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Heel Spurs: Symptoms, Causes and Home Remedies

Heel Spurs: Symptoms, Causes and Home Remedies

2022-06-14 14:51:30

Heel spurs (calcaneal spurs) are bony bumps (protrusions) of calcium deposits that form on the heel bone. They are often the result of long-term stress on the tendons that attach to the heel bone. The bumps often occur as a result of Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis, as the associated tendon attached to the heel bone repeatedly pulls on the bone. This causes micro-injury and the body tries to heal itself by growing abnormal bone growth and turns into calcified bumps known as heel spurs.

Symptoms of Heel Spurs

Common symptoms associated with this condition include-

  • Pain in the heel of one or both feet. The pain can be sharp, throbbing, or dull.

  • Pain while walking barefoot or having difficulty in walking.

  • Feeling of a small bony swelling at the bottom or back of the heel.

  • Tenderness.

  • Stiffness in the joints of the feet and ankles.

  • Pain while working or doing any activity.

  • Numbness, burning, and tingling when the nerves are affected by the spur.

  • Limited range of motion and mobility in the joints.

Causes of Heel Spurs

Heel spurs occur due to overuse or overtraining. This training puts extra stress on the muscles and ligaments around the heel and ankle, ultimately putting undue pressure on the heel bone and causing these spurs.

The most common causes of heel spurs include-

  • Overuse and overtraining.

  • Inadequately worn shoes and high heels.

  • Low levels of strength, mobility, and flexibility in the legs.

  • Muscle dysfunction.

  • Stiff legs with poor mobility and flexibility, not enough to absorb shock.

  • Excessive pronation of the ankles and feet.

  • Leg length difference.

  • Knocked knees.

  • Abnormal walking and running patterns.

  • Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis.

Risk Factors of Heel Spurs

If you have plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis for more than 6-8 weeks, you are at increased risk of developing heel spurs.

There are certain groups of people who are more likely to develop heel spurs than others. These include-

  • Women who wear high heels can shorten the Achilles tendon over time.

  • Older people, as the flexibility of the plantar fascia decreases over time and the heel’s protective fat pad, which helps soften and protect the heel bone, also thinns.

  • Active runners, jumpers and joggers, as the heel bone experiences more stress during exercise, especially if you train on a hard surface for years.

What if I ignore my Heel Spurs?

It is important to pay attention to the cause of heel pain. If you ignore this pain for too long, you could end up in a severe condition or you may need surgery. You will also have a long recovery period that can prevent you from exercising and completing daily activities.


There are a number of factors that you can follow to reduce your risk of developing heel spurs-

  • Wear shoes with soft and shock-absorbing soles that fit well.

  • Choose the right shoes for daily activities.

  • Warm up and stretch before exercising or doing activities.

  • Do not press on heel pain as this can cause long term problems. If you are in pain, rest and freeze the area and see a podiatrist if the pain persists.

Diagnosis for Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are not always painful and are not always visible to the naked eye. Sometimes heel spurs have no symptoms, the only way to tell if you have heel spurs is with an X-ray or another foot or ankle injury diagnosis.


Treatment for Heel Spurs

When podiatrists formulate a treatment for heel spurs, they try to reduce inflammation and irritation while preventing future injury. Here are some options for non-surgical treatment-

  • Ice or cold compress.

  • Night splints.

  • Cortisone injection.

  • Protective boots.

  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs.

  • Custom orthotics.

  • Rest.

  • Stretching.

  • Physical therapy.

  • Shoes for heel spurs.

Podiatrists always seek conservative treatment options for your heel pain. However, in certain cases surgery may be needed to remove the heel spur or relax the plantar fascia.

Home Remedies for Heel Spurs


Epsom Salt Bath-

Epsom salt is also called magnesium sulphate and is a helpful remedy in heel spurs. Magnesium is mostly stored in the bones of our body. For this, sprinkle some epsom salt in water and dip your feet in it. You can also gently massage your heels to get relief in heel spurs.

Essential oils-

Pure essential oils like rosemary or lavender are beneficial in reducing the pain and even coconut and olive oil are helpful due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil also acts as a natural moisturizer that softens the heels.

Apple cider vinegar-

Apple cider vinegar can cure any pain related to skin problems. It is known to remove excess calcium from the bones and brings relief. For this, soak your feet in a warm bath with a few drops of apple cider vinegar.

Baking soda-

Baking soda is effective in reducing the heel pain. It also makes the skin brighter. For this, make a paste by mixing half a teaspoon of baking soda in water and apply it to your heels.

Flaxseed oil-

Flaxseed oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (a form of omega-3 fatty acid) that fights inflammation. For this, pour some flaxseedoil in warm water and soak a towel in it. Wrap a towel around your heels and place a heating pad over it. Leave it for at least an hour and avoid moving during this time.


When to see a doctor?

See your doctor or podiatrist right away if you have-

  • Severe pain and swelling near the heel, unable to bend your foot downward or walk normally.

  • Heel pain accompanied by fever, tingling or numbness in the heel.

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The informative content furnished in the blog section is not intended and should never be considered a substitution for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health concern. This blog does not guarantee that the remedies listed will treat the medical condition or act as an alternative to professional health care advice. We do not recommend using the remedies listed in these blogs as second opinions or specific treatments. If a person has any concerns related to their health, they should consult with their health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it based on the content of this blog.