Heel spur - bone outgrowth on the foot bone

Heel spur - bone outgrowth on the foot bone

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Many people develop a heel spur in the course of their life, which is characterized by pain in the heel, which occurs particularly under stress and can be very disturbing and restrictive for those affected. Sometimes movement is hardly possible. With various therapeutic measures, however, the complaints can be significantly alleviated.


Different synonyms describe the symptoms of the heel spur, which also serve to differentiate between different forms. Haglund exostosis, Haglund syndrome, Haglund heel, lower heel spur, upper heel spur, continuum distortion at the heel, heel continuum distortion or plantar continuum distortion are used here. The outgrowth of bone on the heel bone (calcaneus), which forms our heel, among other things, is also called calcaneus spur due to its connection with the heel bone.

Occurrence and symptoms

The outgrowth of bone can appear at the top of the bone at the base of the Achilles tendon and is then called Haglund exostosis or Haglund syndrome (after the Swedish orthopedic surgeon Patrick Haglund). It occurs much more frequently under the foot (plantar) and is called the lower or plantar heel spur there.

The bone outgrowth does not necessarily have to cause complaints. Estimates assume that ten to around 30 percent of the population will change accordingly. This most often occurs in people between the ages of 40 and 60, but often remains symptom-free. Other sufferers complain of swelling, local tenderness and discomfort in the heel in the form of heel pain (usually in motion).

Heel spur causes

The ossification occurs at the transition point between bone and ligament and / or bone and tendon. So-called micro-tears due to an overload are presumed to be the cause, so that the approach must or can be reinforced. The structures should gain stability through the additional lime storage, but the resulting spur can in turn press on the surrounding tissue and cause corresponding complaints.

The trigger is usually a repeated overload or incorrect load. People who stand, walk or run a lot are therefore particularly at risk. Wrong footwear can also play a major role in its creation. In addition, overweight people show an increased risk of illness. Other risk factors include misalignment of the feet and impairments of the muscles.

Heel spur treatment

In the concept according to the fascia distortion model, the transition point between bone and ligament and / or bone and tendon is treated with pointy pain with strong thumb pressure. The treatment concept after osteopathy usually looks at the factors that have led to the formation of bones. Factors here are often one-sided stress or firmness in the rear structures on the leg, which is why complaints in more distant regions, such as neck tension, are also interesting in osteopathy during treatment.

Since the nerve supply to the heel comes from the lumbar spine and the region of the cross, back pain, lower back pain or buttock pain are also included in the diagnosis and treatment of the heel spur.

A quick relief of the complaints can result in the wearing of appropriate insoles, which help to avoid further incorrect loads. In addition, those affected are often advised to temporarily immobilize them in order to provide relief. In recent years, extracorporeal shock wave therapy has also established itself as a treatment approach in many practices. However, the scientific evidence on their effects has so far not been sufficient to clearly make a corresponding treatment recommendation. The statutory health insurers also do not cover the costs of the treatment here.

A surgical intervention can also be considered if other therapeutic measures cannot achieve relief, but here too there is no certainty that those affected will remain symptom-free in the long term.


From the field of naturopathy, the horsetail (field horsetail) is also suitable for the treatment of a heel spur. Maria Treben had already described this in her book “Health from God's Pharmacy”. According to this, washes and baths based on horsetail are a very effective natural remedy. After brewing, the tin herb can be wrapped warm in a cloth and placed on the hoe. (tf, fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Austria's public health portal: heel spur (accessed: 16.08.2019), gesundheit.gv.at
  • Ruchholtz, Steffen / Wirtz, Dieter Christian: Orthopedics and trauma surgery essentials: Intensive course for further training, Thieme, 3rd edition, 2019
  • Kathmann, Wiebke: Shock wave therapy - how and when it works, Ärzte Zeitung, 2017, aerztezeitung.de
  • Cleveland Clinic: 6 Reasons You Shouldn't Assume Foot Pain Is a Heel Spur (accessed: August 16, 2019), health.clevelandclinic.org
  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs (accessed: August 16, 2019), orthoinfo.aaos.org

ICD codes for this disease: M77ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.

Video: Heel spur treatment (January 2023).