Bursa’s are fluid filled sacs which often sit beneath or between structures to absorb impact and decrease friction. The subcutaneous calcaneal bursa sits at the bottom of heel separating the lower portion of the heel and the skin.
To break down the injury terminology:
“Calcaneal” describes the region we are referring to and which bursa.
“Bursitis” describes the specific bursa becoming inflamed.
How Is Calcaneal Bursitis caused?
There are a few main reasons why you may experience Calcaneal Bursitis.
- Incorrect footwear, specifically shoes that are too tight around the heel or have a hard heel. This causes irritation of the bursa and makes it inflamed.
- Trauma to heel – A trauma or impact to the heel can cause irritation of the bursa
- Running biomechanics – People that run with a hard heel strike are often more likely to develop inflammation of the calcaneal bursa.
How Can I Treat Myself If I Think I Have Calcaneal Bursitis?
If you have just started to get pain around the heel and believe you have Calcaneal Bursitis you can try:
- Complete rest from impact activities such as running/jumping etc – This allows the irritation of the bursa to calm down.
- Ice around the localised area of pain – This helps to decrease inflammation
- Buy correct footwear which fits the foot correctly and isn’t too tight around the heel
- Increase the amount of foods you are eating which are high in anti-oxidants & anti-inflammatory compounds. A good starting point is to increase the amount of leafy greens & fatty fish you eat.
If you have tried all of the above & completed all of the self treatment at home but your pain is still persisting please contact a professional sports injury specialist. They will advise you on the appropriate approach moving forwards and help aid your recovery.