A heel spur is a small deposit of soft calcium located on the heel bone near where the plantar fascia connects. Pain in this area is usually pain from plantar fasciitis, not from the bone itself. This type of bone spur is most commonly seen in middle aged men and women, and is most often diagnosed when the patient is experiencing other types of foot pain. Around 70% of plantar fasciitis patients develop a bone spur. Over time, walking, running and dancing can cause repetitive stress disorder which can result in plantar fasciitis. Other causes for heel spurs include poor shoe choices, change in activity level, injury, arthritis and obesity. A physician will order an X-ray to confirm the presence of a heel spur. The imaging results will also be used as evidence that the patient has plantar fasciitis.
Treating bone spurs and plantar fasciitis may involve stretching, icing the foot after activity, taping the foot and using orthotics. A steroid shot in the area can reduce inflammation in the area. Since overweight individuals are most likely to report foot pain, dietary changes and weight loss are the treatments that are most likely to give long-term relief.