Heel Bone Spurs

BONE SPURS on the heel

heel spur

Figure 8‑1: A heel spur is an abnormal growth on the bone.

A SPUR DEVELOPS when the heel is under duress, and the bone thickens as a response.

The stress can be due to the arch collapsing, causing the plantar fascia to pull on its insertion on the heel bone. This causes inflammation. Inflammation in a tendon results in bone being laid down, and when this happens in the feet, it causes a heel spur. 

The treatment for heel spurs is to use U-shaped silicone heel spur pads (Figure 8-3).

heel pad

Figure 8‑3: U-shaped silicone pads relieve pressure on heel spurs.


Posterior Spur

 Spurs can also occur at the top back side of the heel bone from a tight calf muscle. The tight calf muscle causes its tendon, the Achilles tendon, to pull on its insertion at the back of the heel bone (Figure 8-4).

heel spur

Figure 8‑4: Posterior heel spur.

A constant pull on the Achilles tendon can also lead to bursitis, an inflammatory response that can cause bone to be laid down in this region, causing a bone spur on the back of the heel. 

The treatment for a posterior heel spur is to heat the calf for 10 minutes, stretch the calf muscle for a few minutes (see Chapter 19 to learn how to stretch the calf muscle), massage the calf muscle (see chapter 20), and then ice the tendon for two minutes. This should be repeated several times a day.

Do not exercise the muscles in the lower legs or feet until the inflammation has calmed down and it no longer hurts to exercise these muscles.

heat ice


If the heating-stretching-cooling treatment does not work, then you may need to wear an immobilizing boot to take enough pressure off the tendons and bones to allow them to heal, and then work on regaining mobility to the ankle afterward.


Poor fitting Shoes can cause heel spurs

If your shoes are too small, or not cushioned enough, this can put pressure on your heels, causes the bones of the toe joint to inflame and thicken, resulting in heel spurs.


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