HEEL SPURS OR HEEL SPUR SYNDROME

‘Heel Spurs’ or ‘Heel Spur Syndrome’ has traditionally referred to pain under the heel of the foot. Many decades ago, physicians would send these heel pain patients off to get an x-ray of their heel. Many of these patients would have a large spur of bone protruding from under the heel in the exact location of the heel pain. It was deduced that the spur of bone must have been causing this pain in the heel.

These days it is well understood that the pain originates from the large ligament (the plantar fascia) that inserts into this same area of the heel. The spur of bone growing out of the heel is actually calcification extending into this same ligament. It is thought that 30% of the normal population have these ‘heel spurs’ or calcification extending into the plantar fascia and never experience heel pain.

The MRI image below shows the heel spur protruding from the bone (smaller arrow) and the plantar fascia that is thickened and torn in the same area (large arrow).

  • Heel spurs occur in 30% of the population that don’t have heel pain
  • The spur of bone growing off the heel doesn’t cause heel pain
  • The large ligament called the plantar fascia tears from the heel causing the heel pain
  • This ligament can’t be seen easily on x-ray and almost all heel pain patients don’t need to be x-rayed
  • Plantar fasciitis is the correct terminology for heel spurs and more information on the causes, diagnosis, treatments and prevention are here.

HEEL SPUR TREATMENT

Should you suffer from heel spurs and are looking for professional and expert heel spurs treatment, make an appointment to speak to Shoes Feet Gear's podiatry team in Paddington and Gladstone today.