Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion your bones and tendons. These sacs are found around your joints, including in your feet, and keep your bones and tendons from rubbing against each other and causing pain. Like other tissues in your body, your bursae can become inflamed. Here are four things you need to know about your feet and bursitis.
What are the symptoms of bursitis?
If you have bursitis, you'll feel pain in your feet. The main location for this pain is at the back of your foot, between your heel and your Achilles tendon. However, bursitis can also affect other parts of your foot, such as the base of your big toe, the bottom of your heel, or your ankle. If you experience new pain near any of the joints in your feet, see your podiatrist right away.
What causes bursitis?
There are a few possible causes of bursitis. One of the most common causes is repetitive motion of the joint. For example, activities like running make your bursae work very hard to cushion your joints. Another common cause is remaining in positions that irritate your bursae. For example, if you remain in a crouched position for too long, you may irritate the bursae in your feet.
Trauma, like dropping a heavy object on your foot, can also injure your bursae. Some medication conditions can also lead to inflammation of your bursae. Conditions that lead to inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis or infections, may have this effect.
How do podiatrists treat it?
Many treatments are available for bursitis. In mild cases, your podiatrist may recommend home treatments like resting your feet and holding ice packs against the sore joints. Over-the-counter painkillers can be used to manage the pain and reduce your swelling while your body heals.
In severe cases, home treatment may not be enough. Your podiatrist may recommend aspiration, a minor surgical procedure. Your podiatrist will use a needle to draw excess fluid out of your bursae and decrease the swelling.
You may also need corticosteroid injections. Corticosteroids are a type of steroid and can be used to reduce swelling. Your dermatologist will inject this medication directly into your affected bursa.
Is bursitis common?
Bursitis of the foot is a fairly common problem, and podiatrists see it regularly. It affects both men and women and has not been shown to be more common in any one ethnic group. It tends to occur in middle-aged or elderly people, but it's also common in athletic people of all ages.
If the joints in your feet hurt, make an appointment with an Orvitz Podiatry Clinic podiatrist to discuss bursitis.