A Close Up Look at Achilles Tendonitis
We see certain injuries more frequently than others and there is usually a reason behind it. chronic achilles tendinopathy happens to be one of those common injuries we treat on a frequent basis and this stems from the role your strongest, largest tendon plays in keeping your body active and mobile.
The Achilles Tendon Explained
Your Achilles runs from the bottom of your calf muscle all the way down to the back of your heel. This valuable tendon causes your foot to extend when it contracts, which is a necessary component of the biomechanical processes you use when you walk, run, jump, ride a bike, or even press down on the gas pedal in your car. It is rather unlikely that you will develop a case of tendonitis from driving your car, but physical activities put you at a certain degree of risk for injury.
Understanding Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis occurs when the tendon becomes irritated or inflamed, often from repetitive actions. As humans age, the tendon starts to weaken and become increasing susceptible to injury. This adds to the fact that tendonitis tends to be more likely for individuals who are only active on the weekends—“weekend warriors”—or those who make sudden increases in intensity or duration of their training.
The primary symptom associated with this condition is pain above the heel or in the back of the leg, particularly after physical activity. This is often more severe following prolonged workout sessions. Typically, the pain will start as a mild ache, but then progress as time goes on. Other signs of tendonitis are stiffness and tenderness, which is usually experienced in the morning.
There are certain factors that make this condition more likely for some people than others, and they include:
- Gender and age. The demographic that is most commonly at risk for Achilles tendonitis is middle-aged men.
- Physical issues. Tight calf muscles, flat feet, and obesity increase the strain placed on the tendon.
- Some factors are related to your training. You are more at risk for injury if you run in worn-out shoes, exercise in colder climates, and frequently run on hilly terrain.
- Medical conditions. Individuals who have high blood pressure or live with diabetes are also at greater risk.
Treatment for Achilles Tendonitis
The good news when it comes to this condition is that self-care measures are usually rather successful in treating the injury. You should start your care for tendonitis at home by using the RICE method:
- Your body needs time to recover and heal itself, so either scale back on your physical activities all the way or switch to a low-impact exercise like swimming.
- Decrease swelling and pain in the area by using an ice pack on the tendon for about 15 minutes at a time when you experience pain or following exercise.
- Reduce the swelling with a compressive elastic bandage or wrap. If you feel tingling above or beyond the wrap, loosen it a bit.
- Keeping the injured area above your heart’s level will help to reduce swelling as well. Prop your injured foot on a pillow at night so it stays up while you sleep.
If it has been a couple of weeks of self-care treatment without results, or the pain is severe or persistent, it is time to contact our office and schedule an appointment with Sanjay Gandhi, DPM.
Even though the condition is often treated effectively with conservative care, you still would rather just avoid it in the first place. In order to decrease your risk, always be sure to make gradual progressions with regard to the levels of intensity and duration of your workouts. Consider cross-training to avoid putting too much pressure on your Achilles tendon. Stretch and strengthen your calf muscles and Achilles. Make sure that you choose shoes that have adequate cushioning and solid arch support. if you are finding for podiatrist shock wave therapy for achilles tendonitis, you can contact dr Sanjay Gandhi.
If you would like further information on Achilles Podiatry, or need to schedule an appointment with our Manalapan Township, NJ office, simply give us a call at (732) 446-7136. If you prefer, feel free to use our online form to request your appointment today.