Heel Spur

A heel spur is a calcification that is generally shaped with jagged edges and is located on the heel. It is usually found close to the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel. Cause Heel spurs are caused by traumatic injuries that may pull the tendon away from its insertion point, and then calcification occurs to patch up the area. Heel spurs may also occur from microtrauma that occur in the heel such as from jumping, running too much or too far, or other activities that impact the heel. Overpronation in the foot, flat feet, or high arches can also predispose a person to form heel spurs. If the plantar fascia is overstretched, this may also lead to a heel spur over time. Treatment & Prevention To start healing, any activities that increase the compressive forces to the heel must be stopped. Healing will not occur unless further microtrauma stops. If a heel spur has developed due to overpronation or arch problems, an orthotic insert with arch support can significantly help decrease pain felt with heel spurs. An additional heel lift will decrease the pain even more. Cushioned heel lifts take the pressure off the Achilles tendon which inserts into the heel. Prevention of heel spurs includes the following: • not wearing shoes with negative heels, where the heel is lower than the ball of the foot • wearing heel supportive shoes with arch supports • not increasing running or other athletic activities quickly • not running uphill