This is a bony protrusion on the bottom of the foot caused by a growth of calcium that has begun to project downward and touch the plantar fascia (the thick piece of tissue underneath the skin on the sole of the foot).
If the pain is acute, taking an analgesic (i.e., Tylenol or Ibuprofen) usually alleviates the pain. Footbaths sometimes help as well. If this is not sufficient, ultrasound therapy, electrogalvanic stimulation, steroid injections with analgesics, shockwave therapy, and even BOTOX® often help.
Heel spur surgery is designed to correct whatever biomechanical problem is causing the spur in the first place.