Calcaneal Heel Spurs – How To Treat Them!
Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are connected but different problems. The
diagnoses are not necessarily the same but they are related. The arch of the
foot is supported by a thick connective tissue, the plantar
fascia. Plantar fasciitis is when inflammation occurs in this tissue. Heel
spurs or calcaneal heel spurs are related with plantar fasciitis in that they
grow in response to the need for the plantar fascia to stretch. This tissue,
however, does not stretch but the bone spurs to which the tissue is connected
grow to give some extra length. They are seen as small bone spurs or
osteophytes that form on the calcaneus or the heel bone.
Overview of Heel Spurs
Many people have a calcaneal spur, even if they do not have symptoms of pain
and the precise relationship between plantar fasciitis and calcaneal spurs is
not always well understood.
It is quite possible that those who have a history of foot pain as a result of
plantar fasciitis will also be prone to suffer from heel spurs. People of all
ages can get calcaneal heel spurs, especially if they have had plantar
fasciitis previously. Men and women in middle age are more susceptible to this
condition. The pain is not primarily caused by the spur itself but more likely
the problem is inflammation and irritation that occurs in the plantar fascia.
A heel spur can clearly be seen with an X-ray of the heel which will show a
hook of bone jutting out towards the plantar fascia.
How To Treat Heel Spurs?
Since they are related problems these spurs can be treated in the same way
that plantar fasciitis is treated. Inflammation control and short-term rest
are the first steps in treating calcaneal heel spurs. The symptoms can be
treated if the following steps are taken:
Inflammation can be decreased, and pain can be controlled by taking anti-
inflammatory medications. You can use both over-the counter and prescription
2. Ice Packs
Some of the symptoms can be diminished, and heel pain can be controlled by
icing the heels,a packet of frozen peas is ideal for this. Even in the case of
aggravated symptoms the use of ice can be very helpful.
3. Using Exercises and Stretches
The tissues surrounding the heel bone can be relaxed with exercises and
stretches. Sufferers can relieve the symptoms by exercising in the morning and
Probably the best treatment in most cases is the use of orthotics. These can
be bought online inexpensively or tailor made to your needs. These shoe
inserts can give permanent relief for people and avoid regular and
tedious strapping that may be more appropriate only for athletes.
5. Using Night Splints
Night splints will keep the foot stretched at a permanent 90 degrees
while sleeping. The arch of the foot is prevented from getting contracted at
night and the foot will feel more comfortable in the morning.
6. Rest and avoid overtaxing the foot
Avoid activities that exacerbate the symptoms. Minimize prolonged standing and
resting weight on the painful foot. Do not run or jog for a few days whilst
the foot is recovering. Fortunately the most severe pain can often be
eliminated and inflammation reduced by merely resting.
You should not confuse calcaneal heal spurs and plantar fasciitis with tarsal
tunnel syndrome, they are entirely different conditions. If you are at all
worried or confused you should seek the advice of your physician but I hope
that this short article and video has helped clarify the condition and shown
ways to alleviate it.