Natural Remedies for Heel Spur Pain
Heel spurs and the resulting heel spur pain can make even the simplest of activities painful. A heel spur is a calcium deposit on the bottom of the heel bone that causes a protrusion. It can commonly be confused with plantar fasciitis, often because heel spurs occur in at least half of people who have plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs are often found in athletes or those who spend a lot of time on their feet, but they can happen to anyone.
In the past, doctors often recommended surgery to remove the calcium deposit in hopes that it would alleviate plantar fasciitis and heel spur pain. Today, while surgery is still an option after all other options have been exhausted and a long period of time with pain has passed, there are many other natural remedies that can bring about heel spur relief. About 90% of people with heel spurs get better with nonsurgical treatments. Here are five natural remedies to try:
- Rest. If you're an athlete, rest is your best remedy to combating heel spur pain. If one particular activity irritates your heel and causes pain, take a break from it to see if the pain subsides.
- Water Bottle Ice Pack: In general, to relieve the pain and control swelling and inflammation, ice is always a go-to. But for additional relief specifically for your heel and foot, try freezing a water bottle and rolling it under your foot for 10 to 15 minutes after activity or when you feel pain coming on.
- Epson Salt Bath. A warm Epson salt bath can soften your heels, reduce inflammation and swelling, and relieve heel spur pain. Plus, it feels great after a long day of activity or being on your feet. It's widely regarded as one of the most effective home remedies for heel spurs!
For an Epson salt bath, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of Epson salt in a tub of warm water, then soak your foot for 10 to 15 minutes. To alleviate additional pressure and pain, gently massage your heel, dry it off and apply moisturizer. It's best done just before bed and can be repeated daily as needed.
Epson salt baths work because it is a magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals for bone formation and utilizing calcium. Consuming more magnesium-rich foods can also help provide extra minerals to help with heel spur pain. Some of those foods include:
- Swiss Chard
- Sesame Seeds
- Flax Seed
- Sweet Corn
- Skim Milk
- Stretching and massage. In general, foot massages can be beneficial to foot health because they can increase fluid flow, break up scar tissue and can speed up the healing process. Stretch your calves and toes and use coconut, olive or an essential oil to massage your feet and toes.
- Shoe inserts for heel pain. Many shoes come with a minimal liner on the sole of the shoe, which doesn't provide any support or cushioning. Replacing the liner with the right shoe insert can provide the right support and cushion to alleviate pain. With Powerstep orthotics, you'll experience heel spur relief because the sturdy heel platform stabilizes and cradles your heel, and the arch offers cushioning and support.