6 Reasons You Shouldn’t Assume Foot Pain Is a Heel Spur


If you feel a pain in your heel and you think you haven’t done anything recently to hurt it, you might assume that it’s a heel spur. This is a mistake that could possibly prevent you from getting the right treatment for your heel.

The first thing you should know is that heel spurs don’t always cause discomfort; in fact, only 50% of people with this condition claim that it gives them pain. In cases where they do, the pain often recedes on its own, obviating the need for treatment.

Heel spurs can go undetected for a long time; some people discover theirs only as an incidental finding on X-rays taken for other conditions. However, the one time when they’re considered problematic is when you actually feel them under the skin.

If Not a Heel Spur, What?

Heel pain can be caused by a number of things, whether they’re problems with the bones, the tendons, or the ligaments. The following are just a few possible explanations for your pain.

1. Excessive wear on your feet: if you frequently run long distances, tread heavily, or walk while carrying heavy items like weights, this can lead to inflammation of the fascia, which are ligaments in the heel. In other words, you may have plantar fasciitis, a condition most commonly found in athletes. Excessive wear can also result in Achilles tendinitis, or inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

2. Impact injuries: if you’ve fallen from a great height, the impact may have fractured your heel. If this is the case, you should be able tom of your feet or on the ball of your foot.

3. Excessive running and jumping: these and other strenuous activities can inflame the ball of your foot.

4. Wearing high heels: this is a major cause of Mortoms include shooting pains as well as a numb or tingly feeling in the ball of the foot.

5. Arch pain: also known as “start-up pain” because it often hurts most after long periods of inactivity, for example after waking up. This kind of strain may be another indicator, along with your heel pain, that you have plantar fasciitis.

6. Miscellaneous causes: your pain may be the result of arthritis, which usually inflames the middle part of the foot and the big toe could most likely be a bunion.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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