We all know that muscle attaches to bone, but this is not the case for most myo-fascia. If we use the Plantar Fascia as an example, this attaches to the bone through a tough plastic wrapping called the periosteum.
Say that you are someone that runs on the balls of your feet, you are constantly pulling at the calcaneal attachment (heel bone) where the plantar fascia (a fibrous band of connective tissue under the foot) blends into the periosteum (bone) covering. A heel spur is often more times than not associated with Plantar Fasciitis.
In some cases of Plantar Fasciitis a space is created between the connective tissue and the bone. The body is really quite remarkable, it has the ability to fill in the bone with bone using osteoblasts- (bone building cells). These cells are constantly cleaning and rebuilding the outer surface of bone.
If you have plantar fasciitis it means you have inflammation or a tear somewhere along the fibrous band of connective tissue, but a heel spur will occur when a repetitive strain in the plantar fascia pulls the bone of the heel away from the periosteum (a dense fibrous membrane covering the surfaces of bone). This is when those amazing little osteoblasts come into play and fill in the hole created by the strain and lays down more bone, creating a heel spur.
Heel spurs can be quite common, the pain of a heel spur usually happens when a sensory nerve is involved which is often the case.
A great way to stop a heel spur happening is to look after your plantar fascia. By simply using a trigger ball under the foot to find any tight spots can start to rejuvenate the connective tissue and help prevent any dysfunction. I also believe in using footwear that allows the foot have it’s natural mobility. Barefoot trainers by companies like Merrell offer a zero drop shoes that allow your foot to move through pronation as it was designed to do.