Heel Spur Syndrome

A heel spur is a bony outgrowth that typically forms on the underside of the heel bone, primarily as a consequence of chronic stress and inflammation associated with a condition known as plantar fasciitis.

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Overview

Heel spurs typically develop as a result of prolonged stress and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. In response to continuous microtrauma, the body deposits additional bone tissue, leading to the formation of heel spurs.

Most people with heel spurs (95%) do not have any pain. As a result, heel spurs often go unnoticed until an X-ray assessment reveals the condition to the patient.

The reason heel spurs are often linked to Plantar Fasciitis is because heel pain is a common symptom of both conditions, and Plantar Fasciitis usually causes the pain in both cases.

Other causes and risk factors

Even though the main cause of heel spur syndrome is stress on the plantar fascia and calcaneus, multiple risk factors that can increase your chances for it include:

  • Flat feet
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypermobility
  • Unsupportive footwear
  • Increase in physical activity

The following home remedies can be useful for temporary pain relief and inflammation management:

  • Icing the affected heel
  • Slow stretching of the calves and feet
  • Over-the-counter/prescription painkillers

If the pain persists despite home remedies, it's crucial to consult a podiatrist. They specialise in foot and ankle conditions and can accurately diagnose heel spur syndrome through various methods like:

  • Shockwave therapy
  • Super Inductive therapy
  • Sports taping
  • Stretching exercises
  • Customised orthotics

Recurrent and persistent pain from heel spurs carries a risk of limiting the individual's mobility and has a risk of the condition getting worse. As with any bone in the body, heel spurs can be prone to fractures or avulsions, and are especially common in cases of plantar fascia tears and ruptures. To prevent this, your podiatrist is able to perform a highly focused extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) to break down mild to moderate calcifications within the foot and ankle. This serves to effectively reduce pain and inflammation, as well as stop any further deterioration.

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Common Symptoms

Sharp and stabbing pain
Dull aching in the heel upon the first step in the morning
Pain
Difficulty walking barefoot

How It Looks Like

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Related Conditions

FAQs

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A big THANK YOU to Ms Afnan Al Maskari for helping on my recovery as I suffered from heel spur n Plantar Fasciitis with high arch. Every step was a pain then. After a few sessions of shockwave therapy with the aid of custom foot orthotics insole I m pain free and on my way to recovery. My Plantar Fasciitis thickness was 7mm and had been reduced to 3.5mm. I can do my runs as per normal currently. Also Thanks to the friendly staff @ East Coast Podiatrist Orchard as well.

Nivashini Kaliaperumal
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Our Podiatry Care Strategy

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An ankle specialist, such as a podiatrist, will be able to perform a thorough foot assessment using diagnostic tools, such as a musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound to determine the source of your ankle pain. If surgery is required, your podiatrist will refer you to a trusted foot and ankle doctor for surgical solutions.

A thorough assessment of your ankle

Immobilising the area with splints

Utilising technological therapies

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Podiatrist

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