Achilles Bursitis Symptoms
Symptoms of Achilles bursitis are often mistaken for Achilles tendinitis because of the location of the pain at the back of the heel. When you suffer from Achilles bursitis you will experience some or all of the following symptoms which are most noticeable when you begin activity after resting.
- Pain at the back of the heel, especially with jumping, hopping, tip-toeing, walking or running uphill or on soft surfaces. If tendonitis is also present, the pain can radiate away from the bursa.
- Direct pressure on the bursa will exacerbate the pain and should be avoided if possible.
- Tenderness and swelling which might make it difficult to wear certain shoes on the feet.
- As the bursa becomes more inflamed you will experience swelling and warmth. In severe cases, the bursa will appear as a bump, called a "pump bump", and is usually red, and extremely tender. Swelling can cause difficulties moving as the range of motion in the ankle can be affected.
- Limping due to the pain may occur
- If you press on both sides of the inflamed heel, there may be a firm spongy feeling.
- Weakness in the tendons and muscles surrounding the bursa can develop as the pain worsens and the inflammation in the area spreads.
- Possibly a fever if you are suffering from septic bursitis (You will need to see a doctor for medication to get rid of the infection).
Achilles Bursitis Treatments
Relieving the symptoms of bursitis initially focuses on taking the pressure off the bursa. This can be done with proper cushioning, inserts, or footwear but may require surgery if it is a bone formation problem (i.e. Huglund's Deformity). If your bursitis is caused by an infection (septic bursitis), the doctor will probably drain the bursa sac with a needle and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
For non-infectious bursitis, the preliminary treatment starts with non-operative options such as cold compression therapy and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™. Surgery to remove the inflamed bursa is normally not required for bursitis, however if you fail to see improvement with the conservative treatments, your physician may recommend surgery to remove the bursa completely. Although this removes the problem of an inflamed bursa, you are left with less cushioning in your joint which can lead to a host of other conditions.
The most important factor in healing bursitis is resting your foot and ankle. This can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting and elevating your foot whenever you can is recommended. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that stress your bursa until your pain and inflammation settle.
Treatments should involve decreasing swelling, relieving pain and stress on the Achilles, correcting any biomechanical dysfunction (over-pronation or flat feet), treating scar tissue, and then restoring strength and movement. If you are performing an activity that could cause further trauma to the bursa, it is recommended that you protect the area with padding and/or proper footwear to prevent further irritation or damage.
ColdCure Wrap® Cold Therapy
The R.C.C.E. Treatment Philosophy. This treatment philosophy is used to decrease inflammation and relieve pain of bursitis quickly when it is inflamed and painful.
- Rest and limit your activity, to decrease swelling and minimize further inflammation in the subcutaneous calcaneal bursa and/or retrocalcaneal bursa.
- Cool the area of the inflamed bursa to help reduce blood flow and fluid build up.
- Compress the area if possible by adding light pressure to minimize swelling (make sure the wrap is snug, but not too tight as it could cause numbness, tingling or more pain).
- Elevate your foot to relieve the pressure from swelling and allow fluid to drain from your foot.
Applying cold to your inflamed bursa will help decrease the swelling and redness around it. Cold compression therapy will also help to numb the pain in your heel and help to control the inflammation.
Cooling the subcutaneous calcaneal bursa and/or retrocalcaneal bursa as needed throughout the day, for approximately 15 - 20 minutes at a time, is recommended.
The cold compression ColdCure Wrap® can be used to apply cold in a safe, convenient and effective way - and the gel pack is reusable. Only the ColdCure Wrap® gel pack is charged in the fridge. This means the cooling temperature of the gel pack will not cause cold burns, or cryoburn, on your skin like ice or freezie charged gel packs can. You can also treat yourself for longer periods of time so you get lasting pain relief.
The wrap is soft and adjustable so it fits your foot properly, without irritating the bursa, and allows you to adjust the compression. This is important when treating an inflamed bursa because too much pressure can cause you further pain. You control how much pressure the bursa receives so you can benefit from the compression to hold the cold where you need it, without increasing your pain.
Click here to learn more about Cold Compression ColdCure Wraps®
Applying cold to your tender bursa is the first step in treating your bursitis. Next, you can begin using the BFST Wrap® to accelerate the healing process.
BFST Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
Once the inflammation of your bursitis has been reduced with the ColdCure Wrap® cold compression therapy treatment it is time to start BFST® treatments with the BFST Wrap®. Regular treatments with the BFST Wrap® will improve blood flow and improve the elasticity of your surrounding soft tissue. Your body needs a fresh supply of blood to improve the health of your tissue and get your bursae, plantar fascia, and/or Achilles tendon back to normal.
Unfortunately, when you are suffering from bursitis it is painful to walk and move your ankle normally. When you limit movement in your foot the blood flow is reduced, starving your tissue of the necessary oxygen and nutrients. The trick is to find a way to increase blood flow without causing pain and/or further inflaming the bursae. This is where Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) becomes a powerful tool.
BFST® compliments your body's natural healing process by promoting the flow of blood to your foot while you give it the rest it needs. The BFST Wrap® uses a patented process to generate the same energy that is part of the sun's spectrum of light, the same energy that is necessary to all living things for optimum health.
The energy emitted from the Energy Pad stimulates blood flow to your foot, more than you body would ever be able to generate on it's own, giving your body the boost it needs to continue the reconditioning process.
The healing energy reaches deep into your bursae, tendons, ligaments, and fascia to speed tissue repair, whisk away the toxins and dead cells, and rejuvenate your ankle tissues for improved elasticity.
Click here to learn more about the BFST Wrap®
With these easy to use home therapy wraps - the BFST Wrap® and the ColdCure Wrap® , you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your Achilles pain and ankle range of motion.
During your recovery, you may have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your Achilles and heel until your pain and inflammation settle, and you gain more mobility and strength. The more diligent you are with your rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results.