Heel pain can also be caused due a condition called Bursitis which is constant irritation of the heel's natural cushion (bursa). This can lead to additional pain at the back of the heel when the
ankle is moved and there may be swelling on both sides of the Achilles tendon. Useful treatments for Heel bursitis are anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and Ibuprofen gel/tablets. Cold
ice-pack compresses can be useful in reducing any swelling. In conjunction to these treatments it is important to stabalise and protect the heel. Gel heel pads will help to let the inflamed bursa
settle down, however in severe chronic cases sometimes the use of Cortisone injections may be indicated.
Normally, only one bursa is in the heel, between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone (calcaneus). This bursa may become inflamed, swollen, and painful, resulting in anterior Achilles tendon
bursitis. Abnormal pressure and foot dysfunction can cause a protective bursa to form between the Achilles tendon and the skin. This bursa may also become inflamed, swollen, and painful, resulting in
posterior Achilles tendon bursitis.
A person with bursitis can have one or more of the symptoms below. Pain, the pain increases with movement or pressure. Tenderness is felt even without movement. Swelling. Loss of movement. If the
bursitis is caused by an infection it is called Septic Bursitis. The patient with septic bursitis may have the following additional symptoms. Fever. The affected area is red. The affected area feels
hot when touched.
When you are experiencing Achilles pain at the back of your heel, a visit to the doctor is always recommended. Getting a proper diagnosis is important so you can treat your condition correctly. A
doctor visit is always recommended.
Non Surgical Treatment
Your health care provider may recommend the following treatments. Avoid activities that cause pain. Ice the heel several times a day. Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (for example,
ibuprofen). Try over-the-counter or custom heel wedges to help decrease the stress on the heel. Try ultrasound treatment during physical therapy to reduce inflammation. Use physical therapy to
improve flexibility and strength around the ankle, which can help the bursitis improve and prevent it from coming back. If these treatments don't work, your health care provider may inject a small
amount of steroids into the bursa. After the injection, you should avoid stretching the tendon too much because it can break open (rupture). If the condition is connected with Achilles tendinitis,
casting the ankle for several weeks to keep it from moving can be effective. Very rarely, surgery may be needed to remove the inflamed bursa.
Bursectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove an inflamed or infected bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between tissues of the body. Because retrocalcaneal bursitis can
cause chronic inflammation, pain and discomfort, bursectomy may be used as a treatment for the condition when it is persistent and cannot be relived with other treatments. During this procedure, a
surgeon makes small incisions so that a camera may be inserted into the joint. This camera is called an arthroscope. Another small incision is made so that surgical instruments can be inserted to
remove the inflamed bursa.