Heel spurs and the pain resulting from it can make even the simplest works quite painful. Heel spurs are calcium deposit on the bottom of the heel bone that results in protrusion. Heel spurs are usually found in athletes or those who spend a lot of time on their feet, however, it can happen to anyone. There are various effective ways to treat heel spur pain. In this article, we will take a look at some of the effective home remedies to get relief from heel spur pain.
Heel Spurs: An Introduction
A heel spur is a medical condition that causes calcium deposits leading to a bony intrusion under the patient’s heel bone. A heel spur is generally associated with the inflammation of the connective tissues between the heel bone and the foot, and thus, resulting in heel spur pain in the patient. This might also result in swelling, irritation, and weakening of the arch bone. Sometimes heel spur might be painful, and other times, it goes unnoticed and is only detected by an X-ray.
Some of the most common risk factors of heel spur pains include running or jogging too much on hard surfaces, obesity, and excessive weight, walking abnormally that might put an excess of stress on the heel bone, being diabetic, wearing ill-fitted shoes that might not support the arch, and people having high arches or flat feet.
We would also mention that heel can become more vulnerable with age. As per a review of 2015 of heel pain, it has been noted that, as person ages, the pads in their heel wear down and fail to offer shock absorption.(1) Over time, calcium deposits build under the heel and these form bony protrusions, which are the heel spurs. This might cause the heel spur pain.
According to a 2014 study, it has been found that heel spurs are more common in women than in men.(2) So, this might be a risk factor for you, if you are a female.
10 Effective Home Remedies To Get Relief From Heel Spur Pain
Rest is one of the most effective home remedies to get relief from heel spur pain. If any specific activity irritates your heel or results in pain, then you should take a break from the activity, and see if the pain subsides.
Use Essential Oils
Pure essential oils like lavender and rosemary and even everyday oils like olive oil and coconut oil can help in reducing heel spur pain because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil also works as a natural moisturizer that helps in softening the heels. Simply slightly warm up the oil and rub it gently and deeply into your heel.
Have An Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is Magnesium Sulfate. Interestingly, most of the magnesium in the human body is stored in our bones. Sprinkling some Epsom salt in water and placing your feet in this water can help you get relief from heel spur pain naturally. You can also massage your heels gently with this.
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is something that is available in the kitchen. This gives a beautiful skin, whitens your teeth, and also helps in treating heel spur pain. It directly acts on the calcium crystals deposited in the heel.
Prepare a paste by mixing half teaspoons of baking soda in water and then apply this paste on your heel. Baking soda also aids in balancing the pH levels.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a super food that can cure so many health problems from skin and stomach issues to pain. ACV is known to pull out the excess of calcium from the bone and get you relief. To use this home remedy to get relief from heel spur pain you can either soak your feet in a tub filled with warm water with a few drops of ACV or can wrap a wet towel drenched in this around your painful heel for a few minutes.
Apply An Ice Pack
If you want a quick and instant relief from heel spur pain, then you should try the home remedy of cold fomentation. Applying an ice pack on your heel for a few minutes could help you soothe the pain and swelling effectively. Make sure that you avoid applying ice directly over your heel and use the an ice pack or wrap some ice in a towel and place it on the affected area.
Flaxseeds oil can also be one of the most effective home remedies to get relief from heel spur pain. These seeds are packed with alpha-linolenic acid that is a form of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is beneficial in attacking inflammation.
Pour some flaxseed oil in warm water and then dip a towel in this water and wrap the towel around your painful heel and place a heating pad on it. Leave it on at least for 30 minutes and make sure that you avoid moving during this time.
There are certain foods, especially spices, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric, ginger, cumin seeds and cayenne pepper are some of the foods which are known for the strong anti-inflammatory properties. They all contain natural antioxidants and polyphenols that works as protective compounds and can aid in reducing the levels of inflammation.
Studies have shown that turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin that might be essential in reducing inflammation in the body.(4) The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger have also been praised for centuries and there have been scientific studies that have confirmed this.(5)
You can prepare a decoction with 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger, pepper or turmeric, and warm water. Drink this whenever you start feeling the heel spur pain.
You can boil the cumin seeds in water, strain well, and drink this to counter the pain of the heel spur.
Stretches for the calf and its surrounding muscles and also the plantar fascia can aid to reduce strain and pressure on your heel spur. Below are some of the stretches that can be done to get relief from heel spur pain:
- Foot Flexes: For doing this sit with one leg crossed over the other. Reach for your foot, while grabbing your toes and pull them towards your chest. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and then release the foot. Repeat this stretch 5 times on one foot, then cross your legs the other way and stretch the other foot.
- Calf Stretches: For doing this stretch you have to stand in front of a wall at a distance of one arm length. Put one foot just in front of the other and then lean forward, while placing your hands on the wall that remains roughly at shoulder height. Now, bend your knees and push the hips slightly forward so that you feel the stretch in your calves. Hold this posture for about 10 seconds and then straighten your legs. Repeat this stretch 10 times and then repeat the same by switching your foot position in a way that the other foot is forward.
Shoes and Orthotics
Comfortable and properly-fitting shoes can help in reducing the amount of pressure on your heel spur. You can use a firm heel support, with a slightly elevated heel. You should have custom orthotics or molded shoe inserts that you need to place on your shoe. These orthotics prevent your foot from rolling and they offer extra support to your heel. Orthotics are made with a prescription from a podiatrist.
Heel spur pain can be treated effectively at home if it is a mild pain. However, you would require medical treatments like a surgery to remove the heel spur if symptoms do not improve or if there is something serious about the condition. It is always essential for you to consult with your doctor if you ever experience a heel spur or heel spur pain.
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- Can Heel Spurs Be Cured?
- Is Heel Spur Syndrome Hereditary?
- Is a Heel Spur Same as Plantar Fasciitis: Differences Worth Knowing
- What Does It Feel Like To Have A Heel Spur & What are its Risk Factors?
- How To Get Rid Of A Heel Spur?
- How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Heel Spur Surgery?