Heel Spur: Treatments & Prevention

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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A heel spurs is an annoying and irritating condition that can be difficult to diagnose and treat, and may even be developing without your knowledge. Educating yourself on the details, causes, preventative measures and treatment options is a good way to avoid and remedy this common affliction.

Prevention of Heel Spur

Some of the most effective ways to prevent heel spurs include wearing and alternating the proper shoes, resting adequately after exercise, warming up before exercise and losing weight, among others.


As mentioned earlier, improper shoes can significantly increase your chances of developing a heel spur. Wearing the proper shoes when you exercise, particularly when you run, is important to reducing your risk of heel spurs, as is alternating your footwear so you don’t continue inflaming the same areas that lack support.

Losing Weight

Since obesity is a major contributing factor to heel spurs, ensuring you maintain the proper weight is an effective preventative measure for this condition.

Warm-Up Exercise

Before you exercise or engage in a repetitive activity, a simple warm-up routine to get the tendons and ligaments in your foot ready for the activity will reduce strain and inflammation.

Adequate Rest

Following intense physical activity or exercise, it is crucial to let those muscles and ligaments rest and repair themselves before putting additional strain on that area of the body.

Treatments for Heel Spurs

If you want to treat heel spurs, there are some formal procedures as well as natural remedies that can provide relief, including physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, ice, orthotic shoes, surgery, radio-frequency ablation, Epsom salt, coconut oil, turmeric, and swimming/cycling.

Anti-inflammatory Medication

Cortisone and ibuprofen are two popular anti-inflammatory medications that can relieve the pain and discomfort of heel spurs, particularly when taken both before and after physical activity.

Physical Therapy

Seeking out a physical therapist after being diagnosed with heel spurs will provide you with many different exercises and techniques that you can use to slow the onset of heel spurs and decrease their symptoms.


Non-impact sports like swimming and cycling can build up the muscles and ligaments in your foot, without causing excessive inflammation or impact. Swimming and cycling are two excellent exercises for this type of low-impact remedy.


In rare cases, surgery can be done to remove the heel spur, particularly when it is causing chronic or debilitating pain. This is considered the last resort for people with a heel spur, and is avoided when possible by doctors and surgeons.

Orthotic Shoes

Specialty shoes with inserts to support your arches and ligaments are widely available and relatively inexpensive. They can provide support and comfort for those with this annoying condition.

Radio-Frequency Ablation

This minimally invasive procedure involves heating up certain nerve tissues in the foot that control electrical conduction and pain signals. Medium-frequency alternating current is used to heat up these tissues.


Apply ice can help soothe inflammation by slowing down the inflammatory response of the body and reducing swelling, which will prevent the heel spur from painfully jabbing into the inflamed tissue of the heel pad.

Coconut Oil

The active ingredients in coconut oil are relied on to treat a vast array of medical conditions, including heel spurs. By gently massaging coconut oil into the affected area 1-2 times per day, you can significantly reduce inflammation and stimulate the healing process, which won’t eliminate the heel spur, but it will minimize the symptoms.


One of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices that we have ever discovered is turmeric, primarily due to its high concentration of curcumin. This antioxidant has anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce swelling and soothe pain in the heel. Taking a turmeric supplement every morning is recommended for people with moderate to severe pain from heel spurs.

Epsom Salt

Soaking your foot in a warm Epsom salt bath can quickly lower inflammation and soothe pain. Composed of magnesium sulfate, Epsom salts are known to soothe many different parts of the body, especially when used every day, in conjunction with a thorough massage of the affected areas.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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