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Natural Solutions For Healing A Heel Spur
What Is a Heel Spur?

A heel spur is displaced calcium attached to the calcaneum, also known as the heel bone. It can go undetected and grow over the course of several months or years and can only be detected by an x-ray. Other times, heel spurs can be painful, resulting in a stabbing sensation.

Heel spurs are often mistaken as plantar fasciitis, which is when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, while a heel spur is just the presence of extra calcium deposits on the bony surface of the heel. Heel spurs are found in all age groups but are more frequently seen in middle aged men and women.

They can be caused by a number of factors, including excessive stress on the heel bone, ligaments, and nerves. It’s common for athletes to have heel spurs as running, jogging, and jumping, especially on hard surfaces, is another cause. Poorly fitting shoes, carrying excess weight, and obesity are all common causes of heel spurs. Those who have flat feet or high arches are also at risk of developing heel spurs.

When the body detects repetitive damage and strain to the heel and surrounding tissue, it signals specialized bone forming cells to move to the site of damage and start depositing calcium. The build-up of calcium forms over several months and leads to heel spurs.

Heel Spur Symptoms

Heel spurs often do not have signs or symptoms and usually go undetected. They are smooth and flat calcium deposits on the bone caused by the body’s normal bone-forming mechanisms. They are not pointy or sharp, contrary to common belief, which is why heel spurs often go unnoticed. Sometimes tissue and surrounding area will get inflamed because there’s already tissue present at the site of a heel spur. This can lead to a number of symptoms such as chronic heel pain.

The development of new fibrous tissue around the bony spur, which acts as a protective cushion over the area of stress, can also cause heel spur pain. A callus forms as this tissue grows, limiting the space for the surrounding network of tendons, nerves, ligaments, and supporting tissue. With the limited space due to tissue build-up, the foot will swell and develop a throbbing pain. Pain can occur when the foot has not been used or when engaging in physical activities using the foot.

Natural Solutions to Heal a Heel Spur

  1. Massage the Area
    Frequently massaging the feet will aid in the healing process. Massaging will break up scar tissue, allowing it to heal and become stronger and more resilient. Using warmed olive or coconut oil and massaging it into the heel will comfort the heel and ease pain. Essential oils such as rosemary, thyme, rose, and lavender provide anti-inflammatory properties, and adding them to the carrier oil can reduce swelling.
  2. Wear Comfortable Shoes
    Making sure you have proper footwear is a big contributing factor to healing a heel spur. By wearing well-fitting shoes and insoles, you can prevent heel spurs and evenly distribute your body weight. Orthotic inserts take the pressure off painful heel spurs by lifting and cushioning the sensitive area. Shoes that are too tight can cause damage to the bones and restrict the movement of the tendons, causing more pain.
  3. Magnesium
    Magnesium is important when it comes to bone health. It’s an essential mineral for bone formation and calcium absorption in the body.

    Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. Adding it to a warm bath and massaging your heels can have many benefits when it comes to relieving pain and inflammation.

    Magnesium can also be found in food such as avocado, bananas, spinach, and swiss chard. Several types of beans such as garbanzo beans, white beans, and pinto beans also contain magnesium.

  4. Vitamin B5
    Vitamin B5 aids in nerve function and creates acetylcholine, which is used to send nerve signals to the muscles. Acetylcholine accelerates our healing process and helps avoid nerve damage and impairment. Foods that are rich in vitamin B5 include avocado, eggs, sunflower seeds, salmon, and lentils.
  5. Alkaline Diet
    PH is a measure of the acidity and alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues. Our bodies must maintain a proper pH balance to function at its best and prevent inflammation and calcium buildup. A neutral pH balance is 7, meaning there is a proper acid/alkaline balance. Anything below 7 means that the system is too acidic.

    When this occurs, calcium is taken from the bones as a buffer to neutralize excess acid in the blood and tissues. This causes the bones to become weak and can result in osteoporosis if the body is too acidic for too long. It is important to have a balanced diet to maintain good bone health. Fruits and vegetables contain potassium, which serves as a natural buffer to acidity, while raw foods and citrus boost alkalinity.

  6. Fish Oil
    Omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil fight against inflammation. Having an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats can lead to many health problems. Taking a 1,000-milligram dose fish oil daily can help relieve pain and inflammation.
  7. Proteolytic Enzymes
    Proteolytic enzymes are a group of enzymes that break up the long chain-like molecules of proteins into amino acids. It naturally reduces inflammation. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapples and is known to reduce swelling. It is beneficial in healing a heel spur and relieving pressure.

    For more information, please call Dynamic Physiotherapy at 289-201-2435 or contact us here.

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