Does Massage Help Heel Spurs? Here’s Our Take!

Important To Understand The Distinction Between Heel Spurs & Plantar Fasciitis!

Welcome back! Last week we spoke about how massage could potentially aid those suffering from foot bunions. Continuing on the theme of massage and how they impact the feet, today we will look at heel spurs. Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s very important to understand the following:

Plantar fasciitis is not the same as heel spurs. There’s a lot of confusion about this, and I do feel it’s important to get it clear before moving ahead.

So what is a heel spur and how is it different from plantar fasciitis?

According to Medical News Today, a heel spur is basically a calcium deposit that forms along the plantar fascia. This calcium deposit usually forms as a bony protrusion. Heel spurs may form as a result of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis on the other hand as you may recall from this post, is when the plantar fascia gets inflamed. It’s a painful condition (with swelling/redness) that results in stabbing pain under the bottom of the foot near the heel.

So while the 2 conditions might be related in some ways (plantar fasciitis being a precursor to heel spurs), they are definitely not the same thing. However, it is also possible for someone to have a heel spur without necessarily having plantar fasciitis (Source: Treadlabs).

One more interesting thing to note is that a heel spur on its own may not be the reason for pain. It might be as a result of another condition such as plantar fasciitis or something else.

If you want to know more about some of the key differences and similarities between plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, this article by Treadlabs is well worth checking out!

Difference Between Plantar Fasciitis Heel Spurs

 

Which Bring Us To The Next Point…Are You Suffering From Pain/Discomfort?

As mentioned previously, heel spurs on their own may not usually be the source of pain. If you are suffering from pain, it’s important to figure out the underlying reason. To properly diagnose your condition, you should visit a podiatrist and explain to him/her the type of pain you’re experiencing, and the location of where this pain is coming from.

Based on this, they will be able to diagnose whether you have plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, a combination, or something else.

It’s very important that you don’t jump to conclusions based on what you’ve read online. This is why expert advice is an absolute must.

 

Can Massage Help Treat Heel Spurs? And What About Plantar Fasciitis?

If there’s no pain, heel spurs should generally not require any treatment. This is something your podiatrist should confirm for you. However, if there is pain (accompanied by another condition such as plantar fasciitis for example), then a treatment regimen can be established and followed. There are many options to treat the pain, some of which include:

Application of ice to the inflamed area
Steroid injections if pain is too intense
Surgery, usually as a last resort
Taking plenty of rest especially if you’re always on your feet!
Pain and anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve pain

Coming to massage, can massage be effective at treating heel spurs and plantar fasciitis? Yes, but there’s a caveat. The kicker is that massage can only be effective if it’s applied at a deep tissue intensity. Of course massaging someone with plantar fasciitis and heel spurs may not be something that all massage therapists are trained to do.

Deep Tissue Massage Heel Spurs

However, if done properly massage can actually dissolve the calcification that forms a heel spur! (Source: Integrative Health Care)

Before even attempting massage, I suggest having a conversation with your podiatrist. What exactly you’re suffering from needs to be properly established before commencing any type of treatment. And as mentioned earlier, a heel spur by itself may not always result in pain.

 

Can You Learn To Self Massage To Treat Your Heel Spur?

Massage can be effective at treating heel spurs, but is it something you can learn and apply yourself or is it best to have a massage therapist work on you?

When starting out, it’s always a good idea to have a massage therapist provide treatment, at least for the first couple of months.

When a consistent regimen has been established, you can always learn the technique from your therapist (if he/she is willing to teach of course!) so you can do it at your convenience.

What’s more important however, is ensuring you find a therapist that is properly trained at treating conditions like plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Not everyone will know how to deliver massage to specifically treat these conditions. That being said, you may need to do some research and make some phone calls!

Find The Right Therapist

 

Please Share Your Feedback! How Have You Addressed Your Heel Spurs?

When it comes to foot conditions (such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, or heel spurs), I cannot speak based on experience, so it would be nice to know how those of you actually suffering from these conditions have managed.

Did massage end up working for you, or did you opt for some other treatment? How effective was said treatment and would you recommend it?

I’m very intrigued to know! If you’re reading this post, feel free to share your experiences down below with heel spurs and even plantar fasciitis (or a combination of both). As I say, I always love to hear from you guys. Of course questions/comments are also welcomed. And with that, we’ll see you in the next one!

About Eve

Just an average bloke intrigued by massage and its incredible benefits. Oh, did I mention I also own a massage chair? More on that in the blog posts!

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