When it comes to prevention and mitigation of any of these injuries, stretching, arch support, and supportive shoes can help.
Achilles tendonitis is the most common cause of heel pain at the back of the heel and extending up the ankle. This is often caused by overuse and sometimes by degeneration, like Plantar Fasciitis. Our Achilles tendon is by far the largest one in the body. This tendon connects two calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run, and jump.
The Achilles tendon’s tendonitis can be classified into two types depending on the extent of the tear. Achilles tendonitis is non-insertional as well as insertional. The condition, also known as non-insertional tendonitis, affects a wide array of individuals from athletes to ordinary people who exercise regularly. Non-insertional describes a breakdown of the tendon fibers in the middle portion of the tendon that produces tiny tears (degeneration). They then swell and thicken therefore causing the inflammation and pain.
A tight Achilles tendon coupled with overuse (too much, too fast, too different) are the most common causes of Achilles tendon pain. It could also be due to shoe issues, for example switching from heeled to zero drop shoes without taking the time to adjust, or wearing a shoe that is far too unstable.
Achillies Tendonitis treatment at Home
- To reduce foot pressure, stay off your feet as much as possible and switch to swimming or cycling
- You may need two or more weeks of immobilization in a boot if you don’t catch it early and are already limping
- Rolling your foot over a frozen water bottle can reduce inflammation and pain in your foot
- There are some good exercises that can help reduce tightness in the tendon
- Medications that reduce swelling and pain, including topical analgesic gel or oral analgesics such as Motrin, Advil or Aleve.
An exercise guide and stretching routine for treating heel pain and Achilles tendonitis are available to you all over the internet. Try them as a first step to help you feel better.
Achilles Tendonitis Treatment in Office
We offer office treatments after evaluation if home treatments do not provide relief. These include:
- Strapping or taping the foot.
- Physical therapy may be needed if home stretching isn’t enough. Ultrasound therapy is one treatment option offered by physical therapists for this condition.
The treatment involves sound waves. As a result of these waves, tissue is loosening up, leading to greater stretch response. It can also be treated with manual techniques such as massage along the full length of the tendon
- A heel lift and custom orthotics reduce the strain on the Achilles tendon
- To reduce tension on the Achilles tendon, orthotics with a heel lift can be customized
- Sneakers can be fitted with arch supports, which are recommended by podiatrists. They even have a line of arch supports for narrow dress shoes to make them more supportive for your feet
- Passive tendon stretching night splint to wear in the evening or while sleeping
- There are additional non-invasive treatment options available
- As a last resort, surgery may be considered
If you have specific questions about Achilles tendonitis to ask the specialists at Associated Foot and Ankle care. If you would like to see the doctor please Schedule an Appointment here.