Bursitis - Another Look

Last year we talked a little about heel pain and that brought up the topic of bursitis. Here’s a quick recap of that article:

  • Bursae are fluid filled sacs around the body that help muscles and tendons move smoothly over one another
  • When these bursae become inflamed it is called Bursitis and results in heel or foot pain
  • Bursitis is caused mainly through repeated misuse of the same area of the body but other factors such as inflammatory diseases might also be a factor
  • If the pain persists for more than a week or goes away and then comes back, you need to see your podiatrist

READ MORE: Heel Pain

While bursitis is a common cause of heel pain, it can cause pain in other places as well. The metatarsal bursa is located on the pad of your foot just under your toes and takes a lot of the weight of your everyday movements. If more strain is put on one toe than another, this can inflame the metatarsal bursa and cause pain. Pain from the metatarsal bursa will be noticeably worse if you are standing with bare feet on a hard floor.

The intermetatarsal bursa is located between the toes and can cause shooting pain through the top of the foot starting at the toes. Bursitis here can be caused by wearing improperly fitting shoes that squeeze your toes together or it can occur naturally as we age. As we grow older, the arches of our feet begin to weaken and fall putting more pressure on our toes. As this happens, bursitis can develop. Wearing shoes with wide toe boxes and good arch support can help avoid and relieve this pain.

The metatarsophalangeal bursa is located on the inner side of your foot next to your big toe. This is a common place for bursitis since friction from shoes is common on this part of the foot. Preexisting bunions in the same area can exacerbate inflammation of the metatarsophalangeal bursa. If the pain persists, you could end up having a very hard time finding comfortable shoes.

Bursitis of any kind can be recognized by pain, swelling, and redness. If you have these symptoms in any part of your foot (not just your heel) come and see us at the FAAWC. When left untreated, bursitis can become chronic and lead to other foot health issues down the road. Luckily, there are lots of treatment options and they are fairly simple. Your podiatrist will make a customized treatment plan for you and get you back on your feet in no time with no inflammation and no pain. What could be better than that?!

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