A heel spur occurs when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone. The abnormal calcium deposits form when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel.
This stretching of the plantar fascia is common among people who have flat feet, but people with unusually high arches can also develop this problem.
Heel spurs are especially common among athletes who do a lot of running and jumping. Also, women who wear high heels have a significantly higher incidence of heel spurs. Still, it can happen to anyone.
Risk factors include walking barefoot on hard surfaces, running or jogging on hard surfaces, wearing poorly fitted or badly worn shoes, tight calf muscles, spending most of the time on one’s feet, obesity, age and diabetes.
Heel spurs often do not cause any symptoms. However, at times, they can cause heel pain or pain in the rear of the foot, especially while walking, jogging or running.
One can also experience pain after prolonged periods of rest like after sleeping through the night. These spurs can also cause swelling and inflammation on the heels.
With stretching exercises and certain lifestyle changes, heel spurs can be easily treated. At the same time, you can use natural treatments to get relief from the pain.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for heel spurs.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great remedy for treating heel spurs. It helps pull out excess calcium from the area of a heel spur, provides pain relief and reduces inflammation.
- Cut out a piece of towel in the shape of your foot and submerge it in apple cider vinegar. Place the soaked towel in your shoe and wear it. Make sure to keep the towel moist throughout the day. Follow this treatment for at least a week.
- Alternatively, warm ½ cup of apple cider vinegar in a pan and pour it into a small tub filled with warm water. Soak your feet in the tub for 5 to 10 minutes, 2 times daily for 1 or 2 weeks.
- You can also mix 1 tablespoon each of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of warm water. Drink it twice a day for 1 or 2 weeks.
2. Ice Pack
Ice can be used to reduce pain and control the inflammation and swelling associated with heel spurs. It will also help relax the muscles.
- Freeze a bottle of water.
- Roll it under your foot for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Do this as soon as you feel pain after a day of rigorous activity.
Note: Do not apply the ice directly to the skin to avoid frostbite.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another good home remedy for heel spurs. The crystals in baking soda will help reduce calcium deposits built up on the bottom of the heel bone. Plus, it will help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda and a little water to make a paste. Apply this paste on the heel spur and secure with it with gauze or duct tape. Repeat twice daily for several days.
- Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. Drink it once daily for 2 weeks to balance the pH in the body.
4. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt can help soothe your heels, giving you instant relief from pain. It can also reduce inflammation.
- Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a tub of warm water.
- Soak the affected heel in the tub for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Gently massage your heel to alleviate pressure.
- Apply some moisturizer and go to sleep.
- Repeat daily before going to bed.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is also good for heel spur treatment. Being a natural moisturizing agent, it helps soften the spur and relieves pain. Also, coconut oil contains calcium which is required for healthy bone formation.
- Massage the affected area with warm coconut oil. Leave it on for a few hours to get relief from pain and inflammation. Do this every day before going to bed to prevent discomfort in the morning.
- You can also take 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil daily in the morning.
6. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil, also called linseed oil, contains alpha-linolenic acid, a form of omega-3 fatty acid, which can help reduce pain and inflammation. It can also lessen morning stiffness associated with heel spurs.
- Heat ¼ cup of flaxseed oil in a pan until it is warm.
- Dip a piece of cheesecloth into the oil.
- Place this cloth over the affected area and cover it with a piece of plastic.
- Put a heating pad over the plastic for a few hours. During this time, avoid movement of any kind.
- Use this treatment once daily until you get relief from the pain.