What are the causes and risk factors of heel spurs?


People who frequently engage in plantar flexion-related activities and those who spend a significant portion of their days standing or walking are more likely to develop heel spurs. This type of pain is also common in some professions (postmen, nurses, and salespeople), but it can also occur in athletes who jump or run frequently and intensely (volleyball players, athletes, runners, jumpers, ballerinas).

A very important factor in preventing the appearance of heel spurs is to recognize the risk factors, which are:

AGE – the older a person is, the greater the possibility of a heel spur. Up to 98% of people who have a thorn in the heel are over 40 years old. Age-related changes in walking patterns, shorter steps, and increased foot contact with the ground may all contribute to the development of heel spurs.

BODY WEIGHT – Being overweight significantly raises the risk of heel spurs. Overweight people make up 46 to 82 percent of heel spur sufferers. Heel spurs are also linked to diabetes, though it’s unclear if this is a separate risk factor or merely a side effect of the fact that diabetes is more common in obese individuals.

ANATOMICAL STRUCTURES – People with short lower leg muscles and stiff Achilles tendons are particularly at risk. Both “high heels” and flat feet may increase your risk of injury. Up to 81 percent of those with heel spurs also have flat feet.

GENDER – It is thought that men who participate in sports are more likely to develop heel spurs, but in people under the age of 49, women are more likely to develop heel spurs than men. The difference, according to the authors, can be attributed to wearing high heels.

GENETICS – People who are genetically predisposed to faster bone growth in response to mechanical stress are more likely to develop a spur. This explains why some people, despite being exposed to equal or higher loads, develop heel spurs while others do not.

OTHER DISEASES – People with arthritis, people over 61 years old, and even 80% of people with osteoarthritis and 72% of people with rheumatism are more likely to experience a heel spur. In addition, 45 to 85% of people with arch tendonitis have heel spurs. A similar cause for all conditions is also likely given that they all share several other risk factors, such as age and being overweight.
Back to blog