Q. What is a heel spur?
A. A heel spur is an abnormal growth of bone on the bottom of the heel bone.
What causes it?
Heel spurs occur when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone over time. This is usually a result of strains on foot muscles and ligaments, especially caused by the over-stretching of the plantar fascia.
Often linked to plantar fasciitis, heel spurs can be associated with occasional or chronic pain, especially while walking or running, and are common among athletes whose activities include large amounts of running and jumping. In general, the cause of the pain is not the heel spur itself but the soft-tissue injury associated with it.
What does it feel like?
Many people describe the pain of heel spurs as a stabbing sensation at the bottom of the foot, which is often intensified first thing in the morning and immediately upon standing after a prolonged period of rest.
Rest, stretching and strengthening exercises are all essential steps to recovery, as is choosing the right footwear. Additionally, inserts can help to take the pressure off while your foot heels. Consult your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment of foot pain.
Think plantar fasciitis might be the cause of your heel spur? Read "What Is Plantar Fasciitis" to learn more.