Back of heel pain comes in many forms. Although plantar fasciitis is the most famous and most common reason, it’s by no means the only one. One often-overlooked heel pain condition is bursitis. Although you may be more familiar with this condition in a shoulder, elbow, hip, or knee joint, according to the top Nassau County bursitis specialist, it can also affect the heel and can cause significant stiffness, swelling, and pain.
When Joint Cushioning Goes Bad and Causes Back of Heel Pain
Bursae are specialized fluid-filled sacs that are present in and around many of your body’s major joints. These sacs act as both a cushion and a lubricant, allowing tendons, muscles, and bones to glide and slide freely without painful friction. Each heel naturally contains one such sac, the retrocalcaneal bursa, between tendon and bone at the point where the Achilles inserts into the heel bone.
Unfortunately, certain medical conditions, injuries, or repetitive stresses can cause inflammation in a bursa. An underlying cause of arthritis or certain foot shapes may ultimately be at fault, and those who suddenly increase the intensity of their physical activity are also at increased risk.
Possible symptoms may include:
- Back of heel pain, especially during walking or other activities. Back of heel pain may be worse when walking on tiptoes and may cause limping.
- Reddish, warm, tender skin
Healing a Bulging Bursa
Once our Nassau County bursitis specialist makes a positive diagnosis, we’ll start you off on a treatment program. The good news is that many cases (although not all) can be relieved through a combination of good old-fashioned rest and some conservative treatments.
For starters, if your problem is related to certain repetitive activities (like running, for example), you should avoid them for a time and rest. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and icing can help you recuperate at home, too.
When it comes to more advanced treatments, our bursitis specialist is equipped with a wide array of the latest technologies and therapies to help with your stubborn back or heel pain. These include:
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) – is the most successful non-invasive heel pain treatment overall for those who qualify. It uses pulses similar to sound waves to safely and painlessly stimulate your natural healing processes during a roughly 20-minute session, improving blood and nutrient flow to the swollen bursa.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy – a treatment where we draw a small amount of blood and place it into a centrifuge to separate the platelets (one of the components of blood, along with red and white blood cells and plasma) and increase their concentration. The platelet-rich plasma is re-injected into the injury site to encourage faster healing.
Contact Our Nassau County Bursitis Specialist Today!
Depending on your circumstances, other tools or treatments may help. For example, if you have a fundamental foot deformity that predisposes you to put extra strain on the bursae, you could benefit from heel wedges, custom orthotics, or other inserts that help you protect sensitive tissues. Every case is different, and you can be sure our patient and caring Nassau County bursitis specialist will take the time to carefully evaluate your condition, speak with you about your goals and needs, and develop a treatment plan that is specially tailored for you.