A calcaneal bursa injury can be really painful and an annoying distraction for dedicated runners. If you notice increased sensitivity or pain at the back of your heel, you may be showing signs of having this inflammatory issue. This article explores how you can acquire a calcaneal bursa injury, what symptoms to look out for, and how to treat it if you have one.
What is a calcaneal bursa injury?
Also known as calcaneal bursitis, it occurs when there is inflammation around the heel bone (the calcaneus). This swelling is usually brought on by friction developing between the bone, tendon and skin in this area. The swelling can harden, causing a bursa to form.
What are the symptoms?
You may notice redness and swelling on the back of one heel. It will likely be very sensitive to touch or pressure. Calcaneal bursitis can be very painful and may feel like a hardened lump on the back of the heel. This isn’t bone – it’s the result of inflammation and can feel very firm (if you can stand to touch it at all).
How can you treat calcaneal bursa injury?
Like many common running injuries, rest is often the best cure. As the injury is caused by persistent friction and pressure, treatment involves removing these aggravators where possible. Wear looser or larger shoes to reduce pressure. Avoid sandals or heels with back straps on them – instead try backless shoes unless the pain lessens significantly. You may also try applying cool packs to the inflamed site or taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relief. If the injury is serious, a doctor may offer a cortisone injection, or in a worst-case scenario may recommend surgery. If you notice the pain and take action early these more serious options may be avoided. Surgery can require 3-6 months of rehabilitation before you return to your previous running and training schedule.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.