Q:

What is the best way to relieve pain from heel spurs?

A:

Quick Answer

Treatments for heel spur pain include exercise, anti-inflammatory medicines, cortisone injections and orthotic inserts, according to WebMD. Heel spur pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the fibrous band of tissue linking the heel bone and the ball of the foot.

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Full Answer

When calcium deposits aggregate on the bottom of the heel bone, the growths that appear are bone spurs, states WebMD. Usually, this process takes quite a few months, as repeated strains on foot ligaments and muscles, tearing of the heel bone's protective membrane, and stretching of the plantar fascia take their collective toll.

Pain from heel spurs can seem counterintuitive, as it can be worse just after getting out of bed or after getting up from one's desk after a long work day, explains WebMD. Movement stretches out the plantar fascia, gradually alleviating pain. In many cases, it is even possible to exercise vigorously once the tissue is stretched out, but the pain returns after a period of rest.

Stretching exercises for heel spurs are designed to increase flexibility in the plantar fascia, notes WebMD. Doctors can order custom-made orthotic inserts to provide support inside the shoe, as well as make recommendations about specific shoes to wear. Strapping or taping techniques can provide rest to tendons and muscles under stress, and physical therapy can provide additional flexibility and functionality to the foot. Taken in concert with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, these treatments lead to relief in more than 90 percent of heel spur cases.

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