Heel spurs are abnormal bone growths at the bottom of the heel bone. Calcium is deposited at the side of the heel bone with the protrusion growing until a half inch. The usual causes of heel spurs are associated with abnormal gait, poor posture, incorrect shoes or physical activities that put the foot in an abnormal amount of stress. They are also caused by chronic inflammation in the tendons of the soft tissue or fascia. People with heel spurs will experience pain when standing or walking. This is because the heel spur dig deeps into the tissue with every movement.
About 1 of every 10 people has a heel spur although only 1 out of 20 will actually feel foot pain. People with flat feet are also prone to foot pain from heel spurs.
Many patients compare a heel spur to a bad tooth. It doesn’t just happen but develops over time. Once a heel spur has completely developed, accompanying pain can be hard to bear. Like an abscessed tooth, the pain worsens.
A heel spur can be found either at the back of the heel or under the heel. For heel spurs at the back of the heel, they are often caused by a swollen Achilles tendon that results in tenderness and pain felt at the back of the heel which can be aggravated whenever a person pushes the ball of the foot.