What is bursitis?

Bursaes are fluid filled sacks within the body and work to reduce pressure or friction of muscles and tendons at the bone and skin. They can also assist in helping movement at these areas. Bursaes are generally naturally occurring in these areas except for adventitious bursaes. When these bursaes become inflamed the condition is called bursitis. Very often bursitis can occur alongside other conditions (eg: neuroma), this then can alter the symptoms and treatment plan.


When bursitis occurs on the foot the symptoms can vary depending on the location eg between the heads of the bones or under the bony heads. However, people may describe the feeling as:

  • The feeling of walking on cotton wool
  • Heat, redness, warmth and pain in a specific area of the foot
  • Certain foot movements and activities may be painful


As the locations and type of bursitis can vary so to can the causes, however generally bursitis can occur because of pressure or friction. The pressure or friction may be long and sustained due to footwear or foot biomechanics or it can be a one off incident.


The priority of treatment is to address the underlying causes. The podiatrists at the Northern Foot Clinic may do this by assisting you with footwear advice, assessing foot mechanics, foot strengthening, foot mobilisation and/or orthotic therapy. The inflamed area may then be treated with cold laser and/or ultrasound.

When booking: Please bring the 2-3 pairs of shoes you spend the most time wearing.