A is for achilles tendonitis

April 16, 2013

A is for achilles tendonitis which is a common overuse injury in runners that occurs when loads in the tendon exceed what the tendon can take.

Achilles tendonitis is a condition characterized by inflammation and irritation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is typically caused by overuse, improper footwear, or biomechanical issues. Here are some common treatment approaches for Achilles tendonitis:

  1. Rest and Reduce Activity: Resting the affected leg and reducing or modifying activities that aggravate the condition can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Avoid activities that put excessive stress on the Achilles tendon, such as running or jumping.
  2. Ice Therapy: Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. Use an ice pack or wrap ice in a thin towel and apply it to the Achilles tendon for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  3. Pain Relief: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation. However, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
  4. Stretching and Strengthening Exercises: Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help improve flexibility and strength in the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. These exercises should be done under the guidance of a physical therapist or healthcare professional to ensure proper technique and prevent further injury.
  5. Orthotic Devices or Shoe Inserts: In some cases, using orthotic devices, such as heel lifts or arch supports, can help relieve strain on the Achilles tendon and provide additional support. Custom-made orthotics may be recommended for individuals with specific foot biomechanical issues.
  6. Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can provide targeted treatments, including manual therapy, ultrasound, laser therapy, or eccentric exercises, to help reduce pain and improve function in the Achilles tendon. They can also guide you through a rehabilitation program tailored to your specific needs.
  7. Footwear Modification: Wearing appropriate footwear with good arch support and cushioning can help reduce stress on the Achilles tendon. Avoid high heels and opt for shoes that provide adequate support and shock absorption.
  8. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT): In some cases, ESWT may be used as a treatment option. This non-invasive procedure uses sound waves to stimulate healing and reduce pain in the affected area.

The treatment approach for Achilles tendonitis may vary depending on the severity and individual circumstances. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist, who can assess your condition, provide an accurate diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options based on your specific needs.


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