium deposits that result into bony growth at the underside base of the heel bone (the calcaneus).

These growth can take months to years to develop and usually cause little to no pain at all.  So what makes the heel spur symptomatic? Most heel pain causes are related to high impact increased activity. Various activities like walking, jogging, running and having abnormal gait can cause excessive pressure on the heel.  The increase in activity stretches the muscles and ligaments and tissue in the area. This in turn causes inflammation. Your physique is another contributing factor, the heavier you are the more inclined you are to having this condition. Like  dominos  all steps eventually lead to painful heels. 

What would you feel if you had heel spurs? Commonly described as sharp, stabbing pain on activity. Usually worse when carrying heavier things. Also the pain is worst in the morning or after rest where stiffness is experienced. 

What type of footwear should you be wearing? Excellent question. A shoe or ideally a trainer that has full arch support will provide much comfort to the foot. The flatter the foot or surface the more pain you are likely to encounter. This is because the flatter the surface the more stress is placed on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia pulls the heel bone. So it can be most beneficial to wearing tie up and shoes with a strap also. If foot wear is not suitable it would be thoroughly advisable to look into insoles. DG Podiatrist aims to give all patients the best advice to reduce pain and help resolve the condition at hand.