Conservative approaches to healing foot spurs include stretching exercises, shoe changes, taping muscles and tendons, and orthotic devices such as shoe inserts, says WebMD. Physical therapy is another approach, and medication such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help. Corticosteroids can also assist with inflammation.
Surgery may be necessary if conservative approaches do not work for nine months to a year, according to WebMD. Surgery occurs in less than 10 percent of foot spur cases and may involve removing a spur or releasing the plantar fascia. After surgery, patients must rest, use ice and compression on their foot, and keep it elevated. They should follow doctors' instructions on putting weight on the foot. In some cases, they may need bandages, casts, crutches or other aids.
Surgery comes with possible side effects such as nerve pain, recurring heel pain, infection and scarring, says WebMD. If the surgery involves releasing the plantar fascia, then foot cramps, tendinitis and stress fractures are also possible effects.
Risk factors for developing foot spurs are being overweight and wearing shoes that do not fit well, claims WebMD. Shoes should have soles that absorb shock and stress and have supportive heel counters. Exercising should involve proper warmups and appropriate pacing.