Causes of Bursitis

The feet are subjected to ongoing stress when walking and doing other activities on unfriendly surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, and hard floors. This foot stress is often exacerbated by poorly designed and fitted shoes. The effects of pressure, impact and shear force can damage the feet over time. The body’s response to this damage is to create a bursa that protects weight-bearing and joint areas. Many times, the bursa itself becomes inflamed.

A common condition that can cause bursitis in the heel area is Haglund’s deformity, a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. In this condition, the soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs against shoes, especially the rigid heel counters of high heel pumps. Haglund’s deformity is often called “pump bump,” and it generally affects women.

Other causes of bursitis include a direct blow or other injury to a foot joint, acute or chronic infection, arthritis and gout.  Risk of bursitis increases with participation in the following:

  • competitive athletics, particularly contact sports
  • a previous history of bursitis in any joint
  • exposure to cold weather
  • poor conditioning
  • inadequate warming up and stretching

More About Bursitis

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