A Bursa is a small fluid filled sac that forms in areas of extra rubbing and friction. They are usually present with a bone deformity as the bone is pressed against other structures like a tendon or
against the ground as you walk. The bursa acts as a shock absorber and is a way for your body to protect you from damage. When this bursa or sac like structure becomes swollen and inflammed it is
called bursitis. The bursa may be anatomical meaning normally present, or it may be adventitious meaning, only present because of a problem. Many bursa are present and do not cause pain.
The most common causes of bursitis are injury or overuse, although infection may also be a cause. Bursitis is also associated with other causes, such as arthritis, gout, tendinitis, diabetes, and
Nagging ache and swelling in or around a joint. Painful and restricted movement in the affected joint. Pain radiating into the neck or arms when bursitis strikes the shoulder (the most common site).
Fever, when associated with an infection.
Your GP or therapist will be able to diagnose you by both listening to your history and examining you. No X-rays or further investigation should be needed to confirm diagnosis but may be requested to
check for any underlying health conditions that may have triggered the bursitis.
Non Surgical Treatment
Caregivers may give you special shoe inserts with a cutout around the tender area. You may also be told to wear shoes with a reinforced heel counter. This will give better heel control. You may need
other shoe inserts (wedges) to raise your heel so it does not press against the back of the shoe. You may also wear shoes that are open in the back, such as sandals that have no strap across the
heel. You may use ibuprofen (eye-bu-PROH-fen) and acetaminophen (a-seet-a-MIN-oh-fen) medicine for your pain. These may be bought over-the-counter at drug or grocery stores. Do not take ibuprofen if
you are allergic to aspirin. You may be given shots of medicine called steroids (STER-oids) to decrease inflammation. Caregivers may add local anesthesia (an-es-THEE-zah) to the steroids. This
medicine helps decrease bursitis pain. Because these shots decrease swelling and pain, you may feel like your ankle is healed and that you can return to heavy exercise. It is important to not
exercise until your caregiver says it is OK. You could make the bursitis worse if you exercise too soon. You may need surgery to remove the bursa or part of your ankle bone. Surgery is usually not
necessary unless the bursitis is very bad and does not heal with other treatments. Your caregiver may want you to go to physical (FIZ-i-kal) therapy (THER-ah-pee). Physical therapists may use
ultrasound to increase blood flow to the injured area. Caregivers may use massage to stretch the tissue and bring heat to the injury to increase blood flow. These and other treatments may help the
bursitis heal faster. Exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon and make it stronger will be started after the bursitis has healed. You may gradually increase the amount of weight you put on your
foot when caregivers say it is OK. You may be told to stop exercising if you feel any pain.
To prevent bursitis of the heel in the first place, always keep proper form during exercise. In addition, don?t jump into exercises that are too intense without building up to them. Strengthen and
flex your ankle.