Condition #9: Achilles Tendinitis
What is it?
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or disease, and often causes swelling, pain, or irritation.
What causes it?
Tendons attach a muscle to a bone. (Ligaments run from one bone to another bone.) When a tendon is overly stressed, usually as a result of poor biomechanics coupled with increased mileage, a tendon can become inflamed. When the bones cannot stabilize properly, the muscles in the foot and leg try to make up the difference by working too hard for too long. Each muscle is designed to contract and relax while walking and running. Contracting for too long puts excess stress on the tendon and the sheath causing inflammation and pain. Severe trauma may cause tendon rupturing.
Signs & Symptoms
- Morning pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon
- Pain along the tendon or back of the heel made worse by activity
- Severe pain the following day after exercising
- Persistent swelling that worsens throughout the day with activity
- A sudden “pop” in the back of your calf or heel (possibly a ruptured/torn tendon)
Treatment & Prevention
- Treatment involves reducing the stress on the tendon by controlling the amount of pronation the foot goes through and elevating the heel. This is accomplished with the use of an orthotic. Controlling mechanics of the feet with an orthotic is essential in alleviating the symptoms
- Occasionally cortisone injections are also used.
- Rest, ice, massage and NSAIDs will also help to reduce the inflammation associated with tendonitis.
- Flexibility is also very important.
Your Chiropodist is a trained professional who can help you with a condition like Achilles Tendinitis – and other related foot conditions that are causing you pain and stopping you from enjoying life! Talk toyour Chiropodist today!