There are several treatment and remedial measures that you can take if you are suffering from bursitis heel. Some of these steps you can practice while at home and some treatments could be prescribed to you by a doctor. Let’s take a look at some of the various forms of bursitis heel treatment that you can try at home as well as some activities that you can be prescribed by your doctor.
Bursitis Heel Treatment: What can you do at home?
1. Wear Comfortable Shoes
The first thing that you can try for your DIY bursitis heel treatment is to start wearing comfortable shoes. Instead of walking around in tight and stiff work shoes, try and give some relaxation to your heel by shifting to softer and more relaxing footwear.
Some shoes are specifically designed for orthotics that may be prescribed to you by your doctor later on but for starters, you should make some minor changes like shifting to loafers, or sandals.
2. Rest and Raise the Area
A passive treatment that you can administer is to periodically rest your heel. Constant and unabated exertion may worsen the condition, so it is imperative that you take care to give your heel some more rest.
Similarly, another practice that you can adopt is to raise your foot when resting it. It is necessary to keep your foot elevated at all times but it is most beneficial to do so when you are going to bed. If you happen to be sitting somewhere, then you can easily prop up your foot on a stool or a chair. By merely flexing your toes, you can create a positive flow towards the heart. When you go to bed, you can keep your foot elevated by placing some pillows underneath. Keeping the foot elevated helps in reducing inflammation, and it is a passive treatment that you can resort to help recover quickly.
3. Ice the Area
This is another remedy that you can try out at home. Icing the afflicted part can help reduce inflammation. Since swelling and inflammation is the crux of bursitis heel, it should be actively countered and remedied.
The simplest method you can adopt is to use ice packs on your heel. Alternatively, you could fill a small container with ice and rest your foot in it. This would be easier since you won’t have to constantly hold the packet.
Treating Bursitis Heel: Doctor-Prescribed Treatments
One of the most basic things that a doctor can prescribe to a patient suffering from bursitis heel. Orthotics are insertions that can be put into the shoe to manage the ground forces acting on the foot.
Orthotics are a good measure to adopt when treating bursitis heel. As a long-term remedy, orthotics can help to alter the skeletal structure of your foot. But for treating bursitis heel, it can help give support to the points where it is necessary.
2. Stretching exercises & physical therapy
Another thing that your doctor can prescribe is stretching and physical exercises. As mentioned before, keeping the affected foot elevated is a great passive remedy since it helps facilitate better blood flow towards the heart. If you find that hard to do, you can just flex your toes.
3. Topical medication
Topical medication such as creams (containing Ibuprofen or Diclofenac) and ointments can also help. There are different topical medications that your doctor may prescribe to you that you should apply to the effected part as per their instructions. You may be instructed to apply once a day, twice a day or even once every hour.
Aspiration, in the medical context, means using a fine needle to drain fluid from a certain cyst or sac. Since the swelling up of the bursa is due to the collection of pus, its removal is a good way to treat bursitis heel.
The doctor may resort to this procedure depending on the stage at which your condition is. The process will involve the insertion of a small needle in the heel, which will then be used to suck out the pus. Aspiration is a quick way to drain the matter filling up the bursa. Medications and injections can help in reducing the inflammation but methods such as aspiration can reduce the swelling much more rapidly.
5. Corticosteroid injections
Corticosteroid Injections are another way to treat bursitis heel. Corticosteroid drugs are used to lower and decrease inflammation. Instead of applying topical medications or taking medicines orally, you could have some injections administered. Injections are more effective as they go directly into the bloodstream rather than getting absorbed via the stomach.
However, patients may object to these injections, and it is up to their discretion to resort to this remedy or not. Certain ingredients in these injections may prove to be harmful which is why other forms of treatment are given preference.
Ultrasound is typically used as a diagnostic technique. But it can also be used to treat bursitis heel due to the anti-inflammatory properties of LIUS (Low-Intensity UltraSound). Any treatment which requires the reduction of inflammation can be subjected to ultrasound treatment. Hence, bursitis heel can also be treated using this technique.
This method does not drastically or rapidly eliminate the swelling as is the case with surgical procedures. You may have to make repeated trips to the doctor if you are sticking to this treatment.
Apart from surgical procedures and topical medications, your doctor can also prescribe some antibiotics to be taken orally. Oral usage is the most common form of administering medication, and it is what people will most likely be inclined to since there are some complications in the other, unorthodox processes such as injections.
However, care should be taken that the patient does not negatively react to certain antibiotics. Different people can have different sorts of adverse reactions to certain antibiotics.
If your doctor deems it necessary, he can also advise you to undergo surgery to treat your bursitis heel. Although the process of aspiration also categorically classifies as a surgical process, there can be some other techniques that your doctor can adopt. The main purpose of all these surgical processes would be to drain the bursa.
That can happen via the process of Aspiration, but in case your condition is complicated and unusual, your doctor may perform some other surgical procedure which involves making a minor incision to drain the fluid.
1. How long does it take for heel bursitis to heal?
Ans. According to multiple sources, bursitis heel is seen to heal in a matter of weeks, or even days if the care is meticulous enough. By properly taking care of your affliction and acting on the advice of your doctor, you can create the means for your condition to heal rapidly. The steps you can take for quick recovery are listed above such as keeping the heel elevated, icing it and wearing comfortable shoes.
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