Your heels help to keep you steady by bearing and distributing your body weight across your foot. When you suddenly develop pain in one of your heels, it may be due to a heel spur.

A heel spur is an abnormal bone growth, called an osteophyte, on the back or the bottom of your heel bone. This growth may be due to inflammation, irritation, or age. If you have a bone spur in your heel, normal daily activities such as walking and standing will become challenging.

Signs of Heel Spurs

A heel spur may develop without any symptoms at all. However, the following conditions can indicate that you have an abnormal growth on your heel bone:

Chronic Pain

Patients describe this feeling as having pins or knives stuck to the bottom of their feet. The pain also becomes more apparent when standing, walking, or running.

This foot pain in the heel area may subside when at rest, and it may return when you stand up again. In some cases, the pain may occur even during inactivity or become a dull ache.


You may notice that your heel is inflamed and swollen. In some cases, it may also feel warm to the touch as heat radiates from the affected area.

The inflamed plantar fascia is usually what causes the swelling. You may alleviate this symptom by applying a cold compress on it.


In some cases, your Achilles tendon may become inflamed due to the abnormal bone growth on your heel. This occurs when the bone spur causes a radiating pain to the back of your lower leg.


You may also feel some tenderness at the bottom of your heel. This will make it difficult for you to walk without wearing well-cushioned footwear.


Sometimes, the growth spreads to the arch of the foot. When this happens, you may notice a small bony protrusion on your foot arch.

How Do You Get a Heel Spur?

Risk factors of developing heel spurs include the following:

  • Being athletic
  • Experiencing trauma to the heel
  • Being female
  • Being overweight
  • Frequently wearing tight shoes
  • Having flat feet
  • Having plantar fasciitis
  • Having Reiter’s disease
  • Having ankylosing spondylitis
  • Having idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis

Foot Doctor in Cincinnati

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is in your best interest to have it checked by a skilled podiatrist. Heel pain can be caused by many reasons, and it can be treated and alleviated depending on the precise cause.

Our experienced physicians here at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care are devoted to providing the best podiatric care to our patients. We can diagnose the cause of your foot pain, whether it be due to heel spurs or something else, and will provide effective treatment options to help you alleviate the pain.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly team today by calling us at the Cincinnati location near you or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you walk pain-free.