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Pain Enablers: Your Achilles and Heel Make Bursitis Worse

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

It’s never a good feeling when you realize you’re accidentally making a problem worse. No one wants to increase their own pain or misfortune on purpose!


Unfortunately, people aggravate their problems fairly often. You can do this to your foot pain, too, without ever realizing it. Heel bursitis is a common overuse issue—but preexisting concerns with your heel bone or your Achilles tendon can make it much worse, or even contribute to it in the first place.


Bursitis in the heel is a common overuse injury in active people. The bursa that sits between your Achilles tendon and your heel bone to add cushion and lubrication gets subjected to a lot of forces. Eventually this can lead to inflammation and irritation over time. However, the shape of your heel bone, or preexisting problems in your heel or Achilles, can pinch the bursa and worsen the inflammation.


This is why Haglund’s deformity and Achilles tendinitis can accompany, or even cause, bursitis. The bump on the back of your heel in Haglund’s deformity can pinch the bursa against the Achilles, trapping it. When your Achilles is swollen, thickened, and tightened, it can pin and rub the bursa against your heel bone more than normal. These high pressures can aggravate the bursa sac.


In either condition, problems in your heel contribute to your heel bursitis pain and make it harder for you to recover. You may need to address these other issues to really alleviate your discomfort. Shoe changes and orthotics may help manage pressure from your Haglund’s deformity. Stretching, icing, and improved support may relieve the tightness and friction from Achilles tendinitis.


The best way to deal with all the factors that are contributing to bursitis in the heel is, of course, to let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC help you diagnose and treat the problem. Don’t wait and continue making the problem worse without realizing it. Take care of your pain today. You can make an appointment at our Metairie, LA, office through the website or by calling (504) 708-4810.


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