Heel Spur and Plantar Fasciitis

April 4, 2024

Are Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis connected, in most yes! As the plantar fasciitis is the start of a heel spur and its development. However a heel spur is a bony projection from the back or bottom of the heel bone and can occur with no pain in up to 40% of adults (Michelsson et al. 2005). The focus is on heel spurs that occur at the base of the foot where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone.

A heel spur is a calcium deposit causing a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. On an X-ray, a heel spur can extend forward by as much as a half-inch although this is less common. An X Ray is needed to confirm a heel spur and its often linked to plantar Fasciitis although if the fascia is directly affected by the heel spur pain tends to be at its highest in the evening after been on your feet all day, rather than very painful first thing in the morning.

Inflammation and tearing or damage to the plantar fascia results in pain in the heel this can lead to a heel spur if untreated as the spur is linked to the connection of the fibrous fascia connection in the heel bone.

So why does the body develop heel spurs because of Plantar Fasciitis?

As your plantar fascia stiffens due to trauma or repeated stress it increases the force in the attachment point in the heel. To cope with the increased stress due to a weakened plantar fascia the bone remodels itself. The bone does this with an increase of calcium deposits on the heel bone, this process usually occurs over many months. These can be more aggressive and common among people who train at a high intensity with activities that include a large amount of running and jumping. 

Heel spurs occur when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone, a process that usually occurs over a period of many months. Heel spurs are often caused by strains on foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone. Heel spurs are especially common among athletes whose activities include large amounts of running and jumping.

The reason for the development of the heel spur is to prevent the plantar fascia bending as much thus reducing strain. The size of the spur can complicate the pain further by compressing the lateral plantar nerve. The pain in this instance is usually described as burning pain associated with nerve compression and can actually cause muscle wasting of the supporting muscles of the foot (Chundru et al. 2008). 

This can lead to a downward spiral where the muscles weaken and provide less stability to the foot putting more pressure on the fascia and increasing pain and further reduced mobility. The size of the spur links to the pain and severity of the plantar fasciitis and is only operated on in extreme cases when other non invasive approaches have not reduced the plantar fasciitis.

To reduce the heel spur you must reduce the plantar fasciitis!

To reduce plantar fasciitis you need to look at your mechanics of movement and follow a plan and process of rehabilitation. I have treated well over a 100 patients over the last 9 months with varying degrees of plantar fasciitis and heel spur development. I have a 93% success rate in reducing pain and improving mobility and getting your life back to normal and beyond with my 3, 6, 9 process.

Will you book a FREE conversation for how I can help you!

If you would like to know more about how I treat plantar fasciitis please call Stephen on 01789 228123 for a conversation or use the messenger icon. 

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About the author

Stephen Grinnell MSc Health and Rehabilitation
Pain and Physical Rehabilitation Specialist
Stephen has had his own Pain and Rehabilitation Clinic for over 11 years where he has treated well over 2500 people with lots of different pain and injury issues. Stephen’s personal physical rehabilitation journey started with a serious injury while on active service with the Royal Marines 25 years ago. This injury resulted in a long journey of complementary rehabilitation and two replacement hips. Stephen has developed his own bespoke treatment protocols using a variety of medical devices to help pain and inflammation resulting in accelerated recovery. Expert areas of focus are Plantar Fasciitis Treatment, Back pain issues particularly Lower Back and Sciatica and hip and knee replacement rehabilitation. Stephen previously had a successful academic career lecturing at a variety of Colleges and Universities in the Sports Science, Rehabilitation and Training areas. Stephen has also worked in The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Physiotherapy department during the Covid 19 Pandemic helping the recovery of COVID patients. In 2022 Stephen has been extensively researching and trialling protocols to treat plantar fasciitis. His Expertise has resulted in the successful treatment of 103 people and counting with a current success rate of 93%

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