Pain Relief For Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles Tendinitis in San Diego

Achilles TendinitisAchilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles (uh-KILL-EEZ) tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone. Achilles tendinitis is characterized by dull or sharp pain anywhere along the back of the tendon, but usually close to the heel. Achilles tendinitis is a common injury that makes the swell, stretch, or tear.

It is one of the most common running injuries and can become a debilitating condition when it is not properly treated, to the point where even walking is painful. Although Achilles tendinitis is mainly diagnosed in runners, it does occur in basketball, volleyball, dancing, gymnastics and other athletic activities, this is also very common among running athletes.

Achilles tendinitis is a common overuse injury, but can also be caused by tight or weak calf muscles or any condition that causes the tendon to become less flexible and more rigid, such as reactive arthritis or normal aging.

Achilles tendinopathy is a fairly common injury for runners, and there are several forms of treatment. But what works and what doesn’t?
Achilles tendinitis

What is it?

The achilles is the tendon formed as the gastrocnemius and soleus – the calf muscles – join to insert on to the heel bone. The achilles tendon has to tolerate the highest loads in the body – up to 10 times your body weight during running, jumping, hopping and skipping. A painful achilles used to be referred to as tendonitis, but the changes that occur within the tendon do not follow a normal inflammatory/healing process and, because of this, RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) does not work with achillles tendinopathy. Instead, there are cellular changes to the tendon and to the arrangement of collagen fibres, as well as its supporting system, the matrix. This does not make the tendon weak, but it does make it difficult for it to tolerate loads. It is correcting this that is at the heart of treatment. Read more here.

Achilles tendinitis is caused by repetitive or intense strain on the Achilles’ tendon, the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. The diagnosis of an Achilles tendinitis is generally made on physical examination.

Achilles Tendon Problems

Cause

Achilles tendinopathy is most often caused by:

  • Overuse or repeated movements during sports, work, or other activities. In sports, a change in how long, intensely, or often you exercise can cause microtears in the tendon. These tears are unable to heal quickly and will eventually cause pain. A change in your environment, such as going from a flat surface to a hill or from a dirt road to a paved road, can also cause these tears.
  • Injury from repeated push-offs or a stop-and-go motion. These injuries are common in such activities as running, basketball, tennis, or ballet dancing. See more here.

Pain from insertional Achilles tendinitis is often helped by certain shoes, as well as orthotic devices.  Most cases of this pain are treated with simple at-home care, such as engaging in less strenuous exercise or taking a break from a regular exercise routine, and ice, compression, and elevation in the acute stages.

Prevention and treatment of Achilles tendinitis

If you start experiencing Achilles pain, stop running. Take aspirin or ibuprofen, and ice the area for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day until the inflammation subsides. Self-massage may also help. Once the nodule is gone, stretch the calf muscles. Don’t start running again until you can do toe raises without pain. Next, move on to skipping rope, then jumping jacks, and then gradually begin running again. You should be back to easy running in six to eight weeks.
If injury doesn’t respond to self-treatment in two weeks, see a physical therapist or orthopedic surgeon. Surgery to scrape scar tissue off the tendon is a last resort, but not very effective and often just stimulates more scar tissue. Try these alternative exercises: Swimming, pool running and bicycling (in low gear). Stay away from weight-bearing exercises. Read full article here.

Avoid And Cure Achilles Tendinitis Now!

The most important way to manage Achilles tendinitis is to rest. Patients that suffer from chronic of this pain are more at risk for complications because degeneration and disorganization of the Achilles tendon that reoccurs may lead to small tears in the tendon. And who suffers from this foot pain are advised to allow time for the tendon to fully recover before returning to regular physical activity such as sports or working out. If the warning signs of Achilles tendinitis are ignored or it is not allowed to heal properly then the injury can become chronic.

If you caught this condition early on, Achilles tendinitis will heal on its own with just the taking of some simple treatment measures at home. If you’re experiencing foot pain that is Achilles tendinitis, we want to help you get out of pain and back to the activities you enjoy! We also want to show you the best exercises and other ways to stay pain-free. Call us now for an appointment (619) 831-8777.

Related Articles:
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Tendonitis Foot Pain: How to deal?

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Author: Allison Yardley

Allison has 6 years in practice as a Chiropractor's Assistant and is a licensed Massage Therapist who writes for numerous blogs online. Feel free to comment or ask questions regarding any of Alley's blog posts.