Podiatrist | Primary Podiatric Medicine Questions heel spurs

Can you treat heel spurs at home?

I have a heel spur from wearing tight pumps, and it sometimes hurt when I walk on it. Right now I take OTC pain medication, but are there other ways to treat the pain at home?

18 Answers

Need an eval.
A good pair of soft tennis shoes where the heel portion is soft and not leather or any constricting fabric. Also can take shoes to a cobbler and they can cut out where your bump is on the back of your shoes for comfort. Unfortunately spurs do not go away on their own and need further treatment. Usually spurs are not the problem it is more of the tendon attaching that causes the pain and that is easily treatable.
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Yes lots of good treatments. Stretching, good shoes, and custom foot orthotics/inserts usually fix the problem
Yes. Stop wearing tight pumps.
There are several types of heel spurs. Few, if any, are caused by wearing any particular kind of shoe, although a shoe can make a spur more painful. Depending on the type of spur, there are various types of treatments, including orthotics and surgery. An examination by a podiatrist, including X-rays, would help you decide how to solve the problem rather than just masking the symptoms with anti-inflammatory medications which usually become steadily less effective.
Before you make the decision about a "heel spur," you need to be sure that that is exactly what the problem is. Heel spurs usually do not come from wearing tight pumps. You should seek a professional opinion from a podiatrist, foot and ankle surgeon in your area. There are various different approaches but the accurate diagnosis needs to be described prior to any home remedy treatment.

Dr. Gorman
First of all, you have some misconceptions. Shoes don’t cause heel spurs. I am assuming your pain is on the bottom of your heel, not behind it, as you can have a spur near your achilles tendon as well. The spur is NOT painful - many people have heel spurs, but few have pain. The pain comes from plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the structures attached to the heel bone. Treatments at home include: anti-inflammatories like Aleve or Advil in high doses (1000mg/day for Aleve and 2000mg/day for Ibuprofen), an OTC arch support that is bulky in the arch, a higher heel or wedgie footwear, rolling a frozen water bottle on the heel and arch for 10 minutes twice a day and rest, no running, shopping trips, etc. if it’s not better in 2 weeks, seek a podiatrist and get professional help to avoid the problem becoming chronic. 


If we are talking about a posterior heel spur then you can try mole skin to the back of the heel to prevent irritation. Open back shoes are an option as well.

Dr. Lui
There are different types of insoles, also known as orthotics, that can help reduce stress and discomfort. Topical pain creams can also be effective. Stretching and ice also can help.

Jonathan M. Kletz, DPM
It is not the heel spur that is the problem it is the plantar fascia. See your local podiatrist
There are stretches you can do:

- Runners stretch (you can Google this)
- Use towel/band to pull your toes towards your nose before you wake up in the morning
- Roll a frozen water bottle on bottom of your foot
- Any stretch that focuses on the Achilles
There are at home exercises that you can certainly do to help ease your heel spur pain. Although taking over the counter Motrin and Aleve is a good start, studies have shown that a combination of anti inflammatory medications along with stretching exercises for heel pain helps more. In addition to stretching, apply ice three or four times a day for about 10-15 minutes. Wrap an ice pack in a damp towel and place it on the heel.

Wearing an OTC night-splint at night might also help. The splint stretches the calf which in turn help reduce the discomfort.

Sometimes the best and quickest way to reduce heel pain is to change shoes. Wearing high heel shoes or narrow dress shoes increase pressure to the heel bone and plantar fascial ligament, which in turn, will cause heel pain. Changing your shoes is sometimes the quickest way to reduce heel pain.

If all else fails, it's best to follow up with your podiatrist for help. If it has become a chronic issue, then the next steps may be cortisone injections, custom orthotics and lastly surgery.
What you have is called plantar fasciitis from the sounds of it. Look up plantar fasciitis stretching online to see what you should be doing twice a day along with icing and taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. Tylenol will help the pain but will not decrease inflammation. If these things do not work to decrease the pain in 2 weeks, it is time to go get checked out.
It may not be the spur but could be plantar fasciitis. Hard to tell at times. There are stretching and icing exercise to help. If it is an actual bone spur that hurts possible surgery is needed.
Do you mean a bump on the back of the heel? You can apply pain cream and also moleskin padding tot he area to protect it from rubbing on the back of your shoe. Also wear shoes that don't rub the area. You can also put a small lift in your shoe to raise your heel away from the shoe edge, to minimize rubbing.
Heel spurs are usually a symptom and not the cause of the problem. The only way to know if a spur is present is to have an X ray performed. I recommend you see a foot and ankle specialist (podiatrist) to discuss options and to establish a correct diagnosis
It depends on what you mean by a 'heel spur.' It sounds like you are talking about a deformity at the posterior heel where the Achilles Tendon inserts, based on your comment that it hurts in tight pumps. If that is the case, there are 2 possible problems (An Enthesis of your Achilles insertion or a Haglund's deformity (a 'Pump Bump)). You must stop wearing shoes that are too tight around the Achilles and alleviate the aggravating factors that are causing the pain. Oral and topical anti-inflammatories may help with the pain. Surgical treatment is sometimes necessary. If you are referencing a plantar heel spur (Plantar Fasciitis), there are other treatments necessary for that problem.