A heel spur is an abnormal growth of bone at the area where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone on the bottom or at the area the achilles tendon attachments on the back of the heel bone.
Heel Spur Causes
Heel spurs typically are caused by a long term strain on the plantar fascia, achilles tendon and muscles of the foot. This is especially common in runners and people who suffer from obesity.
Similar to plantar fasciitis, shoes that are worn out, poorly fitting or poorly constructed can aggravate the problem. Heel spurs may not be the cause of heel pain even when seen on an x-ray. In fact, they may develop as a reaction to long term inflammation of the area.
When you receive an injection for a heel spur, the pain may subside but the spur itself does not go away or dissolve. Rather, the injection medication diminishes inflammation and thus diminishes pain. The spur is still there, it just does not hurt anymore. This is one reason one should attempt to alleviate not only the pain but what caused the pain or spur. This is typically done through the use of appropriate footwear and custom orthoses.
Besides injections and surgery to remove the spur, padding, topical pain relievers and physical therapy may help as well.