Achilles bursitis is a common cause of foot pain among runners. It is oftentimes mistaken as Achilles tendonitis or can also occur along with it.
The bursa is a small-sized sac of fluid that is found between a tendon and bone to promote smooth movement over the bone. The retrocalcaneal bursa is in the foot amidst the Achilles tendon and heel bone. Due to recurring trauma, the bursa might end up inflamed.
What are the indications?
The signs and symptoms usually include discomfort or pain at the rear part of the heel, particularly when running uphill or on surfaces that are soft. There is also swelling and tenderness at the rear of the heel that might make it hard for the individual to use certain shoes.
If both sides of the back part of the heel are pressed with the fingers, there is spongy resistance felt.
What can I do?
Adequate rest and application of ice is required. The ice pack should not be applied directly on the skin since this can cause further damage. Make sure that the pack is wrapped with a clean cloth or towel. Taping of the bursa using a donut-shaped padding can help alleviate some of the pressure from the footwear used.
The doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to minimize the pain and inflammation. Electrotherapy such as ultrasound can minimize the inflammation and puffiness.
A steroid injection is usually administered after 48 hours of rest for persistent cases. In case bursitis is severe and does not respond to conservative treatment, surgery is a possible option.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on Achilles bursitis is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage tendon injuries by taking a standard first aid course with Kelowna First Aid.