What are heel spurs?

A heel spur is a bony growth that forms on normal bone. It can be at the site of pain but typically is not the cause of pain. The cause of the pain is from the plantar fascia that inserts near the heel spur. Usually people with a heel spur complain of a sharp pain in the heel when they get up in the morning.
Christopher Chiodo, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Heel spurs are abnormal growths of bone or calcium that can resemble a cowboy's spurs. They sometimes form on the back or bottom of the heel bone. The heel spurs themselves don't cause pain, but sometimes the plantar fascia or other tissues around the spur become  degenerative or inflamed and start to hurt.
Bob Greene
Bob Greene on behalf of The Best Life
Heel spurs are growths - calcium deposits - that develop on the back of the heel bone or where the tendon that connects the toes to the heel (called the plantar fascia) attaches to the heel bone. It's common in people who have flat feet, but it can also affect people who have very high arches, too. Obese people, runners and joggers are at an increased risk for heel spurs. The condition can be associated with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tendon on the bottom of the foot.

Continue Learning about Foot and Ankle Conditions

Worst Case Scenario: I Wear High Heels Every Day
Worst Case Scenario: I Wear High Heels Every Day
High heels may turn your outfit up a notch, but they can wreak havoc on your body. “Other than how they make you look, there’s very little upside to ...
Read More
Can wearing flip-flops cause foot problems?
Christopher Chiodo, MDChristopher Chiodo, MD
Planning to take a long walk? Need to get somewhere fast? You may want to leave your flip-flops ...
More Answers
Are foot problems life threatening?
James P. Ioli, DPMJames P. Ioli, DPM
For the most part, foot problems are annoying, painful, and sometimes disabling, but they are ra...
More Answers
Is Foot Pain Making You Fat?
Is Foot Pain Making You Fat?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.