A heel spur (also known as a “calcaneal spur”) is a benign bony growth that protrudes on the underside of the heel bone. Although most people with a heel spur experience no symptoms at all, it can lead to pain, inflammation and swelling by the heel. It is also often associated with plantar fasciitis – a condition where the fibrous band on the sole of the foot becomes strained and inflamed.
That being said, heel spurs are usually not the cause of your pain, but rather a reaction to an underlying condition.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options available to help manage the pain associated with heel spurs. Early treatment and care by a foot specialist can help relieve symptoms and prevent recurrences. If conservative measures fail, surgery may be indicated.
More often than not, heel spurs are asymptomatic and will not cause pain. However, they may be associated with the following signs and symptoms:
For another common cause of heel pain, see plantar fasciitis.
Heel spurs are a buildup of calcium deposits on the bottom of the heel bone caused by repetitive strain from attached ligaments, muscles, and the plantar fascia. This is a normal process that occurs when bone is exposed to stress, and is part of its natural way of “fortifying” itself.
Heel spurs are commonly caused by another foot condition called plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a fibrous band that runs underneath the foot between the heel and the toes. In a foot with plantar fasciitis, microtears form in the plantar fascia and it becomes inflamed. The effects of plantar fasciitis place excessive pressure and strain on the heel bone, which then triggers the formation of a heel spur.
The following conditions and activities place recurrent strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect to the heel bone, which can cause or contribute to heel spurs:
Because heel spurs are often caused by other foot conditions, it’s a good idea to see a foot specialist to diagnose and determine the cause of your heel spur, so you can find the best course of treatment.
Effective treatment of a heel spur involves managing the heel spur symptoms and addressing the condition that caused it in the first place. As plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel spurs, the treatment for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are similar (click here for more information about treating plantar fasciitis).
Heel spur treatment often includes:
If you have persistent heel pain, schedule a diagnostic assessment with our own licensed Chiropodists (foot specialists). Use the booking form below or call 416-769-FEET(3338).
A foot specialist and the knowledgeable staff at our foot clinic can also help you find footwear and supports best suited for your needs and activities.
Our Toronto foot clinic is open Monday to Friday from 9 am-6 pm, Saturdays from 9 am-4 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm. You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic.
The following factors and existing foot conditions can increase your risk of developing a heel spur:
All of the above cause recurrent strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect to the heel bone, which triggers the buildup of calcium deposits on the heel.
Here are various foot care solutions that can help prevent heel spurs:
Our foot clinic is open 7 days a week and offers a large selection of supportive footwear and over-the-counter solutions for heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.
Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!
Emily is the newest addition to the Feet First family. She assists with the clinic’s accounting and finances, as well as all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the clinic running smoothly. In addition to her accounting smarts, she brings sunshine and positivity to everyone at Feet First Clinic.
Part of our administrative support staff, Erica also works behind the scenes writing and editing content for our website and blog. She loves researching and writing educational content to help patients and anyone dealing with pain. When she’s not busy in the clinic, you’ll find her at her local gym, exploring underground music, hiking with friends, or cheering on her favourite sports teams (Go Jays!). She also loves huskies!
Day in and out, Bianca works hard to ensure Feet First Clinic runs smoothly. Customer service is at the top of her list and she treats every customer like family. Bianca has a passion for fitness and is dedicated to helping people take care of their feet and body. There is no problem that she can’t solve and she believes that where there is a will, there’s a way.
If you’ve been to the clinic before, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Carolina! Carolina’s daily goal is going above and beyond to make sure patients are always completely satisfied. Having worked in the podiatry industry for 22 years, Carolina brings a wealth of knowledge pertaining to client service, insurance policies, and procedures. She steers the ship to make sure everything runs smoothly on the daily. Carolina is known for spicing up every outfit with her signature costume jewellery.