Heel Spurs

What is a Heel Spur

A heel spur is a calcium deposit that causes  a bony protrusion on the underside of your heel bone. It is difficult to be sure you have a heel spur without an x-ray, until such diagnosis it is often referred to as a ‘heel spur syndrome’.

Heel Spurs can be hooked, flat or pointed and generally grows on the heel bone, pointing towards the arch of the foot.  They can be as much as half an inch long.

A heel spur is not always painful, however they can cause heel pain.  They are often associated with Plantar Fasciitis

Usually, following diagnosis, investigations will take place to find out why you have one as they are often caused by underlying conditions and other treatments may be required.


Heel spurs do not always have symptoms, however they can be associated with intermittent or chronic pain particularly when walking, jogging, or running.Generally if there is pain at the site of the spur the cause is not the heel spur itself but soft-tissue injury associated with the area around it.

Symptoms include:-

  • Sharp pain like a knife in the heel when first standing in the morning
  • A dull ache in the heel through the rest of the day
  • Inflammation and swelling at the front of the heel
  • Heat radiating from the affected area
  • Small, visible bone-like protrusion under the heel
  • Tenderness at the bottom of the heel that makes it hard to walk barefoot


Heel spurs happen when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone which usually takes a number of months

Causes include:- 

  • Gait abnormalities placing excessive stress on the feet
  • Running / jogging on hard surfaces
  • Worn or ill fitting shoes
  • Obesity
  • Long term strain and wear on heel tissue
  • Wear and tear on the heel bone

Other conditions which can cause heel spurs are:-

  • reactive arthritis 
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis
  • plantar fasciitis


If you have heel pain that persists for more than one month, you should consult a qualified health care provider. 

Treatments include:-

  • Rest to reduce swelling and pain
  • Applying ice
  • Orthotics  to take the pressure off the heel
  • Anti-inflammatory medication: This helps to reduce swelling.
  • Cortical steroid injections
  • Night splints

In very rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the heel spur.

If the spurs are caused by an underlying conditions, treatment for that condition will often help.

If you think you may have a heel spur, please give us a call or book a free taster session where we can advise you.

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