What spurs look like

Looking at the photo of the heel spur on the legs, it becomes clear that the appearance of the affected heel depends on the neglect of the disease.

The photo of the heel spur on the heel in the initial stage shows a normal foot with a small white spot in the center. This is the heel spur or spike.

As the disease develops, the spike grows, increases in size and can reach a diameter of 0,5-2 cm. The length of the growth in the later stages can be more than 2 cm.

Typically, with a large spur around it, you can distinguish keratinized skin areas and signs of inflammation: redness or blueness of the heel.

Where is the heel spur? In most cases (90%), the spike is located in the center of the heel, and only in some cases from the side. The growth has the form of a spike or wedge, less often – a hook-shaped form.

It is worth noting that the heel spike on the heel surface is approximately 30-50% of the total bone-saline growth, a significant part of the spur is in the connective tissues of the heel.

Heel spur: anatomy of the feet and the development of the disease

Examining the anatomical structure of the foot, you can see that the heel fascia performs a very important function – retention and formation of the arch of the foot. In the process of walking fascia, heels and tendons are subjected to enormous loads, especially in overweight people.

Due to improper metabolism caused by a wide variety of reasons, salt crystals are formed inside the fascia that damage the fascia. In most cases, such microtraumas heal quickly without special treatment.

Given the high regenerative abilities of the connective tissues of the heel, the question naturally arises: from what does the heel spur appear?

The fact is that when microtraumas become very numerous, non-infectious inflammation begins. Connective tissues are compacted, salt deposition is enhanced. Bone tissue grows, forming bone-salt growths (osteophytes).

If the calcaneal spur, the symptoms of which are manifested immediately, is not treated, then the inflamed section of the fascia is saturated with salts and the growth quickly grows in length and width.

At this stage, infection and inflammation of the bone tissue are possible, and given the constant microtrauma of the fascia during exertion, we can say that plantar fasciitis is a rapidly progressing disease.

That is why it is necessary to carefully examine the feet for the occurrence of spikes, as well as to remove corns in a timely manner and walk in unloading orthopedic heels.

Causes and signs of calcaneal spur

To know how to recognize the heel spur at the initial stage, you need to familiarize yourself with the reasons for its appearance.

Medicine identifies the following causes of inflammation of the calcaneus fascia:

  • Flat feet and other deformations of the foot. The growth is formed due to excessive load on the heel. In this case, it is imperative to wear Strutz arch support and / or orthopedic insoles that unload the feet and protect the heel from impact.
  • Calcaneus injuries. Usually injuries occur when jumping from high altitude, mechanical shock.
  • Joint diseases: arthritis, arthrosis, rheumatism, sprain, etc.
  • Long-term exposure to increased load on the feet. This reason applies to people whose work involves standing or walking, women wearing high heel shoes, and athletes involved in heavy sports.
  • Endocrine diseases and metabolic disorders.
  • Poor blood circulation in the lower extremities.
  • Infectious diseases affecting the water-salt balance.
  • Overweight, including during pregnancy.

In people over 40, the risk of developing plantar fasciitis is associated with a deterioration in blood circulation in the limbs and a slowdown in regenerative processes in the tissues. That is why people of middle and old age need to pay maximum attention to the restoration of heel fascia.

During sleep, this will help to make such a Strasbourg sock, fixing the foot tissue in an extended position, which contributes to the healing of microtraumas.

Pain symptoms of a heel spur

After the appearance of a white spot-thorn, the heel spur (the photo looks like you can see above) causes severe pain.

Patients with inflamed fascia describe pain as follows:

  • Pain symptoms are localized in the center of the heel. In adjacent tissues, the pain spreads only in case of infection of the bone spike.
  • Describing the nature of pain, patients use such expressions as “nail in the leg”, “sharp jerking pain”, “pin in the heel”. People also notice tingling, drilling, numbness, or burning in the heel.

Most often, patients talk about the appearance of pain:

  1. in the morning immediately after the first steps;
  2. in the evening and at night;
  3. after physical exertion on the feet;
  4. constantly during the day.

By the time and how long the heel spur hurts, one can judge the development of the disease. As a rule, morning pain appears due to fascia microcracks, which decreased over night.

To reduce morning pain, you need to use the Strasbourg sock. This device fixes the fascia in an extended position during sleep.

Pain during the day and evening, as well as arising after physical activity indicate damage to the connective tissue of the heel during movement.

To alleviate pain and reduce static and shock effects, use heel pads for heel spurs or orthopedic insoles.

Other symptoms of heel spurs

What are the symptoms of heel spurs besides pain?

In addition to pain, fasciitis has the following symptoms:

  • a change in gait, the patient appears chromate due to the inability to step on the heel;
  • the appearance of keratinization of foot tissues;
  • dry corns, corns;
  • redness, blueness, or blackening of the fascia;
  • the heel gets hot.

As soon as you have a calcaneal spur, the first symptoms of which are pain and white spots, it is necessary to use a special cream for resorption of bone-saline growth.

In this case, Pyatkashpor cream, which contains medical bile, will be of great help. This substance promotes decalcification and removal of the growth.

At the initial stage of the disease, the cream “Pyatoshpor Reinforced” will help get rid of the heel spur without taking medication. In the future, it is recommended to use the “Heel Spur Normal” or “Heel Spur Preventive” for foot care.

How to distinguish calcaneal spur from corns?

Very often, people do not start timely treatment of fasciitis, thinking that this is ordinary corn. How to determine the heel spur and distinguish it from corns?

Bone spike differs from corns in the following features:

  • Dry corn is easily removed by steaming and processing with a pumice or special nail file. The spike cannot be removed in this way.
  • Corn does not cause discomfort and pain, allowing you to lead a normal lifestyle. Spur hurts and does not allow to step on the heel.
  • Corn or corns has a large area and is characterized by keratinization of the skin. The bone growth has a clearer location.
  • On palpation, the corn is felt only outs >

What to do if, having examined the feet, you come to the conclusion that you have not ordinary dry callus, but a heel spur? First of all, you need to see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis and assess the neglect of the disease.

Be sure to find out which specialist treats heel spur in your clinic, and make an appointment. Typically, an orthopedic surgeon or surgeon is involved in the treatment of spurs. In the absence of these specialists, you can contact the therapist.

The doctor makes a diagnosis based on the following data:

  1. Interviewing a patient and taking an anamnesis. The orthopedist clarifies the frequency, localization and nature of the pain, as well as the factors that provoke it.
  2. Visual inspection and palpation. The doctor examines the foot, palpates the heel and determines the most painful area.

Analysis and research data:

  • general analysis and blood biochemistry;
  • Ultrasound of plantar fascia;
  • radiography of the foot.

According to how the heel spur looks in an X-ray, the doctor judges the development of the disease and prescribes treatment. Sometimes, an MRI is prescribed to more accurately assess the degree of fascia inflammation.

Signs of calcaneal spur and treatment

After a comprehensive diagnosis of the heel spur, the orthopedist prescribes treatment. In 90% of cases, fasciitis can be defeated without surgery.

The standard course of treatment includes:

  • the use of anti-inflammatory ointments;
  • taking anti-inflammatory tablets;
  • physiotherapeutic procedures;
  • orthopedic means for unloading the foot.

The last point is especially important for non-surgical treatment of the heel spike. The impact of shock on the heel and trauma to the fascia can reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.

And vice versa, special insoles for spurs will help to quickly get rid of the disease and prevent the re-emergence of the growth.

“Heel spur”

or “plantar fasciitis,” as it sounds in medical language.

In general, heel pain is an ancient problem, but at the same time, insufficiently studied. Although, as it seems to me, this expression is applicable to any area of ​​the human body (but, let’s digress from lyrical reasoning)

What is characterized by plantar fasciitis?

This, of course, is pain in the heel, especially pronounced in the morning (the main complaint is that it is necessary to “diverge”). We call this “starting” pain, in foreign literature, the expression “first-step pain” is used.

It occurs as a result of chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia (an important structure of the foot, which will be described below)

Where did the heel spur come from?

This is a kind of radiological term. What radiologists see in the pictures is bone growth in the area of ​​attachment of the plantar fascia. However, the presence of a “calcaneal spur” on the radiograph does not indicate the presence of plantar fasciitis.

And it is very important to know not only the patients, but also our colleagues (mainly outpatient surgeons), who are receiving patients in the absence of orthopedic surgeons.

Okay, what is the plantar fascia?

This is an anatomical structure represented by a dense strand of connective tissue, which stretches from the calcaneus and is woven into the flexors of the fingers. She participates in the depreciation function of the foot and supports the longitudinal arch.

Below is a schematic depiction of its functioning.

I thought of attaching anatomical images from the autopsy, but decided that it was unpleasant, and most importantly – completely uninformative.

Causes of plantar fasciitis?

1. Progression of longitudinal flatfoot

2. Change of shoes (wearing flat shoes)

4. Microtrauma as a result of significant loads

5. Systemic diseases, including hormonal changes

This is a number of main reasons that are worth highlighting.

Every second overweight woman asks me with sadness in her voice about whether her weight affects the problem. And I honestly answer them what influences. Therefore, whenever possible, try to maintain your weight at an acceptable level.

1. Stretching of the plantar fascia and muscles of the foot

These are stretching exercises.

2. The selection of rational shoes, the use of orthopedic insoles, soft heels and other stray

As you might have noticed, many of the causes of the development of the disease can be controlled by the patient himself. Therefore, treatment is limited only to exercises and recommendations of orthosis and foot support for the period of inflammation.

Otherwise, when such methods do not have a positive effect, you need to contact an orthopedist.

I ask you, make comments on the writing style. for me this is just a test of the pen and I want to further use information resources more actively in order to be closer to many patients.

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God, how I suffered with her. And then he just changed his shoes from sneakers / sneakers / moccasins to classic men’s shoes with small heels and forgot, like a nightmare.

Five years I suffer with this spur! X-ray showed this very spur (process). Twice during this time I went to physical procedures with hydrocortisone ointment (with an interval of two years) – it did not help. Rolling pins and bottles rolled – did not help. I asked the surgeon to prescribe an X-ray chamber – I looked like a fool (this method was suggested to me 4 years ago). The heel was sick, I suffered and lived with this pain. It was bearable.

About a year and a half ago, it became very hard (painful) for me to walk. There was no question of walking on foot! And if I walked a distance from a kilometer (barely), then the rest of the day I could not even walk around the house. As a result, a sedentary lifestyle and, of course, weight gain! Moved exclusively by transport. Even one stop I went by minibus! Every evening at night, I always smeared the foot with anesthetic ointment. True, in the morning it was still necessary to walk around, jumping on one leg, and the second – the patient – carefully, gradually put on the floor.

And now, a year ago, when I could not walk at all, and the surgeons shrugged, I asked my husband to buy me a wand to walk with her. Instead of a wand, he bought me orthopedic insoles, soft heels of various materials, a rubber spiked ball.

I began to roll the ball, through pain, to tears. I began to walk only with insoles and heels, (I also used it before, but not constantly) they were in every pair of shoes. And a couple of months ago, I began to notice that I could go more than usual. Today I can walk 4-5 km. Legs, of course, hurt, but not like before. And no need to pace. I hope to get rid of this ailment.

How the spurs on the heels of the legs look: photo and description

Looking at the photo of the heel spur, you can notice the characteristic changes only in the advanced stages. External signs directly depend on the form of the disease. In the early stages, heel spurs are often confused with corns and corns. This interferes with timely diagnosis and leads to surgery.

Signs and Features

If you look at the photo of the spur in the initial period of development, you can see a normal foot with a white or red dot in the area of ​​formation of the growth. As the spike increases, the skin stretches over it and turns red. Shine or blanching may be present.

Around the growth, the fate of hyperkeratosis with active peeling and hyperemia is formed. Violation of the trophism is manifested by coarsening of the tissues and blue of the heel.

For several years, the spur grows from 5 mm to 20, depending on the reasons. Sometimes an osteophyte reaches such a size that it is impossible to wear shoes with a backdrop.


Significant influence on how the spurs on the legs look, there is their location. More often, a growth is formed in the plantar of the calcaneus and is called the lower. Such localization is characterized by violent symptoms, but is hardly noticeable externally. The spike penetrates the soft tissues of the heels and it is impossible to see it with the naked eye. Radiological research methods help diagnose the disease.

In 10-15% of cases, the spur grows under the Achilles tendon and is called the lateral or posterior. With this localization, the disease is easy to recognize on its own. In the area of ​​the calcaneal tuber, a wedge-shaped tumor with an acute apex is formed. Clinical manifestations of this form have a less aggressive course. But the signs of the disease are clearly visible in the photo of the spur on the heels, especially with a side shot.

Spur structure

The growth can be even with a pointed end or curved upwards in the form of a hook. The main part of the spike is in the soft tissues. At the point of attachment to the bone, the spur has an extension and looks like a nail with a hat. The composition of the growth differs depending on the accompanying pathologies. Usually it contains bone-cartilage tissue and salt deposits.

How to identify

You can determine the spur on the heel yourself, but only if it has reached about half a centimeter in length. During this period, treatment already becomes difficult. But the symptoms of the disease appear much earlier.

The main cause of spurs is plantar fasciitis and flat feet. These pathologies are identified by the following signs:

  • deformation of the feet;
  • problems with the selection of shoes;
  • gait change;
  • arch of the foot;
  • muscle cramps;
  • uneven wear of shoes;
  • curvature of the thumb (bone).

In the presence of these factors, the risk of osteophyte increases several times. Flat feet and plantar fasciitis cause microtrauma of the ligaments, which contribute to the development of the inflammatory process and proliferation of bone tissue. Therefore, if there is pain in the soles and heels, you should urgently take a picture of the foot.

Many patients, knowing from the photo how spurs on their legs look, wait for their appearance and only then turn to a specialist. This significantly complicates their further treatment.

Independently detect calcaneal spur at an early stage is possible only with timely medical attention.


X-ray study is used at different stages of the disease. In the absence of external signs, it helps to establish a diagnosis and identify the cause of inflammation. In advanced cases, using the X-ray, you can determine the area of ​​damage and the depth of spike germination in the connective tissue.

Radiography is also carried out in order to identify concomitant pathologies and deformities. The picture is taken in two projections (longitudinal and transverse). Special preparation for the procedure is not required.

The heel spur in the x-ray looks like a pathological process. It can be curved in any direction. Sometimes two spurs on one heel are revealed at once. In severe cases, spikes are visible on both legs.

The study allows you to view all joints and see deposits of salts. More often they are observed in the calcaneal tuber and the big toe. If you look at the pictures of the osteophyte in the first and last stages, the following changes are noticeable:

  • the spike increases in length and in diameter;
  • with posterior localization, bulging outward reaches 1,5–2 cm;
  • with a lower location, the depth of entry into the soft tissues of the heel increases;
  • the spur becomes curved or claw-shaped;
  • flattening of the arch of the foot increases;
  • there may be signs of inflammation in the metatarsal bones of the feet and large joints.

An X-ray of the heel spur allows you to make a diagnosis at an early stage, which gives chances of getting rid of spurs with the help of conservative therapy. This method can be prescribed to most patients. Limitations exist only with respect to:

  • pregnant women;
  • cancer patients during radiotherapy;
  • children up to 16 years;
  • patients with radiation sickness.

Before radiography of the heel spurs, women of childbearing age should make sure that there is no pregnancy with the help of a test.

Other diagnostic methods

To recognize a spur on the heel in the developmental stage, you can use palpation and examination. The orthopedist probes the area of ​​the calcaneal tuber and the sole. With posterior localization, the spike is detected without difficulty.

In the lower position, lightly press on the heel. This causes the patient a sensation of acute pain. The doctor also examines the feet for inflammation of the fascia and tendons.

Signals of the imminent formation of a growth can corns and corns in the affected area.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Computer examination

Often when diagnosed with CT or MRI of the legs. These studies are indicated for difficulties in identifying spurs using x-rays, when the spike is located inside the tendon or ligament.

Computer diagnostics is a highly sensitive research and gives a 100% result. The method is based on a sequential examination of all tissue layers, which allows you to accurately determine the nature and cause of calcaneal growths.


Spur on the foot manifests itself not only externally and symptomatically. The disease also causes changes in clinical tests. Usually, in spurs, ESR in the blood increases. “C” reactive protein may rise. With concomitant lesions of the joints in the blood, a rheumatoid factor is detected.

Spur on the foot is detected by ultrasound in a few minutes. And you can even do the procedure for pregnant women and young children. Ultrasound determines the foci of inflammation on the sole and the size of the growth using high-frequency waves.

Osteophytes and salt deposits are clearly visible on the monitor. The method does not require special training.


Heel spurs can look and manifest in different ways. But their treatment is effective only in the early stages. Therefore, you need to learn how to determine the disease by the first signs of malaise in the feet and consult a doctor in time.

What to do when a spur grows on the heel

Calcaneal spur, alas, is not a decoration or a means of protection: the bone growth on the calcaneus is literally called so, often very painful. This is a fairly common pathology, especially in old age. Various joint diseases and adverse conditions for the heels can provoke it. What exactly and how to treat heel spur?

Calcaneal spur: causes, symptoms and treatment

Another name for heel spurs is plantar fasciitis. This name accurately reflects the cause of pain – inflammation of the muscle fascia, the membrane around the muscle.

Fasciitis can be caused by constant increased loads on the fascia, especially at the place of its attachment to the calcaneal tuber. As a result, it can be injured and inflamed. Over time, on the heel, as compensation for the load, calcium growths appear – this is the spur.

In the photo – heel spur

Bone calcaneus growth is not a consequence of exclusively age-related degenerative changes, although old age certainly contributes to the accelerated development of the disease.

Causes of plantar fasciitis

Who can grow a heel spur

People of different age groups are at increased risk of spurs:

  • Those who, due to their profession, are constantly on their feet
  • Athletes Athletes
  • Overweight people
  • Those with congenital flat feet
  • Women who prefer high-heeled shoes

Many consider flatfoot a trifle, but for the musculoskeletal system – this is a real disaster. Those who have such a “trifle” know how quickly their legs get tired when walking and what tension arises in the calf muscles with a non-springing foot.

Plantar fasciitis diseases

Can lead to overgrowth on the heel:

  • Rheumatoid, reactive, infectious arthritis
  • The consequences of psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Gout
  • Bechterew’s disease
  • Acute and chronic injuries
  • Late stage deforming arthrosis
  • Poor circulation of the lower extremities and other factors

Thus, the causes of a heel spur in a patient sometimes lie deep inside, being the consequences of systemic arthritis, latent infections or impaired metabolism.

Therefore, if a spur formed suddenly for no reason, without identifying external provoking factors, you need to be examined more carefully, having passed a blood test:

  • at rheumatic test
  • uric acid level
  • chlamydia mycoplasma

Symptoms of heel spur

Pain in the heel is caused by overstretching of the fascia while walking or standing

  • The nature of the pain can be aching or acute
  • Since it’s painful to step on the heel, the gait is made lame and awkward
  • Pain occurs most often during the first steps after resting or prolonged sitting:
  • At the initial moments, the pain can be “pin-up” – it feels like there is something sharp in the heel, then after a couple of minutes of walking the pain becomes dull
  • Also, intensification of pain symptoms occurs with increased load on the heel:
    • running, jumping, long walking, lifting loads

A long-standing spur, even a large one, can hardly hurt, except for exacerbation attacks.

In fact, in only 10% of cases, heel bone pain is associated with a spur. In the remaining 90% of cases, heel pain may not be due to growth, but for completely different reasons:

  • Arthrosis of the foot
  • Periosteum
  • Achilles tendon tendonitis

Diagnosis of fasciitis

To determine the diagnosis, you need to contact a rheumatologist, with the exception of the case when fasciitis is caused by trauma – then an orthopedist is consulted.

The doctor examines the heel and probes its most painful point.

  • Radiography
  • In some cases, when, for example, it is necessary to diagnose microdamages of the plantar fascia, cartilage layer or Achilles tendon, a more accurate and informative MRI is performed.
  • Ultrasound, although inferior in its informativeness to radiography and MRI, can also be used, especially when it is necessary to repeatedly examine the heel before and after treatment:
    • Of all three methods, ultrasound is the safest
  • Blood tests:
    • General, biochemical, rheumatic test

In the photo – an X-ray of the heel spur. A sharp protrusion is clearly visible on the x-ray.

Heel Spur Treatment


Treatment of fasciitis is always carried out in the direction of the main cause of the disease:

  • So, if an injury or increased load led to a spur, it is especially necessary to observe a rest regimen of about three weeks in combination with taking non-steroidal or hormonal anti-inflammatory drugs, for example:
    • Nimesil, ibuprofen
    • Hydrocortisone, Diprospana
  • Local administration of corticosteroids, in combination with other painkillers, to the most painful point is the most effective way to eliminate pain in the heel spur
    • However, other therapies are more commonly used – conventional BM injections, tablets and ointments
    • Reception of NSAIDs and hormones cannot be long due to a large number of complications and contraindications – such as gastrointestinal ulcers, heart diseases, diabetes mellitus, hypertension
  • If the plantar fascia is caused by rheumatic, reactive or infectious arthritis, then the main treatment given by a rheumatologist is antibacterial:
    • For these purposes, targeted antibiotics are used that destroy the infection identified during the study.

Physiotherapeutic treatment

The following physiotherapeutic methods can reduce inflammation and pain with fasciitis:

  • Electrophoresis with anti-inflammatory drugs:
    • A tissue-impregnated tissue solution is placed under the calcareous bone plate.
  • Laser or magnetic therapy:
    • Under the influence of laser beams or a magnetic field of variable frequency, blood circulation is stimulated and pain intensity decreases
  • Cryotherapy:
    • Vapors of carbon dioxide cooled to -78 ° C block the inflammatory process and instantly stop the pain syndrome
  • UVT – shock wave therapy:
    • This is a method of physical impact on the calcaneus growth with radial shock shock waves.
    • UVT sessions allow to crush calcium deposits, reducing their size and localizing the inflammatory process

Orthopedic Insoles

The use of special orthopedic insoles allows you to unload the heel and reduce pain during walking and standing.

Permanent wearing of insoles is recommended if plantar fasciitis is caused by flat feet or increased weight.

Especially effective is the use of silicone heel pads.

In the photo – orthopedic insoles with a heel spur.

Exercise therapy for fasciitis

Exercise therapy acts on the heel spur by strengthening the calf muscles and muscles of the foot, which really allows you to eliminate pain and increase periods of remission, while NSAIDs and hormones only drown out pain symptoms, causing damage to health.

The following video presents the complex of exercise therapy for fasciitis:

  • Calf Muscle Exercise
  • Plantar fascia stretching exercises
  • Exercises with a Tennis Ball and a Plastic Bottle
  • Exercises to strengthen the muscles of the foot

Video: Therapeutic gymnastics with heel spur

Heel Spur Surgical Removal

The removal of heel spurs is prescribed in rare cases:

  • When medication and physiotherapy do not lead to results for a long period
  • The growth is growing steadily, it hurts a lot and prevents walking

Then, with the help of a chisel, the growth is removed and, if necessary, all the affected tissues near it.

However, conservative methods of treatment are most often used.

Alternative treatment of fasciitis

One of the means is compresses and rubbing with alcohol tincture of saberfish.

They say that the following folk remedy is good for calcaneal spur – an ointment based on fresh eggs, butter and 70% essence of vinegar:

  • Pour the egg, placed in a glass, with the essence until the shell is fully covered, but no more
  • Leave on for three days until the shell dissolves completely.
  • Melt 200 g butter and pour it into the resulting solution
  • Beat the mixture with a mixer
  • Apply gauze with ointment to the heel, tying a bandage or putting on a toe

Heel Spur Prevention

  • Avoid Overweight
  • Correct flat feet with special exercises and orthopedic insoles
  • In the daily exercise therapy, be sure to include exercises for the calf muscles and feet
  • Treat arthritis, infectious and viral diseases in time
  • Do not go unnecessarily in high heels:
    • Remember that beautiful shoes are not always comfortable and can disfigure your legs, leading to the formation of a heel spur.

Video: Symptoms and treatment of heel spurs

Heel spur – photos, symptoms, treatment at home

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Heel spur is a common disease, especially in adulthood. This condition, in itself, is not so terrible as to cause emergency conditions.

But constant, discomfort, pain and discomfort when walking can cause a lot of suffering, and significantly reduce the quality of life. What is the heel spur, why is it called so and how can one get rid of pain?

Heel spur – what is it?

photo of the heel spur

The arch of the foot is a unique natural device, which is the first in the system of shock absorbers, the whole purpose of which is to avoid dangerous vibrations of the skeleton and the brain. For this, in addition to the arch of the foot, there are intervertebral discs, as well as physiological bends of the spine, which are located in the sagittal plane: lordoses and kyphosis. But the foot takes on the whole weight of the body.

Imagine the load it carries when running, especially if the body weight of the running person is more than a centner. Indeed, when running, shock pressure is much higher than body weight.

For this, the foot should be “tightened” with strong ligaments that hold in the shape of the arch of the foot, which retains an elastic structure.

Plantar fascia, or aponeurosis, plays an important role in maintaining the arch of the foot. It is fixed between the calcaneal tuber and the metatarsal bones. If a person is standing, then each leg accounts for 50% of the person’s body weight, and this weight falls on each of the fascias (left and right).

Constant loads, especially with excess body weight and a decrease in blood circulation in the legs, lead to the formation of microtraumas and microcracks under load in the fascia. At a young age, they heal on their own, but in adulthood, constant trauma leads to the appearance of inflammation, which occurs without the participation of microorganisms, that is, is aseptic.

  • This phenomenon is called plantar fasciitis, and the heel spur is its direct consequence.

Plantar fasciitis is nothing more than a form of limited aseptic periostitis. Some people search the Internet for “periostitis of the foot,” but they mean the heel spur.

The inflammatory process leads to the fact that the calcaneus reacts to it with an edge growth of its bone tissue in the direction of plantar (plantar) aponeurosis, or fascia.

Heel spur is the growth of bone tissue of the heel from the side of the sole, having the form of a wedge or spike. This spike is nothing more than an osteophyte formed under excessive load. Regional osteophytes located on the vertebrae, which are formed during intervertebral osteochondrosis, have exactly the same nature.

About the causes of spurs

In order for inflammation to develop, a point of constant trauma should appear. And this occurs because the arch of the foot is “parted” and flattened. Therefore, fasciitis is a diagnosis that almost always accompanies flat feet. In addition to flat feet, the heel spurs result in:

  • Permanent injury to the heel, for example, sports or related to professional activities (for example, ballet dancers);
  • The presence of diseases leading to the exchange of calcium in the body, in which ossification and deposition of calcifications occur (pathology of the parathyroid glands);
  • Crystalline arthritis (gout);
  • Violation of plantar circulation, which may develop due to, for example, diabetes or obliterating endarteritis and atherosclerosis;
  • Finally, heel spur can be a companion to many arthritis and polyarthritis, and connective tissue diseases.

In addition, overweight and lack of exercise also contribute to overload on the arch of the foot.

Symptoms of the heel spur, photo

heel spur photo scheme

The symptoms of a heel spur can be easily imagined: imagine that in your boot under a heel lies an annoying pebble. True, it cannot be shaken out, because it is not outside, but inside your body, and represents a limited proliferation of the calcaneus.

Based on this fact, the signs of a heel spur are as follows:

  1. Acute pains of a burning character when walking, arising at a time when you need to step on your heel;
  2. This leads to severe limping;
  3. Symptoms worsen in the evening and are associated with daytime trauma;
  4. The greater the mass of a person, the more severe the pain;
  5. Palpation (i.e. palpation) of the spur area causes severe pain;

It is generally accepted that the larger the calcaneal osteophyte, the more pronounced the pain syndrome. This is almost always true, but sometimes small osteophytes bring more torment than large, due to a particularly “inconvenient” localization.

Symptoms of the heel spur photo

There are local signs of inflammation – this is redness and coarsening of the skin on the heel, since it is constantly subjected to pressure. In advanced cases, corn appears on the heel.

Heel spur – treatment at home

treatment option, photo

Almost all variants of heel spurs are well cured by conservative methods, which include unloading with orthopedic appliances, the appointment of physiotherapeutic procedures, shock-wave therapy, therapeutic blockades and radiation therapy. And only in case of inefficiency, surgical treatment is carried out.

The operation consists in the removal of osteophytes and affected tissues. But the reason for the operation is not eliminated, and after several months or years of quiet life, the symptoms of fasciitis appear again.

Therefore, the following treatment principles for heel spurs are of primary importance:

  • Therapeutic gymnastics and special massage, which stimulate blood circulation in the foot and contribute to the removal of edema and inflammation;
  • From physiotherapeutic methods, peloid therapy, applications of absorbable muds, ozokerite, paraffin treatment, magnetotherapy, various electrophoresis techniques are indicated. Laser therapy helps reduce inflammation;
  • Special orthopedic insoles are used for heel spurs, and thrust bearings, which immediately make life easier for the patient, since the spur area is now unloaded and does not touch the sole. In addition, they use special ankle boots – orthoses, which fix the sole in one position at night. This allows more confident fusion of the fascia ruptures;
  • In more severe and resistant cases, attempts have recently been made to treat spurs using shock wave therapy techniques. But data on the effectiveness of this method are still insufficient and partly contradictory;
  • The introduction of prolonged corticosteroid drugs in the area of ​​aseptic inflammation, such as Kenalog, Diprospan, is also used;
  • A modern treatment method is radiation therapy. Rarely enough, gamma radiation is used to treat benign neoplasms, and a pronounced calcaneal spur is one of such indications.

The listed treatments for calcaneal spur almost always make it possible to achieve significant improvement and, in any case, relieve the person of pain.

It is clear that, despite the leading role of an orthopedist or surgeon in treatment, everyday activities are very important. Treatment of heel spurs at home involves performing therapeutic exercises, using orthopedic appliances, performing baths, rubbing anti-inflammatory ointments.

It is very important at home, according to various methods, to fight not only with the heel spur, but also with its causes – flat feet and excess weight.

Since walking and running are contraindicated, it is best to lose weight in the pool, which loads various muscle groups, as well as through cycling in the fresh air.

Traditional methods of treating heel spurs

Alternative treatment for heel spurs is significantly inferior in effectiveness to official medical methods. It should be noted that just the right use of the thrust bearing and weight reduction can cure the spur, while folk methods very often suggest either ineffective (for example, cooling the heel with a copper plate) or even dangerous methods (running barefoot over stones to crush osteophyte) .

In the first case, the relief will be short-lived, and the next day everything will happen again, since there is no unloading, and in the second case there may be a complication that is associated with the progression of periostitis, the appearance of adhesions and can lead to disability.

There are numerous alternative methods that are used in complex therapy, associated with healing tinctures, application of therapeutic mud with a resolving purpose. Such treatments as bischofite and ozokerite and applications with them also came from traditional medicine.

Even the simplest application of iodine (iodine network) on the skin of the heel spur at night will reduce pain. But, alas, the main component of treatment is the elimination of the load and pressure on the spur, and for some reason, orthopedics can do this much better with their own means.

Spur Prevention

Given all of the above, it becomes clear that the main thing in preventing the appearance of plantar fasciitis is the limitation of the load on the aponeurosis, the prevention of flat feet and the preservation of the elasticity of the ligaments. To do this:

  • prevent the appearance of excess weight;
  • move more;
  • Do not overload the soles (gravity, uncomfortable shoes);
  • avoid injuries, including jumping on the heels;
  • timely treat flat feet;
  • Considering that scoliosis, ankylosing spondylitis, gait changes can bring flatfoot, these diseases need to be treated in a timely manner.


We examined in detail the symptoms and treatment of calcaneal spur (plantar fasciitis) – such a common and painful disease. In a typical course, the fight against spurs does not cause difficulties; there is no need to spend a lot of time and effort on therapy. The main thing is patient commitment to treatment.

In the event that you violate the requirements and stay at home, gaining excess weight – you can get a double-sided spur, which may be the reason that a person simply can not walk. And the joined atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus and arterial hypertension will simply drive a person to the grave long before the deadline.

In addition, aseptic periostitis can develop into an acute purulent process, with the progression of inflammation. This can cause purulent arthritis, bursitis, phlegmon and necrosis of the muscles and connective tissue. Such a serious complication can lead to amputation and sepsis.

Therefore, so that such an insignificant and “small” reason, like the calcaneal spur, does not become the culprit of serious complications – you need to immediately take the first symptoms, take all measures and consult a specialist.

Anatoly Kudravets

Anatoly Kudravets, Orthopedic Traumatologist. He works with severe cases, practices operative methods of treating connective tissues