Although perhaps not as well known as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, heel bursitis—inflammation of the bursa sac at the back of the heel that cushions muscle, tendon, and bone—is a common condition that can lead to considerable pain, swelling, and irritation. Despite the pain and discomfort, the good news is that most cases respond very well to gentle, at-home treatment methods.
The most important component of home care? Rest. One of the most common explanations for development of bursitis in the first place is overuse. Have you been doing a lot of running, jumping, or robust physical activity? Over time, repetitive motions and physical exertion can irritate the bursa, but taking a temporary break from those activities and allowing time to rest and heal can reverse the damage. Depending on your situation, there may be alternative exercises you can engage in that will allow you to remain active without continuing to stress your swollen bursa.
Other home care techniques are mainly to help reduce painful symptoms while your body goes about the business of healing itself. Using ice several times per day (20 minutes at a time, no more than once per hour), elevating the foot when possible, and using over-the-counter medications are common strategies that can prove effective.Unfortunately, in rare cases home care treatments aren’t enough. If your bursitis is particularly painful or symptoms become chronic, professional care may be in order. Some options include platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP), extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), or the addition of heel wedges or custom orthotics that help accommodate a foot structure prone to repeated issues. For help with your heel pain, please contact Dr. Corey Fox at Massapequa Podiatry Associates today. You can fill out our online contact form, or give us a call at 516-541-9000.