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Heel Spur

Heel Spur Syndrome

What is Heel Spur Syndrome? This condition is often confused with Plantar Fasciitis as people often experience pain in the heels.  However, there are slight differences between these two conditions.


A heel spur is a small bone growth on the bottom of the calcaneus (heel bone).  This normally occurs when the plantar fascia and the calcaneus are under tensile stress; this leads to a reactive bone formation, leading to a heel spur. Therefore, Heel Spur Syndrome is related to Plantar Fasciitis as these two conditions often occur together.




Heel spur sufferers usually experience pain on the bottom of the heel.  Many describe the pain as a sharp stabbing pain, or “as if a knife is stuck in my heel”.  This pain can also be a dull ache which worsen on the first step out of bed in the morning, or when standing up after a prolonged time of sitting.  Normally the pain will improve after walking around for a while.


Risk Factors

There are multiple risk factors to getting Heel Spur Syndrome.  The main cause of it is putting too much stress on the plantar fascia and the calcaneus.  Some risk factors include:

  • Flat feet

  • Overweight/ obesity
  • Unsupportive footwear
  • An increase in physical activity

Symptomatic Plantar Heel Spur evident on the base of the Right Heel


Icing is the recommended initial treatment to bring down any onset of pain or inflammation.  Slow stretching of the calves and feet may also help relieve some pain.  Over-the-counter or prescription painkillers can relieve the heel pain temporarily, but that would not address the cause of the pain.  Without focusing on the root cause, heel pain can recur again and again.

Seek an appointment with East Coast Podiatry Centre; we can further assess your condition and provide the necessary medical advice.  We will also advise you on the appropriate treatments required.  Some treatment options include:


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Author: Podiatrist Benedict KHOO

Editor: Principal Podiatrist Michael LAI