How To Ease The Pain Of Heel Spurs Without Surgery

Sometimes a bony protrusion can grow in the bone that forms the underside of the heel. Known as  a heel spur, this condition can cause pain in the heel -- especially when you put a lot of weight on the affected foot. While surgery can be used to remove heel spurs, it's often recommended that patients try more conservative treatments first. Here's a look at three ways to ease the pain of heel spurs without surgery.

Epsom salts baths.

A lot of the pain from heel spurs is a result of the inflammation the bony growth causes in the soft tissues that surround it. Soaking your foot in an Epsom salts bath can help alleviate this inflammation. The salts help draw extra moisture out of the tissue, reducing swelling, and magnesium ions from the Epsom salts are also absorbed into your foot muscles, helping them to relax. Making an Epsom salts bath could not be simpler. Fill a soaking tub or bucket with warm water, stir in a generous handful of the salts, and put your foot inside. You can soak for as long as you like, but 20 minutes a couple of times per week should suffice.

Padded Shoe Inserts

You've probably noticed that the pain is worse when you're wearing shoes with hard bottoms. The pain might be worse after wearing such shoes, too, since standing on the hard surface all day irritates the tissues around your heel spur. This problem can be fixed by purchasing a pair of soft gel inserts at your local pharmacy. If you wear several pairs of shoes that are shaped differently, you may need to buy a few pairs and trim each one to fit a specific pair of shoes.

Cold Therapy

When the pain really flares up, a good way to fight it off quickly is to apply ice or a cold pack to the bottom of your foot. This will alleviate inflammation while also numbing the area somewhat. If holding ice against your foot is awkward, just place your foot in a bucket of cold water. Just don't ice your foot for longer than 20 minutes at a time, or you'll put yourself at risk of frostbite. If your feet often get sore at work, keep some ice packs or frozen veggies in the freezer there so you have them on hand when you need them.

With the strategies above, you should be able to keep your heel spur pain to a minimum. If you're still experiencing a lot of discomfort, speak with your podiatrist.