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Heel Spur and Physiotherapy

A heel spur is the formation of a bony hook that forms on the calcaneal bone in the heel, and can be rather painful. Unfortunately, this condition can be similar symptoms-wise to plantar fascitiis but they're not the same at all.

(Heel spur is a bone-related condition of the calcaneus bone whereas plantar fasciitis is related to the plantar fascia, a soft-tissue).

Causes of heel spurs

Heel spurs happens when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone, a process that usually occurs over a long time.

They are often caused by strains on foot muscles and ligaments, which stretches and strains the plantar fascia, and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone.

Unfortunately...heel spurs are especially common among athletes whose activities include large amounts of running and jumping.

Risk factors for heel spurs include:

  • Abnormal walking gait patterns that causes abnormal/unequal stress on the heel bone, ligaments and nerves near the heel
  • Running or jogging, especially on hard grounds/surfaces
  • Poorly fitted shoes (or very worn out ones), especially those that don't provide enough arch support
  • Being overweight

Symptoms of heel spurs

Heel spurs by itself usually doesn't lead to any symptoms.

BUT heel spurs can be linked to intermittent or chronic pain - especially pain, discomfort or aches in the heel while walking, jogging, or running if inflammation develops at the location of the spur formation.

Generally, the cause of the pain is not the heel spur itself but the soft-tissue injury and inflammation around and associated with it.

Many patients often describe the pain of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis as a stabbing knife or pin sticking into the bottom of their feet when they first stand up in the morning, and this pain gradually morphing into a dull ache later in the day.

Patients also report that the same sharp pain returns after they stand up after sitting for a prolonged period of time.

Physiotherapy Treatment of heel Spurs

Physiotherapy treatments of heel spurs are very similar to physiotherapy treatments of plantar fasciitis.

Before any treatments can start, we first need to diagnose (differential diagnosis) to tell if it's plantar fasciitis or heel spur.

Our senior physiotherapists will perform:

  • palpation
  • medical history taking
  • biomechanical tests
  • review your X-ray and scan reports

Physiotherapy intervention may be a combination of:

  • Decreasing Swelling and Inflammation: using a combination of cold therapy, retrograde massage, lymphatic drainage, ultrasound therapy, RICE method etc

  • Joint, Muscles & Soft Tissue Management: using a combination gliding, stretching, positioning, manipulation to decrease tightness, stiffness and decreased range of motion to increase range and natural movements. We may also employ deep tissue release to release tight knots in muscles.

  • Taping: Taping (eg using Rocktape) has been clinically and research-proven to be effective for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs management. The taping spreads out force and load for the plantar fascia.

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Phoenix Rehab Singapore Core Services And Specializations

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes wrist and finger fractures, de Quervain's tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow and more.


Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing. It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.



Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired , tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and shorten downtime. It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance.

Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.


All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB). See our entire team here by location and specialization.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session. Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the opportunity, please take the time to tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our clinic.

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