Ankle: Heel Spur


Often called “heel spur syndrome” is a calcium deposit causing a bony growth on the under of the heel bone called calcaneus. A process that usually occurs over a period of many months. This abnormal growth under your heel often cause heel pain. Is also frequently associated with plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation of the fibrous band of connective tissue (plantar fascia).


The plantar fascia is designed to absorb the high stresses and strains we place on our feet when walking or doing other activities like playing sports. Sometimes, too much pressure or if your body is in general overload it can damage or tear the tissues causing inflammation that occur under heel.

Causes of heel spurs


  • Strains on foot muscles and ligaments due to repetitive movement
  • Stretching of the plantar fascia, and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone
  • Common condition among athletes whose activities include large amounts of running and jumping
  • Common condition amongst people who work in standing position whole day long
Anatomy atlas: “Sobotta: General anatomy and musculo-skeletal system”, F. Paulsen and J. Waschke
Anatomy atlas: “Sobotta: General anatomy and musculo-skeletal system”, F. Paulsen and J. Waschke
heel spur

Risk factors for heel spurs include


  • Abnormal walking pattern, ex. after injury 
  • Running or jogging, especially on hard surfaces
  • Not fitted shoes, without appropriate support
  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Standing too long on feet, ex. during work
  • Anatomy, ex. flat foot



  • Knife or pin sticking into the bottom of their feet when they first stand up in the morning
  • During day a pain turns into a dull ache
  • In the evening, sharp pain returns after they stand up after sitting for a prolonged period of time
  • Sometimes sleep disturbance 
  • Pain just below heel, 2/3 way to toes
  • Greater pain after (not during) exercise or activity

Recommend treatments


  • Osteopathy and Physiotherapy
  • Stretching exercises
  • Shoe recommendations
  • Taping or strapping to rest stressed muscles and tendons
  • Shoe inserts or orthotic devices

Prevention of heel spurs


  • Wear well-fitting shoes with shock-absorbent soles
  • Appropriate shoes for each physical activity
  • Warm up and do stretching exercises before activity
  • Losing weight

Non-Surgical Treatments for heel spurs


Heel spurs may not respond well to rest. If you walk after a night’s sleep, the pain may feel worse as the plantar fascia suddenly stretches and pulls on the heel. The pain often decreases the more you walk due to movement that help with inflammation and general stiffness of ligaments. But you may feel a recurrence of pain after either prolonged rest or extensive walking.

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