A bone spur (or osteophyte) is a small bony growth or collection of bony growths on or near the joints. A bone spur occurring on the heel, is a heel spur. Heel spurs are a pointed, bony outgrowth of the heel bone. They appear on the bottom of your heels.
Heel spurs are sometimes painful. It can make you feel as a knife digging into the heel. At other times, many people have a heel spur without ever knowing it. It is only visible on an X-ray. They can also be present with other conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
What Causes Heel Spurs?
The cause of heel spurs can be due to calcium deposits buildup. This occurs as a result of a muscle or ligament strain (or both) in your foot. Connecting your heel and ball of your foot is a long band of tissue. When the band of tissue stretches too much, heel spurs can result.
In addition, heel spurs can appear when the membrane that covers your heel bone is worn away. This can be by shoes that don’t fit correctly, excessive weight or an imbalance in the way you move.
Are Heel Spurs Related to Plantar Fasciitis?
Heel spurs under the sole of the foot (plantar area) are sometimes associated with inflammation of the plantar fascia (fasciitis). The plantar fascia is a “bowstring-like” tissue stretching underneath the sole that attaches at the heel. Plantar heel spurs and plantar fasciitis cause localized tenderness and pain. This pain can be made worse when stepping down on the heel or pushing off the ball of the foot.
What Are the Symptoms of Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs themselves usually cause no symptoms. Nevertheless, they can be associated with heel pain and tenderness. This can be of the tissues nearer to the spur, such as on the bottom of the heel or the back of the heel where the ligament (plantar fascia) or Achilles tendon attach.
This can make it difficult to stand, walk, or run, especially when barefoot on hard surfaces because of tenderness and pain at the back of the heel or under the heel.
What Home Remedies and Treatments Cure Heel Spurs?
While some people have heel spurs and never know about them, others can experience significant pain that can make every step harder than the last. Here are best treatments and remedies that can help you find relief.
You can treat heel spurs naturally by using cold compress on regular basis. Use of cold compress not only helps reduce swelling and inflammation but also provides relief from pain. Take few ice cubes in a thin towel and apply them over the affected area and rub gently. Keep doing this for 5-10 minutes. But don’t apply ice directly on the skin as it may lead to frostbite.
One way to treat the symptoms of a heel spur is with a warm bath with Epsom salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and it has many beneficial properties when it comes to relieving pain and inflammation. Add a cup of Epsom salt to your bath water, and gently massage your heels to release the pressure. You can also sprinkle some Epsom salt in water and dip your feet in it.
There are also plenty of great magnesium-rich foods that provide you with the magnesium you need to alleviate a heel spur. Examples of such foods includes; avocado, spinach, pumpkins seeds etc.
One of the most effective home remedies for bone spurs treatment involves use of ginger. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. If you want to get rid of pain, swelling and inflammation, all you have to do is prepare ginger tea and drink at least 3 times a day. You can also massage the affected area with ginger oil few times a day to get relief from bone spurs.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the new super food. It can cure anything from skin and stomach problems pain. It is also effective in the treatment of a heel spur. Apple cider vinegar is known to pull out the excess calcium from the bone and bring relief. You can either soak your feet in a tub of warm water with few drops of apple cider vinegar or wrap a wet towel drenched in it around your heel for few minutes.
Stretches for the calf and surrounding muscles as well as the plantar fascia can help to reduce strain and pressure on the heel spur. Stretching in the morning, afternoon, and evening can go a long way in the treatment of your heel spur. You can also wear special splints that keep your foot flexed to stretch your plantar fascia and calf muscles at night. These splints are especially helpful in reducing heel pain that occurs first thing in the morning.
Turmeric also help in the treatment of heel spurs naturally. It can effectively alleviate the symptoms of bone spurs. Turmeric contains a yellow pigment called curcumin which is packed with anti inflammatory and antioxidants properties that help reduce inflammation and pain associated with bone spurs. All you have to do is add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to cup of lukewarm milk. Drink this milk at least twice a day for fast recovery.
Warm oil massages are extremely beneficial for your feet. Regular foot massages increase fluid flow, speed up the healing process and break up scar tissue. By massaging your toes and heel, the scar tissue heals as stronger and more resilient tissue.
If you suffer from heel spur pain, warm up a small amount of olive oil and deeply massage it into your heel. This is also one of the best coconut oil uses. The warm coconut or olive oil — comforts your heels and keeps them safe from the harmful effects of excessive wear and tear.
You’ll be surprised to know the number of things this humble kitchen ingredient can be used for. From giving you beautiful skin to whitening your teeth, baking soda offers a lot of benefits. It works directly on the calcium crystals deposited in the heel. Make a paste by mixing half teaspoon of baking soda in water and apply this on your heel. Baking soda also helps in balancing the pH levels.
Your footwear needs to fit and provide adequate support for the types of activity you do. You can also take the pressure off your heel with a donut-shaped heel cushion or a heel-raising pad placed in your shoe. Wearing properly fitted shoes appropriate for each activity and purchasing new footwear when necessary are key.