Bursitis Symptoms and Treatment

by | Aug 24, 2016 | Heel and Arch Pain

Have you ever taken a moment to appreciate your joints? These magnificently complex structures require a wide variety of tissues—bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons—to function perfectly in concert with one another to achieve effective, pain-free motion and mobility.

One overlooked component of many joints is the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that provides cushioning and lubrication. Your bursae absorb shocks and keep the other components of your joint gliding smoothly and painlessly past one another. But they also have a maximum stress load and can be damaged or inflamed. This condition is called bursitis, and it can happen in several spots in your feet and ankles, particularly behind the heel where the Achilles tendon inserts into the heel bone.

A professional evaluation is usually required to positively diagnose bursitis, since the symptoms can be broadly similar to other conditions. However, the most classic symptoms include:

  • Pain, particularly when standing on tiptoes, during certain activities (such as running or climbing stairs), or after a long rest
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the affected joint
  • Swelling and tenderness in the area. Pressing on the swollen bursa may be painful
  • Skin may be red and warm to the touch

Treatment for bursitis is almost always conservative, with an eye toward relieving short-term pain and preventing future episodes.

In the immediate term, rest (that means getting off your feet for a bit and avoiding activities that cause discomfort) combined with icing or OTC painkillers are often enough to deal with a minor case. If you need more help, our office features advanced therapies, such as shockwave therapy and the MLS laser system, that can kick-start the healing process, as well as more traditional treatment methods.

Preventing chronic bursitis from recurring often involves additional measures. This can include selecting shoes with more cushioning, getting fitted for custom orthotics that accommodate or correct structural flaws that contribute to bursitis, or in severe cases surgery to fix a contributing bone deformity.

No podiatry office in the Wichita area is better equipped to provide a customized, effective treatment plan for bursitis than the Kansas Foot Center. To set up an appointment with Dr. Truong, please give us a call today at 866.222.5177, or request an appointment online.