Calcaneal Brusitis / Heel Bursitis / Heel Pain
Plantar calcaneal bursitis usually presents as a dull ache in the centre of the undersurface of the heel. It usually occurs in conjunction with plantar fasciitis.
Calcaneal bursitis is not to be confused with other conditions that cause heel pain such as plantar fasciitis, bruised heels / fat pad consusions or calcaneal stress fractures. These conditions will all cause pain in the heel.
The plantar cancaneal bursa sits on the bottom of the heel between the plantar fascia and the calcaneus (heel bone). It is a small fluid filled sack that distorts with pressure. Its main function is to prevent the plantar fascia from rubbing directly on the underside of the calcaneus.
When the foot pronation">over pronates this causes increased tension in the plantar fascia.
Plantar calcaneal bursitis occurs when there is increased tension in the plantar fascia that forces the plantar calcaneal bursa into the underside of the foot. With the repetition of walking and running the plantar bursa becomes inflamed and painful.
Causes for Calcaneal Brusitis include mechanical abnormalities of the foot (over pronation) and poor footwear.
Treatment for Calcaneal Brusitis includes avoiding aggravating activities such as running, controlling the mechanics of the foot (with a soft supportive orthotic) and cushioning the heel. If the pain persists with the above treatment a cortisone injection into the plantar bursa will help with pain relief. Plantar fascia massage will also help to relieve the pressure on the plantar calcaneal bursa.
Orthotics that can help to relieve and prevent Calcaneal Brusitis can be found below.