Painful Heels are common and patients are often told they have a heel spur just because they have heel pain, which is completely wrong.
Heel Pain Does Not Equal Heel Spurs
Heel spurs are bony protrusions that grow on the posterior and bottom surfaces of the heel bone and they develop over a long period of time. They usually develop in conjunction with long-term Plantar Fasciitis and long-term Achilles Tendonitis. So if you’ve had heel pain for a few weeks and this is your first occurrence, then it is highly unlikely that a heel spur will be present. Just because you have heel pain does not mean you have a heel spur.
Heel spurs should be called a traction spurs because they grow in the same direction that the tendons pull away from the heel bone, which is why it can occur on the bottom of the heel (Plantar Fasciitis) and on the back of the heel (Achilles Tendonitis). Some patients may only develop one type of heel spur, but both these problems are closely related so it’s not unusual for a patient to have both heel spurs. It’s important to note though that most heel spurs aren’t the cause of your heel pain.