Restoring Your Protective Layers

Bubble wrap is an incredible substance for protecting objects from bouncing and jostling. The air-filled sacs act as a buffer and absorb the majority of the impact put on whatever you’re trying to protect. Your body actually has its own type of bubble wrap made from fluid-filled sacs—the bursae—that protect your different tissues. These allow your muscles, connectors, and bones to move over each other without too much friction and protect them from pressure. Like other tissues, however, these protective structures can take on damage and cause you pain.

Inflamed Bubbles

Bursitis is the uncomfortable irritation of the bursa. It’s commonly caused by overuse or repeated impacts, though infections, arthritis, breakdown from aging, and sudden injuries can also cause it. You have one naturally occurring bursa in your foot, located between your Achilles tendon and your heel bone. However, your foot can develop additional bursae in other areas as well in response to repeated high pressure. Some of the most common places include the first joint of the big toe, the first joints of the second or fifth toes, the underside of the heel, and in the ankle area.

If you have developed bursitis, the affected area tends to feel achy or stiff. Often the discomfort increases if you move around or press on the painful spot. Sometimes it looks swollen and red from the outside. As an overuse injury, this doesn’t get better without intentional intervention. Fortunately, conservative treatments tend to be very effective for this condition.

Eliminating Bursitis Pain

Since every movement you make continues to irritate the inflamed sac, it may not be able to heal on its own. Dr. Noah Levine will evaluate your affected foot to determine the exact source of your discomfort and rule out other possible causes. We may need diagnostic images to get a clearer picture of what is happening inside your foot. Once the extent of your bursitis is determined, we can work with you to develop an effective treatment plan that fits your lifestyle.

Resting and removing the strain from the affected bursa is key to eliminating the discomfort. Icing the area can help reduce swelling and bring down the irritation. Use cushioned and supportive footwear to relieve some of the pressure on the feet. You may need orthotics to provide that additional padding and stabilization. Some medications can also help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Physical therapy can build up your foot muscles so you are better supported as well. Surgery to drain or remove the bursa is extremely rare and reserved for persistent cases that do not respond to conservative measures.

Bursitis can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to control your life or your activities. The inflammation of those protective tissues can be eliminated or reduced through conservative treatments. If you’re experiencing sharp or aching pains in your feet, don’t ignore it. The problem only becomes harder to treat the longer it is allowed to worsen. Instead, contact the experts at Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas and take care of your feet and ankles. Call (702) 839-2010 or visit our online contact page for more information or to request an appointment.