heel pain

The truth about heel spurs

What comes to mind when you think of SPUR?
It isn’t exactly the most reassuring word.
“I think I have a heel spur” –
does this sound like you?
At least one client each day declares to me they have a heel spur.

The phrase “heel spur” is thrown around carelessly in the media.
Many pronounce they have a spur- without any scan to support this.
I wonder, do they actually know the FACTS about heel spurs?!

✅ Fact:

  1. 38% of the population have a heel spur
    A recent study involving thousands of feet found that spurs are very common!
    Many people have heel spurs and they don’t have any pain.
  2. Heel spurs are a part of the ageing process
    Heel spurs develop in both females and males as part of ageing.This means that it is completely okay that you have a spur and your prognosis is great!
  3. Scans are not required for a diagnosis of pain
    ​Generally speaking, scans are not required for diagnosis. If required, ultrasound is the best way of assessing the heel rather than complex and expensive scans (eg MRI’s).

❌ Fiction:

  1. Heel spurs are painful
    TRUTH – Heel spurs are NOT the cause of your pain
    The spur itself is not pushing into the flesh and making our foot sore. Rather that pain is caused by years of tight muscles pulling on bone causes more bone to form – insert heel spur!
  2. It is Plantar Fasciitis
    TRUTH- Pain can be from other structures too!
    The location of heel pain varies greatly, some pain is found in the plantar fascia and some is found in the smaller foot muscles. Not all heel pain is Plantar Fasciitis. Get the right diagnosis to help!
  3. You need surgery
    TRUTH- the spur isn’t causing pain so removal would have no change!
    The spur is not the cause of the pain though and if we were to remove it you would still be in pain AND you have a big cut in your foot. Neither are ideal nor helpful!

Important Points

  1. Heel spurs are the victim rather than the culprit
  2. We need to change terms we use to describe pain
  3. You only have a heel spur if shown on x-ray
  4. Heel pain is caused by many reasons
  5. You don’t need surgery for heel pain!

Finding the cause(s) of heel pain is key to getting the right treatment By having a full biomechanical and gait assessment we pinpoint the cause and get you back to being pain free.

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