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Define Achilles Tendonitis: What It Is; What To Do

Define Achilles Tendonitis: What It Is; What To Do

The Achilles tendon is the large rope-like band of connective tissue you can feel behind your foot. If it gets irritated, it swells and is called tendonitis. It happens mostly with overuse or a surge in physical activity and is common in athletes and runners in particular.

Symptoms range from mild to pronounced discomfort, and you may feel a bump or swelling.  Sometimes you can hear the tendon cracking when you move it.  Other causes are flat feet, infection, or an injury to the Achilles tendon.

You can be back on your feet; you can do it faster with the correct treatment.  This is a soft tissue injury.  The goal is to discern what tissues are involved (it could include calf muscles, the thigh, and even the gluteous maximus).

Take Action!   Visit a podiatrist who is trained in Sports Medicine.  You will be given a biomechanical analysis to pinpoint your particular problem.

This video emphasizes treating each case of achilles tendonitis on an individual basis.   Treatments range from active release (which breaks up scar tissue),  and stretching.  The end of the video shows various stretch maneuvers. By Kinetic Health.

What to do:

If you are self-treating, your recovery time may be longer since the individual cause has not been identified.  Tips:

Rest.  Take it easy but don't lie around and let the tendon stiffen, just avoid extreme activities so the tendon can heal.

Ice   20 minute periods every couple of hours

Ice Foot/Ankle Wrap

Compress with elastic bandage

Elevation.  Place up on a couple of pillows

The Achilles Healer

  • Reduces stress on Achilles tendon.
  • Encourages faster heel rise.
  • Has duel functioning, lightweight devices made of ProWrap allows for adjustable compression.
  • Is worn directly against skin and inside most footwear.
  • Provides immediate relief from pain.

How To Prevent Achilles Tendonitis:

Stretch before activities. Stretches include calf stretches, achilles stretching, soleus, and hamstring stretches, as shown in the video. Tools are helpful as well.

Pro Stretch

pro stretch

The patented ProStretch conditioning and stretching devices isolates the lower leg muscles, tendons and ligaments for the ultimate deep stretch.

A favorite of physical therapists, trainers and pro athletes -- just look closely on the sideline of an NBA, NFL, or NHL game and you're likely to see a ProStretch. That's because they're proven to stretch the leg muscles easier and far more effectively than conventional methods.

Exercise both legs simultaneously to improve flexibility and alleviate injuries to the lower extremities. Instruction manual included.

  • Work up  to more difficult activities gradually
  • If you have flat feet, get orthotics to support the arch of your foot

Powerstep Orthotics nPowerstepÆ Full-Length features a prescription-like arch support encased in a unique double-layer cushioned insole, plus a contoured stabilizing heel cup. It provides effective relief for heel and arch pain, generating rave reviews.

Superfeet Women's Berry Premium Insoles
made for those who stand for long periods of time or are active and feel any
foot soreness after activity or a long day.
· High-volume insoles take up extra volume in footwear, making them ideal for loose-fitting shoes
or narrow feet.
· Topsheets are treated with Agion™ to help inhibit odor-causing bacteria.
· Full-length closed-cell foam provides cushioning, while 3/4-length polypropylene heel caps
stabilize  feet inside boots.
· Deep heel pockets, rockered bottoms and strategically placed new forefoot shock pads allow for
natural  shock absorption.
· New self-moldable metatarsal domes sit precisely where needed to provide cushion and
alleviate pressure.
· Superfeet recommends this style for use in footwear with removable insoles; also suitable for
Gore-Tex  footwear.

If you are not seeing improvement of your Achilles tendon pain within a couple of weeks it's time to see a podiatrist.  Remember, the proper treatment will reduce your healing time substantially.

Reprinted Article

When the tendon gets inflamed it is known as tendonitis, and when the tendons are being overused, It can lead to some small tears in the collagen that surrounds the tendon which can cause some weakening of the tendon. It can also be associated with rheumatoid arthritis. There is generally a swelling in a region of micro damage or a partial tear is seen or it can even be felt by the doctor who will diagnose it by such means. The tendon is the tough fibrous tissue that connects the muscle to the bone and it helps in walking, jumping, lifting as well as moving in many different ways.

Not all Tendons are the same size and shape

You don't want to do any harm to your tendons which come in many shapes as well as sizes - with some of the smallest tendons found in the fingers and there are other larger ones that help people to walk. The inflammation to the tendons can be caused by a number of different reasons which results in the action of pulling the muscle becoming quite irritating. Any problems that you have with the gliding motion of the tendons will end up resulting in pain while moving and this is called tendonitis.

Chronic overuse can be the most common cause of tendonitis and may frequently occur when individuals begin to exercise or increase the level of their exercises, and it will result in symptoms of tendonitis. It can also occur to your age, because with advancing years, the tendons tend to lose their elasticity as well as ability to glide as smoothly as they are used to doing. Elderly people will thus be more at risk of getting tendonitis, and the cause of such a condition does require more study and research in order to completely understand the real causes.

There could be other reasons such as anatomical reasons for getting tendonitis especially if the tendons don't get a smooth glide path if this is the case then surgery to have the tendons realigned is the best way to stop the tendonitis. Tendonitis can be felt in the wrists, Achilles, kneecaps, as well as rotator cuff. When a person suffers from tendonitis, it may be advisable to get plenty of rest as well as protect the affected area, and one may also need to apply an ice pack. In addition, anti-inflammatory medicines, and cortisone injections are effective means of treating tendonitis.

Benjamin Brook

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