Achilles Bursitis


A bursa is a sac of synovial fluid, rich in protein and collagen, that lies between a tendon and a bone to help the tendon glide smoothly over the bone. There are 2 bursae that surround the Achilles tendon to protect it from friction. The retrocalcaneal bursa lies between the tendon and the back, or posterior surface, of the heel bone (calcaneus). This is a "true" bursa that is present from birth. It acts as a cushion between these two structures to protect the tendon from friction against the heel bone.

The larger subcutaneous calcaneal bursa lies overtop of the tendon at the lower part of the heel where the tendon joins to the heel bone. This bursa develops as you age, an "adventitious" bursa, to protect the tendon from friction at the back of the heel.

Bursitis occurs when a bursa is irritated from frequent pressure and it becomes inflamed. When one or both of these bursa become inflamed it is generally referred to as Achilles bursitis because of the bursa's proximity to the Achilles tendon. In some cases, an inflamed bursa can become infected with bacteria (referred to as septic bursitis) and it is necessary to see a doctor to get rid of the infection.

Achilles Bursitis pain and inflammation can be treated naturally

Due to the proximity to the area on the Achilles tendon, Achilles bursitis is often mistaken for tendinitis. Achilles bursitis is a common overuse injury in runners, ice skaters and other athletes.


Symptoms of Achilles Bursitis

When you suffer from Achilles bursitis it will be most noticeable when you begin an activity after rest:

High heels can add pressure on the retrocalcaneal bursa, subcutaneous calcaneal bursa, and Achilles tendon.
  • Pain at the back of the heel, especially with jumping, hopping, tip-toeing, walking or running uphill or on soft surfaces. If tendonitis is also present, the pain can radiate away from the bursa.
  • Direct pressure on the bursa will exacerbate the pain and should be avoided if possible.
  • Tenderness and swelling which might make it difficult to wear certain shoes on the feet.
  • As the bursa becomes more inflamed you will experience swelling and warmth. In severe cases, the bursa will appear as a bump, called a "pump bump", and is usually red, and extremely tender. Swelling can cause difficulties moving as the range of motion in the ankle can be affected.
  • Limping due to the pain may occur
  • If you press on both sides of the inflamed heel, there may be a firm spongy feeling.
  • Weakness in the tendons and muscles surrounding the bursa can develop as the pain worsens and the inflammation in the area spreads.
  • Possibly a fever if you are suffering from septic bursitis (You will need to see a doctor for medication to get rid of the infection).
  • For individuals who wear high-heeled shoes frequently, they may also feel an increase in pain when they are wearing flat shoes. When wearing high-heels, the calf muscles and Achilles tendon remain in a shortened position. When flat shoes are worn it causes the calf muscles and Achilles tendon to stretch more than usual causing the tendon to tighten around the heel bone causing irritation.

Achilles Bursitis Causes

  • Tight shoes or shoes that do not fit properly can cause extra pressure on the back of the heel.
  • Athletes overtraining or runners increasing their distance to quickly.
  • Haglund deformity, a bony enlargement on the back of the heel bone, during dorsiflexion causes an impingement of the bursa between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone.


Bursitis Treatments

Tight or improperly fitted footware can add pressure to the Achilles tendon, subcutaneous calcaneal bursa, and retrocalcaneal bursa cause irritation which can lead to Achilles bursitis.

Relieving the symptoms of bursitis initially focuses on taking the pressure off the bursa. This can be done with proper cushioning, inserts, or footwear but may require surgery if it is a bone formation problem (i.e. Haglund's Deformity). If your bursitis is caused by an infection (septic bursitis), the doctor will probably drain the bursa sac with a needle and perscribe antibiotics to treat the infection.

For non-infectious bursitis, the preliminary treatment starts with conservative treatment options (click to view). Surgery to remove the inflamed bursa is normally not required for bursitis, however if you fail to see improvement with the conservative treatments, your physician may recommend surgery to remove the bursa completely. Although this removes the problem of an inflamed bursa, you are left with less cushioning in your joint which can lead to other conditions such as fraying of the tendons, muscles or ligaments in the treated area. Eventually, fraying can lead to increasing weakness and rupture in severe cases. click here to view more information about surgical recovery.

Some conservative treatment examples include:

  • Rest - This is important for initial recovery for both Midpoint and Insertional Achilles Tendonitis; rest and elevation will help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation in the early stages of injury. This can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting and elevating your foot whenever you can is recommended. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that put stress on your Achilles tendon until your pain and inflammation settles. Too much rest can also be harmful to achilles injuries because ankle joint immobility can actually cause stiffening in the joint. This is why rest should be used when reducing initial pain and swelling, but should not be considered for more long-term conservative treatment.
  • Increase blood flow to your achilles tendon injury.
  • Avoid Activities that Caused Your Injury - While resting your injury it's also important to avoid all activities that may have caused your tissue damage (especially any repetitive movement). Continuing on with regular activities can increase the severity of your injury, turning a mild to moderate case of tendon damage into a downward spiral of worsening damage that may eventually severely impact your life. Also, trying to 'work around' your injury will eventually give rise to over-compensation injuries in other areas of your body.
  • Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack - Cold is very effective at reducing pain and inflammation - use at the onset of the injury and during flareups.
  • Use Circulation Boost (T•Shellz Wrap®) - after swelling and inflammation has been reduced. You can use your own blood flow to maximize your rehabilitation, maintain healthy blood flow to your achilles and heel, decrease recovery time, and boost the bodys healing rate. Promoting blood flow to your achilles will help to minimize the growth of scar tissue, increase flexibility and help prevent atrophy.
  • Rehabilitative Stretching under supervision of a PT or doctor. The intent of this is to provide you with increased range of motion, pain relief and strengthening of the surrounding tissue of the joint. Doctors or surgeons typically won't perform a surgery until they feel that their patient has put effort into treating their injury with conservative treatment methods. This may include up to 4 to 6 months of visits to a PT clinic. If you haven't experienced any improvement in your condition during that time then surgery may be considered. Agressive PT approaches may focus on forced or manual manipulation of the achilles - this means your physical therapists will be trying to move your achilles past the point of comfort as they strive to increase range of motion and prevent further atrophy. This can be painful and end up making your injury worse if not done correctly. (reference: 1)
  • Stretching - Stretching your joint in PT and at home will help you to regain your range of motion much faster than not stretching at all. Stretching in many ways is key maintaining good Range of Motion (ROM) in your joint, and stretching can be made much easier with use of a T•Shellz Wrap® before to warm up soft tissue, and a Cold Compress or Ice Pack treatment after to prevent any return of swelling and inflammation.



The most important factor in healing bursitis is resting your ankle. This can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting and elevating your foot whenever you can is recommended. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that stress your bursa until your pain and inflammation settle.

Treatments should involve decreasing swelling, relieving pain and stress on the ankle, correcting any biomechanical dysfunction (over-pronation or flat feet) and then restoring strength and movement in your ankle. If you are performing an activity that could cause further trauma to the bursa, it is recommended that you protect the area with padding and/or proper footwear to prevent further irritation or damage.


Cold Compression

For years, doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, and after any re-injury.

Cold Compression works by stopping and slowing nerve and tissue function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue begins to break-down. Without cold compression, damage continues as tissues break-down - they cannot get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your Achilles Tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur.

Cooling the bursa as needed throughout the day, for approximately 15 - 20 minutes at a time, is recommended. Applying cold is the first step in treating your bursitis.


The T•Shellz Wrap®

Once the inflammation of your bursitis has been reduced with an ice pack or cold compress, it is time to help the body boost its healing process through use of the Achilles TShellz Wrap.

Unfortunately, when you are suffering from bursitis in your retrocalcaneal bursa and/or subcutaneous calcaneal bursa it is painful to walk and move your foot normally. When you limit movement in your foot the blood flow is reduced, starving your tissue of the necessary oxygen and nutrients. The trick is to find a way to increase blood flow without causing pain and/or further inflaming the bursae. This is where the T•Shellz Wrap® comes in, helping improve the elasticity of the achilles tendon as well as surrounding soft tissue. Further to this, your injury area will receive a magnified increase in blood flow which will flush toxins that always build up around a soft tissue injury and introduce more nutrients (its in the blood!) to damaged tissues so they can heal at an accelerated rate. We guarantee that this will get your bursae and/or Achilles tendon back to normal fast.

Circulatory Boost compliments your body's natural healing process by promoting the flow of blood to your foot while you give it the rest it needs.

This is why the T•Shellz Wrap®is such an important tool. The whole purpose of the wrap is to provide localized heat while also significantly increasing blood flow to tissue in the treatment area. The result of this is as follows:

  • Blood vessels within the treatment area relax and naturally expand (this is termed "vasodilation") permitting more blood flow to reach the very tissues you are trying to heal.
  • When tissue temperature increases, the tissues increase both in length and flexiblity. Elongated and flexible tissue is less likely to strain and tear, so your risk of further injury and/or reinjury is reduced when this occurs. Less injury during recovery means 1) your recovery will be streamlined and not sidelined due to recurring injury, and 2) less re-injury will mean less scar tissue should grow in the area.
  • Enhanced blood flow benefits tissue in a number of ways: 1) It is likely to clear the area of toxins and excess fluid build up more quickly, thereby reducing inflammation and 2) Scar tissue can form in areas that are starved for blood flow - an enhanced blood flow is more likely to reduce such occurrences.

Increased Blood Circulation = Increased Healing Capability


T•Shellz Wraps® contain a unique Carbon Fiber Energy Pad which is flexible and will shape to conform to your body. This Energy Pad emits a uniform wave of perfectly safe energy over its entire surface. This energy is absorbed by soft tissue in the treatment area, opening blood vessels, resulting in an increase in blood flow. Increased blood circulation is what your body needs to accelerate the healing of soft tissue and this is why we recommend the T•Shellz Wrap®.

The Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® is an FDA Registered Medical Device and is suitable for use in therapeutic clinics and FROM HOME. It is completely safe for people and patients to use for themselves.

The technology found in a T•Shellz Wrap® has been used for decades in the worlds of professional and amateur sports - a contributing factor as to why athletes seem to recover from injuries so quickly.

Have you ever wondered by an athlete can return to activity after 3 to 6 weeks following a foot injury - while your average person takes much longer to return back to normal? The secret isn't really that much of a secret - it involves consistent treatments (meaning multiple times a day) using a treatment like the T•Shellz Wrap® to stimulate blood flow to the injured tissues. Most athletes have the luxury of using in-house facilities many times per day.

How many us can afford the time and money to visit a clinic multiple times a day? Very few indeed. This is how you can gain some of the advantages that athletes enjoy in their injury recovery - by using a device like the T•Shellz Wrap® two or three times a day on a consistent basis.


Consistent Treatments = Consistent And Long Term Improvement



What Else Makes the Achilles T•Shellz Wrap® So Special?

We believe the T•Shellz Wrap® to be one of the most effective home treatments to increase localized blood flow to soft tissue in and around the treatment area.

We can promise that you will receive a product that is designed to be safe and does what it is supposed to do... reduce pain (as stated in "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin) temporarily increase length & flexibility of soft tissue (as stated in "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin) and aid your body in recovering from tendon, muscle and other soft tissue injuries via enhanced blood flow.

The unit plugs into a standard wall outlet to get its power. The nice thing about the power supply is that the same unit can be used in North America and overseas as well. It has the capability to operate between 110v and 230v.

The T•Shellz Wrap® has a special signal controller that can be set for 3 different power levels of application (3=High, 2=Medium, 1=Low). The cord is long enough that you can sit or lie comfortably and watch TV, read or surf the net while you're using it.

Treatments are max 30 minutes in duration and the device can be worn over clothing. This allows you to use the device at work, at home, or really anywhere you have access to an electrical outlet.

achilles T•Shellz Wrap

Conservative Treatment Tools Our Clients Have Used to Help
Limit Achilles Damage & Boost The Body's Soft Tissue Repair Process at Home:

  • A Cold Compress or Ice Pack to reduce inflammation wherever there is pain and/or swelling (as soon as possible).
  • An Achilles TShellz Wrap to increase blood-flow to the treatment area (Circulatory Boost).
  • MendMeShop Arnica Pain Cream for temporary relief of pain due to sore muscles and joints.
  • An Exercise & Stretching Plan to prevent muscle atrophy and shortened tendons in the leg. A proper plan will increase elasticity and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the ankle, calf, knee, and upper leg.

Conservative treatment tools just like these have been used successfully by thousands of soft tissue injury sufferers - just like you.




T•Shellz Wrap® = Enhanced Blood Flow in the Treatment Area

We believe the use of T•Shellz Wraps® for boosting blood flow to soft tissue in the area of application is one of the most under-utilized home treatment options available on the market today. We have client after client that have tried many options out there and have been amazed at how effective and fast the TShellz Wrap treatment can relieve pain and increase blood flow in the treatment area.

*With regular use of the Achilles TShellz Wrap:

  • Your pain will be reduced*.
  • Due to increased blood flow, soft tissue in the treatment area will be expected to recover at an accelerated rate with reduced potential for re-injury.
  • Tissue in the treated area should experience a larger range of motion and increased extensibility of collagen tissue* due to the heat effect on soft tissue. This should translate into a reduced rate of re-injury occurrence as soft tissue is known to lengthen and become more flexible when exposed to warm temperature. (*Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. (amazon.com link - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)

*Know that every personal soft tissue injury is unique and the TShellz Wrap may not work for everyone. This is why we offer a 60-day money back return on all our TShellz Wrap devices.

With dedication, the right tools, and the right information - you will achieve your goal of a sustainable recovery. A combination approach of cold, deep heat, and functional movements will make it happen much more quickly.

In our experience, soft tissue repair rates via conservative home treatment methods using a dedicated, comprehensive approach have surprised many of our clients, but will differ from person to person. In nearly all cases, however, it is very important to stop whatever you were doing that created the injury in the first place (ie. running, jumping, climbing stairs).


Learn More About Achilles Injuries & Treatments

I want to learn more about Achilles Surgery & Post-Surgery Recovery

I want to learn more about Circulation Boost

I want to learn more about Ice & Heat: Which Is Better For The Achilles?

I want to learn more about Stretching for the Achilles

I want to learn more about Achilles Injury Treatments


During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition.


 
 

Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they're right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Always see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are often many injuries and conditions (some very serious) that could be the cause of your pain.


© 2021 In.Genu Design Group, Inc.