Heels spurs are one of the many possible causes of heel pain. Since they are commonly associated with plantar fasciitis and because both conditions lead to similar symptoms, they are often confused with plantar fasciitis. However, the two are different conditions, and heel spurs can also occur on their own.
A heel spur is a pointy or hook-shaped bone growth that forms on the heel bone (calcaneus). It typically develops when the plantar fascia-the tissue that connects the heel to your toes-is repeatedly pulled away from the heel bone. Heel spurs can cause pain with every foot movement, which makes it a very uncomfortable condition.
In most cases, the heel spur itself is not thought to cause any symptoms, but the condition it's associated with. When patients do notice symptoms, they experience pain and tenderness. This can be felt either at the bottom of the foot if it's associated with plantar fasciitis or behind the heel if connected to Achilles tendonitis.