Pain from a heel spur occurs when a pointy piece of bone that starts at the heel protrudes into the nerves and sensitive tissue of the foot. There are several ways to treat pain from a heel spur, including over the counter medications, icing the area, orthopedic heal inserts, and in extreme situations,surgery. When dealing with any medical situation, such as pain or treatment, it is best to seek advice from a doctor. In this case, a podiatrist should diagnose the problem and recommend treatment.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are commonly used over the counter medications for pain from a heel spur. The most often used of these medications are ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. These drugs, like any over the counter medication, are meant to be used for a short period of time unless otherwise prescribed by a doctor. Before starting any medication, a user should always consult a physician and pharmacist if any other medications are being taken or if there are any preexisting health problems.
Well-made shoes can also reduce the pain from a heel spur. Orthopedic shoes are most often recommended, but even buying slightly more expensive athletic shoes can help. Heel inserts and custom insoles can help convert a regular shoe into one that is more conducive to heel spur relief.
If a patient is overweight, weight loss can be one of the most effective treatments for pain from a heel spur. While being overweight may not cause heel spurs, it can definitely intensify the symptoms. A person suffering from heel spur pain should ask a doctor if his or her weight is a factor before looking into more invasive and expensive treatment.
In severe cases, medical procedures may be recommended. Steroidal shots are sometimes given to reduce swelling, and surgery is sometimes necessary, depending upon the severity of the case. Surgery should always be used as a last resort, because the results are not guaranteed. A podiatrist should be consulted to decide how to approach the problem.