A heel spur is a calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone. On an X-ray, a heel spur protrusion can extend for as long as an inch. They occur when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone for a period of months. They’re caused by strains on foot muscles and ligaments or repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone.
The injury itself is often attributed to localized inflammation and they’re common among athletes that do a lot of running. This is especially true of runners with a form that requires constant pounding on the heel.
Can Heel Spurs Be Treated Naturally?
A heel spur is often diagnosed as a result of localized pain in the heel although many patients don’t even know they have heel spurs until an X-ray shows the calcium deposit. There are a number of natural treatments for heel spurs including a topical cream with pain relieving and anti-inflammatory ingredients like devil’s claw and arnica.
While some heel spurs may not cause pain, they’re likely the result of the body trying to repair itself from another injury. In this case, consider changing your exercise routine, especially if you’re an athlete that caused the injury as a result of excessive impact on the heel. Choosing well fitting shoes can also have an impact.
Heel spurs may also be caused by generalized stress that ends up concentrating in the heel. Stress reducing techniques including acupuncture, yoga, reflexology massage, and meditation may help reduce stress.
Finally, other supplements that may work to treat localized inflammation in the heel include ginger and turmeric. Talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your diet. This is not a doctor’s advice.
Sara Novak is a Natural Health Care Expert for Zax Health. Follow her on Twitter at @sarafnovak.