Stretching, physical therapy, orthotic inserts and devices, over-the-counter pain medications and surgery are treatment options for heel spurs in addition to cortisone shots. Doctors start with conservative recommendations, including specific stretching exercise and shoe recommendations before considering more involved remedies, notes WebMD.
If stretches do not resolve the pain from heel spurs, the doctor may recommend having the patient fitted for shoe inserts or other orthotic devices, strapping or taping the foot to rest tendons and muscles under stress, as well as other forms of physical therapy. Using acetaminophen, naproxen and ibuprofen, it is possible to manage pain over the counter. The only time a cortisone shot would be necessary is for the reduction of inflammation in the heel, according to WebMD.
More than 9 of 10 people who suffer from heel spurs improve without having to undergo surgery. However, if the treatment methods above do not work after 9 months to a year, surgery is an option to ease pain and provide mobility. The two surgical methods include spur removal and release of the plantar fascia, the tissue on the bottom of the foot that pulls on the heel. Risks of surgery include nerve pain, permanent heel numbness, scarring and infection, as stated by WebMD.