Treating minor ailments at home is something which mankind has done for centuries, and many people are unhappy calling a doctor for any minor ache or pain. However with heel pain, getting early treatment can be important to ensure that serious damage is not done. Leaving heel pain untreated can increase the recovery period significantly. Plantar fasciitis manifests through pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel The plantar fascia can be damaged by overstretching and over usage of the foot. Mild foot swelling and redness can also be indications of plantar fasciitis, but normally it is just the stabbing pain, most commonly felt first thing in the morning. Heel spurs are common in patients who have a history of foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis. In the setting of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs are most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but can be found in all age groups. The heel spur itself is not thought to be the primary cause of pain, rather inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia is thought to be the primary problem. A heel spur diagnosis is made when an x-ray shows a hook of bone protruding from the bottom of the foot at the point where the plantar fascia is attached to the heel bone. Pain in the Heel The heel spur , because it is part of the bone, actually has no feeling in it. The pain that is generated from the heel spur is due to the soft tissue around the heel spur that gets irritated and inflamed and bruised. This is what creates the heel pain from the spur itself. If you can properly support the heel bone so that friction and motion are reduced, it will allow the soft tissue around the area of the heel spur to heal, and have a reduction in the inflammation and tenderness. Before deciding to do something about your calcaneal pain, it is important to know the causes of this condition. Knowing the reason why you are suffering from this discomfort is an important part of the whole treatment process. Basically, people who put too much stress on their heels are the ones who develop heel spurs. Those who love wearing high heels or those who are a little on the heavy side are people who are prone to acquiring this excruciating condition. To prevent or treat this abnormal bone growth, here are some tips and ideas. Apple cider vinegar may reduce the pain of a heel spur. Apple cider vinegar works to pull out excessive calcium from the area of a heel spur. It is a natural treatment for a heel spur, notes Foot-Care.org. Patients can apply it by soaking cotton balls in the vinegar and dabbing it on the heel area or by cutting out a piece of paper or towel in the shape of the foot and submerging it in apple cider vinegar. Patients then place the paper or towel in their shoes, rotating it between all the shoes that they wear for five days, notes Natural Home Remedies. Strech the Heel. Many doctors and trainers recommend shoes that are softer. They seem to think that the soft shoe will be like a pillow for the spur. We already know that it is NOT the spur that is causing the pain. The abnormal stress on the heel area is causing the pain. If the shoe is too soft it cannot prevent the over rolling of the foot into over pronation which is what most researchers feel is what causes most abnormal stress on the tissues of the foot and above. In order to understand what I am proposing, we have to understand the body as a human spring vs a human lever. As ever, see a qualified physician if at home therapy and heel padding doesn't help. Your doctor may want to use steroid injections for temporary relief or may decide to make custom orthotics. These will redistribute your weight so that your foot is correctly balanced and the pressure is taken off the spur. Your doctor can as a last resort, consider surgery to remove the spur Many people suffer with Heel Spurs and know the pain and distress they can cause. However, there is a great deal that can be done to alleviate or prevent heel spurs. To find out more head over to the great free resources at The heel bone forms one end of the two longitudinal arches of the foot. These arches are held together by ligaments and are activated by the muscles of the foot (some of which are attached beneath the arches and run from the front to the back of the foot). These muscles and ligaments, like the other supporting tissues of the body, are attached in two places. Many are attached at the heel bone. The body reacts to the stress at the heel bone by calcifying the soft tissue attachments and creating a spur.