How to identify and treat foot bursitis

A foot bursitis is named after your bursa, which are fluid-filled cushions that protect your body’s joints. These cushions help you absorb shock, keep your joints moving smoothly, and prevent irritation from where your tendons and ligaments pass over your bones.

Although there is only a small number of bursae that occur naturally in the foot, the body creates more bursae in areas where pressure and friction of great. As we exercise, the ground surface and the shoes we wear play an important role in how much trauma our feet experience. In short, every step you take can cause a small amount of damage to a particular area in the foot which can increase the risk of bursitis.

Foot Bursitis Treatment at Delray Beach Podiatry [Image via MorgueFile.com]

Foot Bursitis Treatment at Delray Beach Podiatry [Image via MorgueFile.com]

Unfortunately, your bursa can become inflamed as your ability to absorb shock decreases, which causes the area around your joints to become irritated. In severe cases, the bursa will appear as a bump and is usually red, appearing extremely tender and painful. This swelling can hamper your ability to move your toes, foot, or ankle as the range of motion in the joints is affected.

Causes

Common causes of foot bursitis include:

  • Aging
  • A sudden injury
  • Too much repetitive motion of your joints, such as from over-exercising
  • A sudden twisting or rapid joint movement
  • Overuse and repeated movements

Symptoms

Common symptoms associated with foot bursitis include:

  • Pain or ache in the middle part of the underside of your heel
  • An increasing pain or discomfort while participating in weight-bearing activities
  • Pain and swelling under the heel
  • Redness under the heel

Treatment

It is important to treat foot bursitis in the early stages in order to reduce the symptoms, minimize damage and maintain motion and strength. Resting your foot, using proper cushioning and comfortable footwear — such as a custom-made orthoic — and reducing any activities that add pressure on your bursa will help to reduce your pain and bursitis inflammation.

Other treatments include:

  • Apply ice or a cold pack to your feet as soon as you notice pain in your muscles or near a joint. Apply ice 10 to 15 minutes at a time, as often as twice an hour, for three days.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be used to reduce pain and inflammation. NSAIDs come in pills and also in a cream that you rub over the sore area.
  • If your bursitis is in or near a joint, gently move the joint through its full range of motion, even during the time that you are resting the joint area. This will prevent stiffness.

If you have severe bursitis, you will likely need to a doctor to remove extra fluid from the bursa as this fluid can sometimes become infected. Your doctor may also give you a shot of medicine to reduce swelling.

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The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from www.DelrayBeachPodiatry.com without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:

BOCA/DELRAY

16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445

561-499-0033

BOYNTON BEACH

8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472

561-499-0033