Retrocalcaneal bursitis is a condition in which the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac located at the back of the heel, becomes inflamed. The retrocalcaneal bursa sits between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone (calcaneus), and acts as a cushion to reduce friction and irritation between the two structures.
Retrocalcaneal bursitis, repetitive stress or overuse can cause the bursa to become irritated and inflamed. This can lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness at the back of the heel, which can be aggravated by activities such as walking, running, or jumping.
Other factors that may contribute to the development of retrocalcaneal bursitis include wearing shoes that don't fit properly, having a tight Achilles tendon, or having a foot deformity such as a flat foot or high arch. Treatment for retrocalcaneal bursitis may include rest, ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), stretching and strengthening exercises, and footwear modifications. In severe cases, corticosteroid injections or surgery may be necessary.
Treatment for retrocalcaneal bursitis typically involves a combination of rest, ice, physical therapy, and medication. Here are some common treatment options:
Rest and activity modification: Reducing activities that cause pain or irritation to the area can help relieve symptoms. Resting the affected area and avoiding activities that put pressure on the heel can help reduce inflammation and allow the bursa to heal.
Ice therapy: Applying ice to the affected area for 10-15 minutes several times a day can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Physical therapy: Stretching and strengthening exercises can help improve the flexibility and strength of the Achilles tendon and surrounding muscles, which can help reduce pressure on the bursa.
Medications: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid injection to reduce inflammation.
Footwear modifications: Wearing shoes with a cushioned heel and a soft sole can help reduce pressure on the heel and relieve symptoms.
Orthotics: In some cases, custom orthotic inserts may be recommended to help support the foot and reduce pressure on the heel.