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I have heel pain - I must have a heel spur!

Very common statement this one. Heel pain is the most common condition treated in our Townsville Podiatry Clinic. The most common cause of heel pain in adults is Plantar Fasciitis, however there are many other causes of heel pain.

Having a heel spur does not mean you will have heel pain.  If we took x-rays of the whole adult population, I would suspect about 80% of adults would exhibit heel spurs on x-ray. This just means that they have had a busy active life and a heel spur has formed as a result of daily body-load being placed on their feet. A heel spur in majority of cases DOES NOT cause heel pain.

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition where the plantar fascia (strong supporting structure of the arch) is placed under too much stress and as a result becomes weakened and degenerative at the point where it inserts into the heel. This can cause pain in your heel – especially first thing out of bed in the morning and with increased activity.

The pain you are experiencing is due the soft tissue damage of the plantar fascia, not due to a heel spur. The only time a heel spur is of concern is if it is massive in size, fractured, or if a plantar nerve is compressed by the heel spur – all of which are possible but not very common.

Quite often patients will attend my Townsville Podiatry clinic with x-rays showing heel spurs on both feet but they only have heel pain in 1 foot. After treatment, their heel pain has resolved, but they will still have heel spurs in both feet!

As mentioned earlier, heel pain in adults is very common and very treatable! Have a read of our detailed Plantar Fasciitis article for further information.

Keep in mind heel pain is only 1 of a myriad of causes of foot and lower limb pain, have a browse over our Common Problems page.

If heel pain is getting you down and stopping you from reaching your lifestyle goals, come and have a chat with our friendly Podiatrists today.

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