What causes heel spurs?

Wolff's Law... Paraphrased, bone grows in relation to stress. When an abnormal "pull" is placed on the bone, it will grow in that direction over time. After enough time, a "heel spur" can be visualized. It's more the sign of a chronic condition that the source of the pain.
TENSION/INFLAMMATION. Heel spurs usually develop when tension and inflammation are both present. The heel is pulled upon by two strong soft tissue structures. The achilles tendon pulls on the back of the heel, and the plantar fascia on the bottom. After time, these opposing forces causes irritation/inflammation around the attachments on the bone, and these spurs develop. The spur itself usually isn't the source of pain.
Plantar fasciitis. In my experience, heel spurs are most commonly seen in patients who have plantar fasciitis. The area of the heel which develops the spur is the insertion point of the plantar fascia. When you walk, the plantar fascia excessivelly pulls at the site of its insertion which causes a spur over time. There's another condition which causes bone spurs all over the body but this is rare.

Related Questions

What are the causes of heel spurs?

Tightness. When the achilles tendon or plantar fascia pulls on the heel, the heel responds by putting more bone down to protect itself from the pulling. Stretching the calf muscle and rolling stretch underneath the heel and arch should loosen the tightness. Read more...
Mechanical stress. Excessive motion or collapse of the foot causes tension where the plantar fascia or achilles' tendon meet the heel bone. The bone reacts by "growing more bone". The spur itself, is seldom painful and pain resolves when the stress is relieved and inflammation controlled. Read more...
Excess pull. Heel spurs are extra bone formed by pull of a ligament or tendon insertion at the calcaneus. Plantar heel spurs are due to a pull from the plantar fascial ligament and are sometimes, but not necessarily, associated with plantar fasciitis. Posterior calcaneal heel spurs are due to a pull from the Achilles tendon. Plantar fasciitis or equinus can cause heel spurs. Read more...

Could having heel spur cause other foot pain, besides the heel?

See below. This problem can only be solved by seeing your doctor and being evaluated face-to-face. After a thorough examination, your doctor should be able to tell you what's wrong and what to do about it. Read more...
May not be related. Pain may be due to fracture, sprains, arthritis, muscle, nerve or tendon injuries. Have the foot evaluated so that you may get the appropriate care. Read more...

Might having heel spur cause other foot pain, besides the heel?

Yes it can...... Heel pain often causes one to stride differently and consequently will aggravate muscles and tendons that are functioning out of their normal sequence. Many patients will train their calf muscle and achilles tendon when they have a heel spur because they are slightly raising their heel to keep the pressure off the spur. This causes achilles tendonitis. Read more...
Not the spur . It is usually not really the spur that is the problem but rather the spur is a result of the problem the problem is "plantar fasciaitis" pain elsewhere could be due to abnormal gait or potentially due to other issues not specifically related to the spur or the fasciaitis. Read more...

Can a pinched nerve cause heel spurs and Achilles tendonitis?

No. Pinched nerves will not create these problems. If the way you walk is altered enough from the nerve pain, you may develop a tendinitis or heel pain as a result. Read more...
No. A pinched nerve can cause pain in the back of the heel and bottom of the heel. Read more...

Just had surgery on my foot due to plantar fasciits, heel spur and nerve damage which caused me a lot of pain. Found a tumor on the nerve. What is that?

Neuroma. A neuroma is a thickening of the nerve due to repetetive trauma. They typically remove the nerve that will cause some numbness, but the trade off is that the pain is gone. These are almost always benign. Read more...
There are . Different types of tumors, it would depend on the pathology report. I would imagine your surgeon would discuss the findings with you. Read more...
Neuroma. I was ask your surgeon for a copy of the pathology from your surgical intervention. The word tumor can be misleading and scary.... Tumor on a nerve may be a benign lesion known as a neuroma.... Check with your foot surgeon www.Acfas.Org. Read more...
Many possibilities. The pathologist would need to tell you from the biopsy. Read more...

Stabbing pain in toes when walking. 3 middle toes are numb and sore Pain in ball of foot. No neuroma on U/S I have a heel spur, could that be cause

Toe pain. There can be many causes, bone, soft tissue, nerve and then off course spine issues. But more than likely it is from the heel spurs. The plantar fascia attaches there and then also to the base of the metartarsals. Read more...