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4821 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2009 8:52 PM by JamesJohnsonLMT
Angel Kitty Amateur 57 posts since
Oct 23, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 28, 2009 2:24 AM

Bursitis on back of heel

Ok the discomfort I have been having is NOT AT or PF it is bursitis in my ankle. What do I need to do to make this go away? I have been stretching like you would do for AT and I was told by the dr. that I did not need to stop running. So how long will this take to go away? HELP

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,290 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Sep 30, 2009 2:05 AM (in response to Angel Kitty)
    Re: Bursitis on back of heel

    Hello again,


    Any "itis" is inflammation, which is caused by irritation and overuse.


    Bursa are the body's soft tissue pads between moving surfaces, which remove slack and reduce friction. When these are inflamed, it's a sign you need more rest, but rest does not necessarily mean inactivity.


    Certainly, ice and other methods of control will help, but I think it's time to shift some of your energy to cross-training so you can distribute the load and avoid overuse of the area that is bothering you. Biking (or spinning) for example, will preserve aerobic fitness while your ankle/achilles area heals.


    Any abrupt change in lifestyle is bound to produce surprises like the pain you have been having, but you want to moderate things if the pain persists, before damage occurs.


    Meanwhile, you might want to look into anti-inflammatory foods and supplements like fish oil, ginger, and turmeric, that have been shown to have beneficial effects. The Mediterranean diet has been recommended for this purpose (more fruits, veggies, less omega-6 oils). Also, I recall that this pain is on one side more than the other, which brings up a whole host of possible causes, which I've mentioned in previous posts. Even the slant of the road you run on can be the culprit.


    I remember having a problem in back of my heel with a particular shoe used in conjunction with an orthotic. The heel fit was too snug, and the elevation of the orthotic caused the lip of the shoe to dig into the heel. It was so bad a hole wore into the rear of the shoe after a few hundred miles. Better that than my foot! However, I did eventually experience some chafing and tenderness, and had to make some changes. A more forgiving stretch in the heel of the shoe allows more flexibility with orthotics, and I found several shoes that worked. Some of what you are feeling now may be fallout from the time you spent wearing orthotics before.


    Even if you switch to double-layer socks or use anti-chafing gel, the pressure on the achilles bursa can remain and produce bursitis. If the size of your running shoe is the same as your street shoe size, you might try sizing up a bit to allow more room in the heel. This varies widely by shoe, and some of my running shoes are 2 sizes larger than my official street shoe size. You have to compare them directly to your other shoes and try them on to be sure there is enough room to take the pressure off the achilles.


    When the cause of your irritation is removed it can take anywhere from weeks to months to fully recover. All this depends on how active you are, and other lifestyle factors. You only get one set of legs, so be patient as they heal!

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,290 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 7, 2009 3:10 AM (in response to Angel Kitty)
    Re: Bursitis on back of heel

    Based on what you told me, you are probably just a little rusty right now, especially after all this time off.


    A shoe to correct pronation would be more likely to cause pain on the inside of the foot than the outside.


    Runners should avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Try using Kenkoh exercise sandals instead.

    I think you are on it. Just take your time getting back to where you want to be.

  • PhysioAdvisor Expert 36 posts since
    Aug 27, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Dec 7, 2009 8:25 PM (in response to Angel Kitty)
    Re: Bursitis on back of heel

    Check out the following link for detailed information on retrocalcaneal bursitis (bursitis at the back of the heel) including treatment:


    Retrocalcaneal Bursitis


    Hope that helps and good luck with recovery,



  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,290 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Dec 10, 2009 8:52 PM (in response to Angel Kitty)
    Re: Bursitis on back of heel

    I am wearing the Adidas Adissage right now. The Kenkohs are supposed to be better, but are almost identical. I just have a problem with my athletic feet tearing all the little rubber nubbies off. I had one pair of Adidas several years ago that held up... seems it had a different rubber formula in it, but I just buy more cuz I like the look and the brand.

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