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How to Get Rid of Heel Spurs

Four Methods:DowelingMedical TreatmentsTreating at HomeFootwear

Heel spurs are tiny protruding calcium deposits that can develop near the base of your heel bone. They can be caused by repetitive activities, such as dancing or running, or they can form in association with plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the ligament (plantar fascia) on the bottom of your foot. When the plantar fascia is tight and pulls on your heel bone, the bone releases calcium to try to heal itself. The excess deposits of calcium can sometimes form heel spurs.[1]

If you're feeling pain on the bottom of your foot near your heel, pain after exercise or activity, or pain first thing in the morning or after a long period of sitting, then you may have a heel spur.[2] Heel spurs don't have a magic cure, but you can take steps to ease the pain and to eventually get rid of them.

Method 1

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    Go to your hardware shop. Purchase a 150mm length of dowel by 20mm in diameter, or perhaps find a ready-made a rod in the same dimension.
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    Stand supported against a bench with the painful area pressed heavily down on the rod. Roll it backward and forward on the area. The pain is severe at first but it becomes less as you continue.
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    Repeat this several times a day or if you are at a desk, slip off your shoe and continue throughout the day. You will experience no pain after several days or so but the soreness is the bruise which occurred.
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    Continue until the heel is no longer painful to walk on.
    • You may have to repeat the procedure some point in time should it become uncomfortable.

Method 2
Medical Treatments

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    Ask your doctor about injections to relieve heel pain. Your doctor may inject a corticosteroid along with a local anesthetic like Xylocaine. Some doctors may inject Botox into your foot to relax the plantar fascia.
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    Try Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT). ESWT uses sound waves to slightly injure the tissues surrounding the heel, which could cause the parts that are causing pain to heal.
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    Have surgery if no other treatments work. Before performing surgery, doctors usually give home treatments and improved footwear about a year to work. When nothing else eases the pain, here's what you need to know about surgical options:
    • Instep plantar fasciotomy: Doctors remove part of the plantar fascia to ease pressure on the nerves in your foot.
    • Endoscopy: This surgery performs the same function as an instep plantar fasciotomy but uses smaller incisions so that you'll heal faster. However, endoscopy has a higher rate of nerve damage, so consider this before you opt for this option.[3]
    • Be prepared to wear a below-the-knee walking cast to ease the pain of surgery and to speed the healing process. These casts, or "boots," usually work better than crutches to speed up your recovery time.[4]

Method 3
Treating at Home

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    Apply an icepack. Place your icepack on your heel for 10 to 15 minutes at least twice a day. You can also try rolling your foot over an iced can or bottle if your heel spurs are accompanied by plantar fasciitis.
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    Take over-the-counter medicine to ease the pain. Try acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
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    Get some rest. You need to stay off of your aching foot as much as possible for at least a week.
    • Think about possible causes of the problem while you're resting and figure out how you can make some changes. Some actions that can contribute to heel spurs include:
      • Running too often or running on hard surfaces such as concrete
      • Tight calf muscles
      • Shoes with poor shock absorption[5]
    • Ease back into your activities. In many cases, you'll be in too much pain to go ahead with a strenuous exercise routine that puts pressure or impact on your heel. Listen to your body and switch to different activities such as swimming or riding a bike until your heel spurs improve.
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    Wear night splints. Splints stretch your plantar fascia while you're sleeping. For example, you can wear a device that consists of an L-shaped fiberglass splint and wrap a bandage around it to keep it in place while you're asleep.[6]
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    Perform some exercises. Exercises that strengthen and lengthen your plantar fascia can also be very helpful for heel spurs. Try some of the following activities:
    • Calf stretch: Place your hands on a wall. Extend 1 foot (0.3 m) behind you with your knee straight and place the other foot in front of you with the knee bent. Push your hips toward the wall and hold the stretch for 10 seconds. You should feel a pull in your calf muscles. Repeat the stretch 20 times for each foot.
    • Plantar fascia stretch: Perform this exercise in the morning before you've done any standing or walking. Cross your injured foot over the knee of your other leg. Grasp your toes and gently pull them toward you. If you can't reach your toes, then wrap a towel around them and pull on the towel. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 20 times for each foot.[7]

Method 4

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    Choose new shoes that are the right size. Have your foot measured when you go to the shoe store instead of taking a guess about the size. Also, try on shoes at the end of the day or after a workout, when your feet are at their largest. To ensure a good fit, wear the same type of socks or nylons that you would normally wear with the type of shoe that you are trying on.
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    Walk around before you buy shoes. Before you purchase your shoes, do the following:
    • Re-lace the shoes if you're trying on athletic shoes. Start at the farthest eyelets and apply even pressure to the laces as you come closer to the tongue of the shoe.
    • Make sure that you can wiggle your toes freely inside of the shoe. Also, make sure that you have at enough space between your tallest toe and the end of the shoe. You should have room equal to about the width of your thumb in the tip of your shoe.
    • Walk around to make sure that the shoe has a firm grip on your heel without sliding up and down.
    • Walk or run a few steps to make sure your shoes are comfortable. Shoes that fit properly require no break-in period.[8]
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    Use orthotic inserts. You can purchase orthotics over the counter, or you can have orthotics specially fitted by your podiatrist. Try 1 of these options:
    • Heel cups: These inserts will help to align the bones in your foot and to cushion your heel. Check your skin for blisters when you first start using heel cups. Also, your feet may sweat more with a heel cup, so change your socks and shoes often.
    • Insoles: While you can pick up generic insoles at a drugstore, you may have more luck if you go to a store that sells athletic shoes. Push on the arch to make sure that it doesn't collapse. If your insoles help but could use a little work, you can take them to a podiatrist to get them customized.
    • Custom orthotics: A podiatrist can make a cast of your foot and provide you with custom-made orthotics. These may be more expensive, but they are made of materials specifically designed for your needs, and they can last up to 5 years if your podiatrist refurbishes them every 1 or 2 years. To find a podiatrist near you, look at the Web page for the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine.[9]
    • Dynamic Insoles: Lack of elasticity in plantar fascia in the foot is for most people the real problem. If there is poor elasticity in the lengthwise tendons in the foot (plantar fascia) in relation to a person's general condition, only a small additional strain is required for the pull on the tendons to cause damage to the tissues connecting the tendons to the heel bone. This will generate an inflamed condition called Plantar Fasciitis.
      • The pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis is typically noticeable from the heel bone and forward towards the front of the foot. It is, however, also possible for the pain to show in the heel cushion, alongside the foot, on top of the foot and up into the Achilles tendon. The water wave therapy is the only therapy that works actively to solve the heel problem. This is achieved by exercising the tendons in the foot towards the necessary elasticity and at the same time providing pain relief for the heel by employing very special water-based shock absorbing and dynamic pressure relief system.


  • Treating a heel spur takes time. You may experience pain for several months before the heel spur goes away.
  • Try to stay off of your heel for a while. Only put pressure on it when you need to.
  • Overweight people are far more prone to heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Lose weight now to avoid heel spurs in the near future.
  • If you are a runner, stop running until the pain improves.


  • Make sure that you don't opt for surgery unless you've exhausted all of your options. Surgery may not relieve your pain, and it may cause nerve damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Icepack
  • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
  • Night splint
  • Towel
  • Good shoes
  • Orthotics
  • Gel slides

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