5 Tips for Taking Care of Heel Bursitis

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Heel Pain MassageThe old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” The extended monthly forecast for Parker, however, predicts more sun than April showers, but weather doesn’t always turn out the way we expect! Your own health and foot comfort can be the same way. Maybe you’re an active person who stayed in shape all winter, so you expected a smooth transition to outdoor activities but ended up with heel bursitis. Or perhaps you hadn’t been active, so you eased into exercises to stay safe, but still developed painful feet. The good news is that the right treatment should fulfill your expectations and get your activities back on track!

Heel bursitis, also called retrocalcaneal bursitis, is a painful overuse injury that affects the bursa located between your Achilles tendon and your heel bone. This fluid-filled sac serves as a cushion between the hard bone and the tendon, so when your Achilles pulls on the back of your foot, the bone doesn’t rub against and irritate the tissue. Unfortunately, pressure and overuse can irritate the bursa, causing an aching pain and swelling that’s worse when you’re active.

Treatment for heel bursitis revolves around decreasing the inflammation and irritation in and around the little sac. This can be done multiple ways. Here are a few treatment tips:

  • Rest – Take a break from all high-impact and strenuous activities to let your heels recover.

  • Ice – Apply ice packs to the back of your foot to decrease swelling and inflammation.

  • Stretch – Physical therapy stretches can loosen tight Achilles tendons, which could be putting pressure on the foot and causing pain.

  • Change Shoes – Wear supportive styles that stabilize your arch, cushion your sole, and don’t squeeze your heel.

  • Use Orthotics – Orthotics can help make up for shoe deficiencies. Use custom inserts to address your foot’s biomechanical weaknesses and reduce lower limb stress.

Since heel bursitis is an overuse problem, it will get worse if you ignore it. On the other hand, the sooner you address the problem, the sooner you can eliminate it. Contact Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Parker and Castle Pines, CO, for help dealing with this type of heel pain. You can use our website to make an appointment, or just call (303) 805-5156.

Photo Credit: Satit_Srihin via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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