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Bursitis Can Also Affect Your Feet

  • Dr. Bruce Zappan
  • December 20, 2017

Bursitis is a painful inflammatory condition that often affects the shoulder, knee, hip, and elbow, but it can also occur in the foot near the Achilles tendon. Bursae are small, fluid filled sacs that are located wherever bones, ligaments, and tendons rub against each other. They help to cushion and lubricate joints and prevent stressful rubbing where the tendons and ligaments lie over the bones. When these sacs become painful and swollen, bursitis has reared its ugly head!

Bursitis is generally caused by repetitive motions that can occur in activities as diverse as cooking, gardening, or even typing on a keyboard. It affects roofers, carpet layers, and wood floor installers, but can also affect professional athletes.

Trauma to the foot can cause the bursal sacs near the Achilles tendon to become inflamed. The symptoms are very similar to tendonitis and include swelling, redness and warmth, stiffness, and tenderness.

Treatment for bursitis

The pain and swelling of bursitis can be alleviated by resting, icing the swollen area twice an hour for several days, and taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. Gentle stretching exercises that ease stiffness can help, and increasing strength can also help ease discomfort after the initial swelling has subsided. Smoking during the healing period can delay the process, and you will need to slowly and gradually reintroduce normal activities to prevent triggering another episode.

To help avoid getting an outbreak of bursitis, try varying your movements while performing repetitive tasks. Alternate hands, and change your body position frequently.

If you are experiencing bursitis near your Achilles tendon, seek help from your foot doctor. For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, it is important to see a foot specialist to receive the correct care. Bruce B. Zappan, D.P.M., P.C., of Medical Arts Podiatry Associates in Philadelphia, PA can perform a proper evaluation and give recommendations for treatment. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or make an appointment with our office at 215-563-2560.