What is Bursitis of Heel?

21 Feb What is Bursitis of Heel?

Heel Your Bursitis Pain

If you’re feeling pain in your heels, you might be suffering from heel bursitis, a common but painful condition that can turn a simple walk into a miserable experience. Learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of this condition.


What is Bursitis of the Heel?

A bursa is a soft sac filled with fluid that lines the back of the heel. It acts as a lubricant, letting bones and joints move easily against each other without friction.

The retrocalcaneal bursa is found at the back of the ankle. It connects the Achilles tendon to the heel. The term bursitis means an inflamed or swollen bursa. If this bursa becomes inflamed, you’ll start to feel intense pain in your heel.


Bursitis of Heel Diagram from Shuman Podiatry in Sterling VA.jpg



What Causes Bursitis of the Heel?

Bursitis is primarily caused by overuse. You’re at risk of getting it if you:

  • Suddenly increase your level of exercise intensity.
  • Take up a new sport without proper conditioning.
  • Wear high heels.
  • Are over 65.
  • Have arthritis or related conditions.
  • Exercise in shoes that don’t have the right support.


What Are the Symptoms of Heel Bursitis?

Many foot and ankle problems have similar symptoms. The symptoms of heel bursitis can mimic those of other foot and heel conditions, including Achilles tendonitis and Haglund’s deformity. If you’re feeling any kind of intense pain in your foot or heel, you should consult a podiatrist to get the proper diagnosis.

The following are common symptoms of heel bursitis:

  • Intense pain when leaning back on your heels.
  • Pain in your calf muscles.
  • Muscle stiffness in your ankles and shins.
  • Swollen, red patches on the heel and ankles.
  • Popping or cracking sounds when you bend your foot.


Home Foot Care for Bursitis

If you’re experiencing heel pain, you can frequently get relief from over-the-counter home treatments.

Rest. This is probably the most important thing you can do for your bursitis. Stay off your feet as much as possible. If it’s necessary to walk, ask your podiatrist about custom orthotics to make your shoes more comfortable. Padding or lift in the heel will be especially helpful.

Ice packs. Use ice packs to reduce the swelling in your heels. Use the ice pack several times a day.

Pain medication. Over-the-counter pain medication including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will help ease the pain and swelling of bursitis.


Podiatrist’s Treatments for Bursitis

If you’re experiencing the intense pain of bursitis or you’re having common but annoying foot problems like an ingrown nail and fungal nail, your best bet is to consult a podiatrist. A podiatrist can give you treatments that provide quick relief and get you back on your feet.

These prescription treatments might include:

  • Custom orthotics to make your footwear more supportive.
  • Leg brace or cast.
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the ligaments.


Get Help for Heel Pain

Bursitis is a common foot problem. Like fungal nail, ingrown nail and other common foot conditions, it can be treated quickly and easily by foot care professional. Don’t let foot or heel pain slow you down unnecessarily. Contact a podiatrist as soon as you feel that something isn’t right.

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