Are you experiencing pain and soreness in your feet? Have your feet been feeling more uncomfortable lately when you walk or stand up for long periods of time? If so, it may be the result of bursitis in your foot. Don’t worry – it is a common condition which often responds well to conservative treatment measures. 

This blog post will discuss what bursitis is, how it can affect the feet, and strategies for managing symptoms, with advice from an experienced medical professional as required, and provide some tips on how best to manage bursitis in the foot!

What is bursitis and what causes it?

Bursitis is a painful condition that causes tenderness, pain, and swelling around joints, most commonly in the shoulder, hip and elbow, but it can also affect your feet. In the feet, bursitis is usually caused by frequent or prolonged pressure on bursa sacs – tiny cushioning sacs filled with fluid that provide a frictionless barrier between bone and tendon or skins. This can be caused by age-related wear and tear of the joint or footwear that doesn’t fit quite right – think ill-fitting heels, tight shoes, pointy toes, sports shoes with inadequate shock absorption, etc. 

Common risk factors include having diabetes, gout or rheumatoid arthritis; certain kinds of infection; or overuse (especially repetitive activities like walking for too long without taking regular breaks). Symptoms include:

  • Feeling aches and stiffness
  • Swelling in the area near the joint
  • Extreme tenderness when touched
  • Redness and warmth near the joint
  • Limited range of motion in your ankle or foot due to inflammation and painful swelling 

If you’re experiencing these symptoms it’s important to visit a podiatrist for assessment and specific foot care advice.

How to treat bursitis at home? 

Many people with bursitis can experience relief with simple steps at home. One way to treat bursitis at home is to remember the “RICE” acronym: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Resting your foot helps to reduce swelling while icing it numbs the area and provides temporary relief. 

Compressing the foot with an elastic bandage may help reduce further swelling and elevating your foot when sitting or lying down can also help. An anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen can help with pain relief, and range-of-motion exercises are also recommended. At Foot Health Solutions we stock a range of products to assist with general foot pain, but would recommend the Silicone Forefoot Cushion Sleeve to protect against friction and pressure.  

If you have any concerns, discussing at-home treatments with your doctor or podiatrist first can help you make sure that they are suitable for your individual needs!

When to seek professional help? 

Proper foot care is important to keep your feet healthy and pain-free, but sometimes it can be difficult to know when it’s time to take that next step and seek professional help. A podiatrist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating diseases related to the foot and ankle, so they should be consulted if you are experiencing ongoing issues with your feet – whether it’s chronic discomfort, or conditions such as ingrown toenails, warts, corns, or other problems. 

Seeing a qualified podiatrist is the best way for early diagnosis and treatment of bursitis – this will reduce your risks of more extensive damage and longer healing times down the track. By investing in good foot care now, you can avoid bigger problems later.

Prevention tips for avoiding bursitis in the future

Regular activities such as walking, running, exercise and even standing for long periods of time can take a toll on your feet if not cared for properly. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate regular foot care into your routine. Taking a proactive approach to prevent bursitis can go a long way in keeping you active and comfortable. Stretching regularly and avoiding tight, uncomfortable shoes are two effective strategies for staying healthy. Wearing appropriate footwear is essential to preventing bursitis as wearing inappropriate shoes can put unnecessary stress on your joints and promote inflammation. 

Additionally, incorporate exercises that strengthen the muscles around your joints while maintaining proper form; this will help keep them flexible and better equipped to sustain shock absorption. 

If you’re looking to strengthen your feet, we are now stocking The Foot Gym. This patented all-in-one device allows you to massage your feet, stretch them, give them a workout and strengthen your foot muscles all in one place. The Foot Gym has been reviewed by orthopaedic surgeons, podiatrists and physiotherapists, and is proven to strengthen muscles, increase stability, improve balance and provide pain relief.

As always, if you have any serious concerns about your feet we encourage you to visit your podiatrist. If you are based on the Gold Coast, we highly recommend our friends at ProMed Podiatry for their holistic approach to foot health.