Heel/bone spur in foot

I have a heel spur in my left foot and it is getting worse. I ice and stretch it as much as possible. My problem is I work in an ER, and am on my feet and walking all the time. I am also a Reserve member and have to run, so keeping off of my feet is not an option. I wont have medical insurance for 2 more months, so until then I have to find a way to stop the pain.
Any ideas?

Yes. Most of the pain is tndinitis, not the actual spur. It can be very difficult to treat successfully. a local corticosteroid injection done by an experienced podiatrist, rheumatologist or orphopedist can be very effective or even curative. I would certainly try that

Wow, I was just about to post the same thing. I have it bad in both feet and I'm pretty sure I developed it after jump roping too much and not stretching.

I've officialy been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and have recieve treatment accordingly. I've purchased some heel cups specifically designed for heel spurs (I couldn't even stand without pain for more than an hour) and they've been helping on top of taking some medication, stretching, and icing them after work since I'm on my feet all day.

Has anyone else experienced this and how long did it take to go away. I can't go running anymore now and since I'm only 25, I'd like to be able to.

Howardo and heavy hands are correct. I would add that custom orthotics will allow you to be active without risking continued damage to your plantar fascia and permit healing over time to take place.

The reason you have spurs is that through overuse, lack of support or strain of some sort, you caused tears in the sheath around the heel where that tendon attaches. Then the bone went crazy growing new bone or spurs. This stretching also caused your inflamation and pain.

I usually tell people that you need to approach PF from three or four directions at once to get better.

Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Stretch out your feet (pull toes back toward face with legs straight) before you get up from bed or sitting or driving. This warms them up so there is not as much strain when you put your weight on them.
    When you stretch, it is very improtant to stretch your calves. The heel bone (Calcanus) sits at an angle and the calf pulls up on it as the fascia and related tendons in the bottom of the foot pull forward opposing the calf. Since the calf muscle is far stronger, it will win. Stretch the calf out to relieve pull on the plantar fascia. Remember to do your stretching non-weight bearing so you can control the amount of tension better. Every time you feel the pain, you are feeling micro-tears in the tendon at the heel. This will set back your heeling.

  2. Never go without support. Don't even go to the bathroom at night without shoes. Birkenstock sandals are great house shoes when you have Plantar Fasciitis.
    The best support is from custom orthotics which will stabilize your entire medial arch and prevent the stretching that results from pronation. Overcome weak shoes, etc. One study claims that heel cups do as much as orthotics. That study was funded by a heel cup manufacturer. My twenty five years of exper. tells me that heel cups work fine in mild cases. The reason heel lifts or cups sometimes help is that lifting the heel curves the midfoot downward shorting the distance from the front of the heel bone to the forefoot and allowing the fascia to relax a little. They are not up to a chronic PF problem.

  3. Ice them right before you go to bed when you won't be walking for a while. You are trying to calm down inflamation. As Howardo points out, the pain is from stretching the fascia where it attaches to the heel bone (not the spur itself). Many people have spurs with no pain. The spurs grow horizontally, not down.

  4. Anti-inflamitories are very helpful if you are doing the above things. They will only mask pain if you are not. Cortisone shots are sometimes required.
    Surgery is a very last resort. Almost all cases are resolved with conservative methods and surgery is often unsatisfactory (read causes more problems).

  5. Night splints are also available to hold your foot in a 5 to 10 degree dorsi-flexed position while you sleep or rest. These do a good job of keeping your feet from contracting and tighting at night while you sleep.

If you have read this far, I will make you an offer that is basically extended to help guys on this forum.
I usually get $300.00 to $325.00 for custom orthotics.
My lab cost is about $50.00. So, I'll make professional, custom orthotics for anyone on this forum for $50.00 plus shipping. If interested, e-mail
mike@hosfords.com and I'll send you a cast box with instructions. Be sure to put "orthotics" in the Subject box so my spam filter won't kick it out.

What kind of orthotics are we talking about here?

Also, in your experience, what is the recovery rate and how do you think I will be able to heal and how long. My doctor suggested that, provided I follow his advice which is similar to yours, it would take about 6 months to be fully healed. I just don't know if I can live with these heel spurs since it inhibits my ability to train and even enjoy anything where I have to stand for 30 minutes or more.

The particular material depends on your weight, alignment issues, activities and what kind of foot gear you wear. If you can wear athletic shoes as opposed to dress shoes, I can make them thicker, more supportive, more cushioned, and with better stabilization features.

If you want to have them made, I will send you several questions to determine the kind that will be most likely to benefit you. Things like: Is the pain localized in one part or the heel or is the whole heel pad inflamed? Do you have any other foot problems which I may want to address at the same time? How stable are your ankles? Do you tend to run over your shoes quickly (inside or outside)? Are your legs the same length? Several other questions. It is a little harder to do this remotely, but not impossible.

Six months sounds about right for actual healing for most people. When you use your feet to support you every day, they are slower to heal than an arm.

But, here's the good news. If you have the proper orthotics, you will not have much pain while you are healing. You will know you are not healed yet if you try to go without them for too long, however.

For grapplers, it is a little more tricky. If you find you need support on the mat, I can make orthotics for wrestling shoes. But, when you bend the toes backward, you are stretching the plantar fascia. This may or may not be a concern since you will probably be well warmed up at that point.

If you decide to have them made locally, I can steer you toward a Certified Pedorthist in your area.

Good luck either way.


You have mail.

Gaittec, thanks for the informative reply. Currently, I'm using Viscoped heel cups with made a huge difference in the amount of pain I endure during the day. I tend to feel better wearing boots than I do wearing tennis shoes for some reason, but I wear three pairs of socks (mainly for when the cold comes during work) and that's been helping out quite a bit too. My left foot has gotten much better which is good since it was originally the first one to start hurting. The right is my main problem now. I tend to roll my ankles to the inside of my feet and I've been stretching the hell out of my calves, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to been my foot back at all.

Is it still OK to jump rope or anything like that. Since I'm training infrequently due to the pain, (Thai and BJJ) I haven't done to much on my toes even though one of those classes is all on the toes =[

Right now, the most I do is a few jumping jacks here and there for warm up purposes.

Whoops, got the name of the heel cups wrong. They're called ViscoSpot by www.bauerfeind.com. My orthopod suggested I try them after using over the counter heel cups.

HeavyH: I personally wouldn't do anything that stretches the fascia in an uncontrolled manner. Jumping and running uphill should be out for a while.
I have had plantar fasciitis before and had to eliminate jumping jacks myself for a short time.

If you are getting relief, you are on the right track. It takes a while to heal.

When your ankle rolls in, it increases the stress on the tendon and rest of the fascia where the insertion to the heel bone is located. Also, it would likely help a lot if you do something to prevent the roll in.
One way is to have a wedge inserted in the sole of your boots if the weakness is in the foot below the ankle. Most people start with a 3/16 full length wedge. But, different people require more or less.

If the weakness is in the ankle itself or higher. Try a lace up canvas ankle brace or gauntlet with reinforced sides from most big sports stores.

The important thing is to achieve a proper and stable alignment so you have a chance to heal.

Well, the ankle thing has been a problem all my life but it has never affected me as far as pain goes. I still don't feel any pain from it to this day. Over the past yaer or so, I have mad a conscious effort to stabilize them and I think that I've been doin ga pretty good job. Currently I wear heavy boots that go up past the ankles and I tend to wrap them up tight in the boot so my feet don't roll.

Gaittec, do you feel that I would benefit more from the orthotics you make or am I doing that right thing now?

When you stretch, you should bend your foot back with your knee straight and hold it at a comfortable position (not to the point of pain). Use a belt around your foerfoot and pull it back gently and hold it there for 15 seconds. Do this until the feet feel like they are loose. Your feet droop at night and the inflamed tissues under your feet draw up and even collect a little fluid. This area needs to warm up and loosen before you put weight on them.

It sounds like you are making progress with what you are doing. It takes a while to have actual healing.
If you reach a plateau where the progress stops for a month or so, you should consider orthotics. In the mean while, try hitting the problem from as many of the above directions at once as you can.

Lots of times, I hear people say they have tried the above without help. But, I usually find out, they did them one at a time, not all together.

Good Luck

Thanks for the great info Mike. I would still like information on the type of orthotics that you produce though. Are they night splints or sole inserts or what?

Ok, I did not realize exactly what you were asking.

My principal biz is making custom foot orthoses. These are in shoe orthotics which replace the insoles that come with your shoes from the factory. They offer much more control and stability than off the shelf items since they are customized for the shape of the foot and to address specific foot problems for individuals.

Orthotics are made from a wide range of orthopedic foams and specialty plastics depending on what the problem is and how they will be used( ie.sports,dress shoes,etc.). They can be full length or stop just just under or even behind the ball of the foot.)

I hope this clears up your question.


Night splints are readily available as over the counter items and there would be no particular benefit to having them custom made.

Gaittec I have been diagnosed with plantar fascitis by a general practioner .The only thing he told me was that he was going to give me cortisone.No therapy orthotics or other adive.So I made an appointment with apodiatrist Nov 16.Should I get orthotics after I see the doctor or now.

If your insurance covers them from your podiatrist, I would be tempted to wait (unless the pain is too great). Your podiatrist might tape your arches also to see if orthotics will make a big difference for you.

Another factor is the degree of inflamation you have. As I stated above, heel lifts will often give relief in mild cases.

I would however, definitly start the stretching, icing, oral anti-inflamitories (if you can tolerate them), and heel cushions at once. All this would be very little in expense.

One thing to consider is that the problem usually will keep returning until you change the support/environment your feet are subjected to. Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse injury and requires you to change your footwear or the support inside your footwear to control the strain.

Gaittec thanks for the rapid response but I haveone more question .I trained judo 2 days a week until the plantar injury.Can I tape my feet some how to prtect the plantar and perform randori.Foot sweeps in particular.Your information is really appreciated thanks again

Yes, your podiatrist or a good sports trainer (check with a local college if needed) should be able to show you how to tape and protect the arch and stabilize your heel and ankle so that you can participate with no problem.

You'll just have to allow some extra time for the taping. Using a pre-wrap will make the tape job more comfortable, prevent skin irritation, and make removal easier.

You might even get enough relief from a good elastic
ankle support (the kind that is open in the heel and
tight around your midfoot). Esp. if the mat you are on has a lot of give.


I'm gonna send you an email.  I'm interested in getting 2 pairs of your orthotics.

pfsjkd:Your casting kit is on the way.