Survey says…..Retrocalcaneal Bursitis, say that 3 times.

I probably made one of the smartest decisions I’ve made in quite some time. You may remember I told you that my heel was giving me some issues. It was actually hurting in the area of the ankle as if my shoe had rubbed a blister. To be perfectly honest I had convinced myself that my new PureFlow 5’s had rubbed my ankle and that a blister was about to pop up but I’ve worn them for about 200 miles already so that hardly seemed likely.

PureFlow 5

…. besides, look at how beautiful they are….

In the past few months I’ve worked really hard to build my mileage up to around 150 miles a month. It’s nowhere near where I’d like to be or where I was before but I was making real progress. I was starting to see light at the end of the tunnel and really working on a solution for my migraines and it was working because I hadn’t had any other injuries or pain.

That’s where the smart decision comes in. Yesterday I went out for a six mile run. I didn’t have any real pain just an occasional tingle in the back of my ankle as I pushed off with my left foot. I wore my Brooks Glycerin 13’s instead of my PureFlow 5’s and they seemed to feel better.

Just after the fifth mile I heard a car screeching and then a loud bang. By the time I looked up to see what the car hit it was only a few feet from me. I was on my second loop so I was in front of my house which was good because I had to jump into my driveway to avoid getting hit. I was too stunned to notice that it was a neighbor from down the street and I kept running for a few hundred feet to see exactly what the car hit. Lucky for them it was only a mailbox and a small tree. I would love to say they probably learned their lesson but after finding out who it was, I highly doubt it.  I’m just glad I’m still in one piece.

Anyway, I decided to end the run and go home. I walked the dogs and only then did I realize my heel felt like my shoe was rubbing it again. I took my shoes off when I got home and an hour later I noticed the back of my heel was red. I resisted the temptation to google it and called my doctor, (who coincidentally was a sprinter in college and is also a runner.)

Dr. Google

I called my real doctor, not Dr. Google.

Probable Diagnosis: Retrocalcaneal Bursitis, swelling of the bursa at the back of the heel bone. It’s closely related to Achilles Tendinitis which I’ve had before, so it made sense.

Symptoms:  Pain the heel and especially when walking or running, pain rising on the toes, red warm skin on the back of your heel.

Treatment: The RICE Method. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, No running for at least a week and then slowly ease back in.

I may also need better heel support in my shoes. If it isn’t better in a week I am going to see the doctor and we’ll do whatever we need to do in order to completely heal it.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not all that bad and for the first time, I can honestly say, I don’t mind taking some time off. I’m going to work on my strength training and balance issues and I’m quite proud of myself for not continuing to run on it even though it wasn’t really all that painful.  I think I’ve become a smarter runner.

If you need me, I’ll be here…



When is the last time you took some time off?
Was it because of an injury and what type of injury was it?

8 thoughts on “Survey says…..Retrocalcaneal Bursitis, say that 3 times.

  1. Hi, had something similar with my heel for the past few months. It turns out that the muscles and tissues of the lower leg are the first to deteriorate as we age. Has something to do with lack of blood flow down there. This is why we slow down as we age because we can’t push off as fast. It sucks big time. Anyway, wanted to share what worked for me. First, stay away from hills as these really seem to aggravate the Achilles and bursa. Second, start doing those toe grabbing exercises where they tell you to try and grab a towel with your toes. I don’t actually use the towel but have been doing 20 on each foot. This stretches and strengthens all of those muscles. Third, I changed my shoes to a model that was specifically designed for Achilles issues. The back of these shoes are rigid, almost feels like there is a piece of metal in there. I tried Asics gel nimbus 17 and in the description they talk about “heel clutching system”. These really worked for me.
    Hope this helps and I hope you feel better soon. Karen

    • Thank you thank you thank you! Seriously. And the weirdest part of all is that my doctor suggested going back to Asics because I wore the cumulus and the nimbus for years with no problems and she thought the support would be good for me. I’m adding the towel grabbing exercises immediately Thank you! 🙂

  2. Ugh I hate injuries. hate. hate. hate. Probably cuz i rarely get them…so when i do get them, i fckn hate them to death.

    but you should be relieved…..anything with RICE as treatment is a great sign.

    heels crossed you get better asap.

    • Awe, thanks doll. I thought I had found a way to keep myself injury free since it had been well over a year since i had any problems but never say never…at least I’m learning to take time off and the dogs are loving it! 🙂

  3. I thought it sounded like you had achilles pain. I’m glad you decided to rest it.

    I usually take time off whenever it’s below 60 hahaha Or an injury. Which was just a month ago.

    • I was so hoping it was just an impending blister but then I remembered I never get blisters only injuries, 😛 but for the first time ever, I’m looking forward to the rest 🙂

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