Having Heel Spurs Is Not Super

25 February 2021

Did you know that no one, other than Superman, has x-ray vision? I’m sure this comes as no surprise, so the next time you’re told by a friend, a concerned family member, or a health professional that you have a heel spur, and they are not wearing a red cape and underpants on the outside of their tights, they’re only guessing, and in all honesty, a guess is not good enough.

Only an X-Ray can determine if a heel spur is truly present, and even if a spur is identified, rarely is the spur causing the ongoing pain in your heel.

There are many types of heel pain, meaning there are numerous underlying causes, and this is why it’s important to see a Podiatrist if you have any sort of heel pain and discomfort, because at Stepping Out Podiatry, that is exactly what we do, day in, day out, we fix heel pain problems.

If you randomly stopped a hundred people in the street and x-rayed their feet, you would find a large percentage would have a heel spur and didn’t even know it existed. So, the existence of a heel spur does not mean you will have heel pain.

A heel spur should really be called a traction spur because it develops in the same direction that the muscles pull away from the heel bone.

On the bottom of your foot, there’s a group of tissues called the Plantar Fascia, which attaches itself to the underside of the heel bone. When the Plantar Fascia tears away from its attachment to the heel bone, it creates a micro-bleed in the area, and over time this micro-bleed area ossifies and becomes hard, and eventually develops into a spur.  However a spur will not develop in a week or month, it develops over many years, and usually there have been multiple injuries, or tears to the heel area.

Many patients tell us they have had sore heels off and on for many years, and they’ve just put up with the pain because it never got too bad, and it is usually these patients that develop heel spurs.

So yes, it’s true, heel spurs do exist, and they are common, and a lot of people with sore heels may have a heel spur, but rarely is the heel spur causing the heel pain.

Some foot-types are also more prone to heel pain and heel spurring than others, and different sporting activities place enormous force on the heels, so all this, and a person’s footwear, needs to be taken into account when diagnosing a heel pain problem.

More often than not, when a person has heel pain, they will notice it first thing in the morning when getting out of bed, or upon rising if they’ve been seated for some time. The pain can be quite intense, however once they get mobile and warmed up the pain tends to be reduced.

Muscle tears on the bottom of your foot is only one cause of heel pain; however it is not the only cause. This is why it is important to see somebody that is specifically trained in diagnosing and treating foot conditions.

You wouldn’t go to the Optometrist to have a tooth pulled, so why would you take your feet anywhere else other than a Podiatrist at Stepping Out Podiatry.