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Home :: Foot Bursitis

Foot Bursitis

Inflammation of one of the bursas in the foot. Bursitis may vary in degree from mild irritation to an abscess formation that causes excruciating pain. The most significant bursas to become inflamed are in the heel bone, the achilles' tendon where it meets the heel bone, or the joint where the big toe meets the foot.


  • Foot bursas (soft sacs filled with lubricating fluid that facilitate motion in the foot).
  • Soft tissue surrounding the joints in the foot, including nerves, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels (both large vessels and capillaries), periosteum (the outside lining of bone) and muscles.


  • Direct blow or other injury to a foot joint.
  • Acute or chronic infection.
  • Arthritis.
  • Gout.
  • Unknown (frequently).

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain.
  • Tenderness.
  • Swelling.
  • Redness (sometimes) over the affected bursa.
  • Fever,if infection is present.
  • Restriction of motion of the foot.


Follow your doctor's instructions. Instructions are supplemental.

  • Use frequent ice massage. Fill a large styrofoam cup with water and freeze. Tear a small amount of foam from the top so ice protrudes. Massage firmly over the injured area in a circle about the size of a softball. Do this for 15 minutes at a time, 3 or 4 times a day, and before workouts or competition.
  • After 72 hours, apply heat instead of ice, if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers , heating pads or heat liniments or ointments.
  • Take Whirlpool treatments, if available.
  • Use crutches to prevent weight-bearing, if needed.
  • Elevate the foot above the level of the heart to reduce swelling and prevent accumulation of fluid. Use pillows for propping or elevate the foot of the bed.
  • Gentle massage will frequently provide comfort and decrease swelling.

Home Diet

Eat a well-balanced diet that includes extra protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk and eggs. Increase fiber and fluid intake to prevent constipation that may result from decreased activity. Your doctor may suggest vitamin and mineral supplements to promote healing.

Prevention Tips

Prevention is the best treatment for foot bursitis. The key to avoiding problems such as foot bursitis is to slowly increase the intensity of your exercise, vary the types of activities you perform, and try not to cycle between periods of activity and inactivity. Follow these guidelines to prevent foot bursitis or prevent the recurrence of foot bursitis:

  • Wear well-fitting athletic shoes for contact sports.
  • Warm up adequately before athletic practice or competition.
  • Wear warm socks in cold weather.
  • Allow ample warming up and cooling off time.
  • To prevent recurrence, continue to wear extra protection over the involved bursa in the fool until healing is complete.
  • Monitor yourself daily for signs of fatigue. If fatigued, give yourself a break for the day.
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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.