More common than you might think, bursitis foot pain may affect up to 42% of adults at any one time. If you have it, all you want is relief from the pain it causes, especially during walking or running. Getting relief from bursitis in your foot will have a big impact on your daily activities and quality of life, so don't wait to start treating it.
The Basics ---
- Your foot has a bursa, the fluid-filled sac that shields bones and tendons from damage. If your bursa becomes inflamed, a condition known as bursitis, you could have pain, swelling and bruising in your foot.
- Common causes of bursitis are overuse injuries, ill-fitting footwear and biomechanical irregularities in the foot.
- To manage bursitis, incorporate rest, ice, elevation and stretching into your routine. High-quality footwear that fits well, coupled with insoles that support and cushion the heels and arches of your feet will help relieve your foot bursitis pain.
- We recommend Tread Labs Pace insoles to help relieve and prevent bursitis of the foot. Pace are part of the Pain Relief series and offer firm, flexible arch support.
What You Need To Know ---
What Is A Bursa?
If the bursa in your foot becomes inflamed from overuse or injury, you may experience pain, swelling, or bruising in your heel, arch, or metatarsal area (ball of foot).
What Does Foot Bursitis Feel Like?
- Heel, arch, or metatarsal pain
- Redness or warmth anywhere on the bottom of your foot
- Swelling of the heel or arch
- Pain that is worse when you flex your toes or bend your foot
- Tenderness that increases upon touch
What Causes Bursitis?
Overuse Injuries Can Cause Bursitis In Foot
Repetitive activities like jumping, dancing, power walking, or running can lead to foot bursitis. This can be especially true if you don’t take the time to stretch and warm-up your body—especially your feet—prior to exercise. Always spend time stretching your body and feet prior to athletic activities to ensure your muscles and tendons are warmed up, with proper blood flow and oxygen.
If you are not accustomed to strenuous activity, take things slowly when you first begin a new exercise regimen. While you may (and should) be enthusiastic about your healthy new routine, your body needs time to adjust to the new demands. Pacing yourself in the beginning is an important step in becoming fit and avoiding injury.
Ill-fitting footwear is another culprit when it comes to bursitis. If you regularly run, jump, dance, or spend many hours at a time on your feet, be sure your footwear has:
- A wide, square toe box
- Good heel and arch support
- Proper cushioning
- Arch support that matches the contours of your feet
Biomechanical Irregularities In The Foot
Sometimes, bursitis foot pain can be caused by an existing foot irregularity, like Haglund’s deformity—a bone spur that can develop on the heel. The bursa can become inflamed as it tries to cushion the heel and the spur from impact.
Other conditions that may cause or contribute to bursitis include problems with thyroid levels, infections, arthritis, or diabetes. These medical conditions can be life-threatening if left untreated, so it is important to see a physician if you have symptoms of bursitis in your foot.
How is Bursitis of the Foot Diagnosed?
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, you can expect your doctor to ask questions about what type of exercise you do, what type of sports you participate in, and whether your job involves standing and/or repetitive motion.
To rule out an underlying illness, injury, deformity, or bone fracture, your doctor may order an X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, or blood work. If they suspect an infection, they may remove some fluid from the bursa to test it for gout. Depending on the condition your doctor finds, they may refer you to a rheumatologist, orthopedist, or podiatrist.
How Do You Treat Foot Bursitis?
- Rest your foot whenever you experience pain.
- Ice the affected area for 20 minutes every hour.
- Elevate your foot when sitting or lying down.
- Avoid activities that involve running or jumping until your foot improves.
- Consider a weight management program if you are overweight. This will help you get fit and reduce the amount of pressure on your feet when you walk or run.
- Undertake new athletic activities slowly working up to your goal-levels a little at a time.
- Take time to stretch the muscles and tendons in your feet and Achilles prior to undertaking any strenuous physical activity, including running, dancing, jumping, standing for a long time, or speed-walking.
- Wear quality footwear that fits properly and supports your heels and arches. If the heels of your shoes are worn down, replace them. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends wearing padded socks made from synthetic fabric.
- Consider foot surgery if all other remedies have been tried and your bursitis pain does not go away.
- Use insoles that support and cushion the heels and arches of your feet.
If you're an athlete suffering from bursitis in your foot, you're not alone. Foot bursitis is especially common among runners. Start by cutting back on your training until the pain goes away. You'll also want to incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine, with particular focus on your Achilles tendon.
Can Insoles Help Foot Bursitis?
You'll get the most out of your footwear by replacing the factory inserts that come in your shoes with firm, supportive insoles. To get the most out of the arch support insoles you're adding to your shoes, look for ones that:
- Come in multiple arch heights. Arches vary in height, and for an arch support insole to work, it needs to mimic the contours of your feet. That's why one size fits all arch supports don't work. Find insoles that come in your arch height.
- Offer medical-grade support. The cushioned or gel ones might feel good at first, but they just don't offer the firm support you need for long-term pain relief and prevention.
- Are built to last. Just about all insoles come in one piece, with the arch support and top cover as one. That means when the top cover wears out, you have to replace the entire insole. It's not friendly on your wallet, and it's not friendly to reducing waste. Tread Labs insoles feature a unique two-part system that allows you to replace your top covers whenever you need, while keeping your arch support for life.
Podiatrists recommend firm support to improve alignment, control pronation, and deliver long-term comfort. Insoles are a small investment in good lifelong foot health. Add them to your footwear and reap the benefits.
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