Plantar Fascitis

The Best Exercises to Reduce Heel Spur Pain

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: March 27, 2017
The Best Exercises to Reduce Heel Spur Pain

Calcaneal spur, commonly known as a heel spur, is the collection of calcium deposits at the back of the foot (the heel). This can be only a little amount with little affect on the individual. However, if calcium deposits grow too large you'll experience pain and it can even make walking difficult. Treatment options range from inserting a sole into your shoe to surgery in acute cases, although this is usually only of other treatment methods have failed. One of the best ways to treat a heel spur (and even to prevent it) is to take part in regular exercise. Hopefully, you're doing that already. However, some exercises can actually increase the risk or severity of heel spurs, so keep reading oneHOWTO to know what exactly are the best exercises to reduce heel spur pain.

You may also be interested in: The Best Heel Spur Surgery Recovery Techniques


  1. The towel pickup
  2. Table stretches
  3. Shin tracing
  4. Ball rolling
  5. Knee bending
  6. Fascia stretching
  7. Heel spur massage

The towel pickup

One of the exercises to reduce heel spur pain that you will find very useful is that of placing a towel on the floor and trying to lift and move it up you with your toes. You can place a heavy object on top to increase resistance, similar to adding more weights to your bar bells. You'll know that this is a tricky act to pull off, but that's the point. It will help pull tension from the back of the foot and keep your foot supple. At the very least, it will help distract you from heel spur pain for a little while.

The Best Exercises to Reduce Heel Spur Pain - The towel pickup

Table stretches

Exercising your calf muscles will also help diminish the pain of your heel spur. You can also do stretches leaning on a table with your hands, bending one knee and keeping the other straight. You must lean forward, as if you are pushing the table away from you. This will stretch the calf muscles of the stretched leg. But as you do this, you will feel tension on the heel. Gently lift the heel up (not the sole of the foot which should remain on the ground). Hold your heel in position for 10-15 seconds and repeat at least three times per day. The tension caused by the foot on the ground and the calf is great for your ankle.

The Best Exercises to Reduce Heel Spur Pain - Table stretches

Shin tracing

Another exercise to relieve pain from your heel spur involves slowly moving the sore foot up and down on the shin of the other leg. Do this by sitting down on a hard surface with enough height to lift up your legs. Lift one leg up and down with the flat of the foot flat against the other leg. The aim of these exercises is to relax your leg and heel muscles that are close to the spur. If you want them to be effective, you should be consistent and do them every day.

The Best Exercises to Reduce Heel Spur Pain - Shin tracing

Ball rolling

Rolling a small ball with the sole of the foot can also be beneficial for the treatment of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Try to make movements with your foot on the ball, getting a kind of massage that will relax the sole of your foot as well as easing the pain of your heel spur.

The Best Exercises to Reduce Heel Spur Pain - Ball rolling

Knee bending

Another easy exercise you can practice daily to ease the pain from your spur is the following: stand up as straight as you can with one foot directly in front of the other. Place your arms in front of you against a wall about the height of your head. Bend your knees and move up and down. This will provide the right kind of torsion on your heel to help reduce heel spur pain.

Fascia stretching

As you may know, heel spurs are connected to the foot fascia, the thick connective tissue which supports the arch of your feet. Exercising the fascia will also be beneficial for your heel spur. We have two types of exercise which may help:

Exercise 1

Take a towel and sit on the floor with it in front of you. Place your feet so they they are both flat against the towel, pushing down on the floor. Try to pull the towel apart while still exerting pressure downwards. This will help both of your heels at the same time. You can do something similar by pulling a resistance band apart with your feet.

Exercise 2

Sitting on a chair, put one leg on top of the other to cross them. Hold the toes of the foot that's on top and pull them back towards your metatarsals. Refrain if the pain on your heel is too much.

The Best Exercises to Reduce Heel Spur Pain - Fascia stretching

Heel spur massage

In order to help repair the scar tissue on your heel, another beneficial exercise you can do is prepare yourself a massage with some hot oil such as coconut or lavender. Once it is hot, put the oil on your hands and firmly but gently massage your heel. slowly move towards your toes and stretch them. This process will not only help your tissue but will also ease the pain effectively. It's also a very pleasant and relaxing activity.

Stretches help ease the pain of spurs, though this is not the only way to improve the condition.

Take a look at these suggestions that will help you heal a heel spur:

  • Reduce activities that can further harm your heel spur such as running, cycling, athletics or team sports such as basketball, football...
  • We also advise you to follow and alkaline diet. This is useful to reduce pain in your heel spur because body's pH balance helps bones absorb calcium properly and thus will strengthen your bones.
  • Take Epsom salt baths in order to reduce inflammation caused by your heel spur, you'll notice how the pain decreases significantly.

Whatever exercises you use to reduce heel spur pain, you should visit your chiropodist or specialist doctor to examine your case so you can be diagnosed appropriately.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to The Best Exercises to Reduce Heel Spur Pain, we recommend you visit our Family health category.


  • Wear proper shoes when exercising to avoid further damage to your heel, so follow your podiatrist's recommendations when it comes to footwear.
Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Lakshmi M Phadke
I have heel spur and I am getting better with the exercises . My sister shared this page to me. Thank you.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Lakshmi,

We're glad we can help!
Donna Hagen
Thank you for providing this valuable information. It should save me a ton of money on my posterior heel spur.
OneHowTo Editor
We're glad it was useful for you. Let us know how it went!
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The Best Exercises to Reduce Heel Spur Pain