A heel spur (also called Calcaneal spur) may be associated with plantar fasciitis and is often mistaken as the cause of heel pain. A spur is a change in the heel bone shape to counter the causes and effects of prolonged stress or pulling at the insertion of the plantar fascia to the bottom of the heel due to overpronation, overloading due to obesity or overuse. On x-ray (definitive diagnostic tool), the spur appears as a shelf of bone with a hook on the distal end.

A bone spur can form on other parts of the foot as well and may also be called an osteophyte. Osteophytes form because of an increase in damage or trauma to a joint’s surface area. This is most common from the onset of arthritis.



A heel spur is rarely the cause of heel pain unless it is unusually large. A bone spur in other areas, such as a joint in the foot or toes, can limit joint movement and will typically cause pain.


Pedorthic Management

  • Custom made orthotics – help to provide proper support and alignment to the foot, such as controlling overpronation. Also accomodations to the orthotic such as horse shoe pads may be added to allow for the heel spur.
  • Orthopedic footwear – properly fitted, strong, structured and that are stable with good shock absorption and good heel height to reduce strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Heel lift – raise the heel reducing pressure on the plantar fascia insertion point. The lift may be applied to the orthotic or as a temporary lift in the shoes (under the insole).
  • Heel cup – that holds the heel in correct position and gives support.
  • Heel pad – made from foam rubber and designed with a small depression in the center to accommodate the spur.
  • For further pedorthic managements for a bone spur on a joint, please refer to treatments for arthritis.


Other Treatments/Modalities

  • Weight loss can reduce the pressures on the foot
  • Cortisone injection
  • Surgery

Also refer to treatments for Plantar Fasciitis