Whether it manifests as a dull ache or stabbing pain, an Achilles tendon injury (from mild tendinitis all the way up to a severe rupture) can completely upend your ability to live life on your terms—especially if you’re an active person who runs, plays sports, or works on your feet.
Naturally, you want to recover as quickly as possible so you can get back to doing what you love. Who wants to deal with pain any longer than they absolutely have to?
Unfortunately, while traditional conservative treatments can often be effective not only for achilles tendinitis but even many ruptures, some injuries can take months to heal fully—and even longer afterward to rehab your leg and ankle back to their pre-injury strength and flexibility. And if you try to rush things, you may experience a devastating setback.
But it doesn’t have to be that way any longer! At Kalamazoo Podiatry, we’re now frequently incorporating MLS laser therapy into our treatment plans for Achilles injuries, and it’s helping even our most active patients get back to running, sports, and full activity in a matter of just a few weeks instead of several months!
Can Lasers Really Heal Tendons?
We know—it sounds like science fiction. But it’s true! And the results we’ve seen in the short time since we introduced MLS laser therapy to our practice have been nothing short of astounding.
In truth, therapeutic lasers have been around for decades. The concept is actually fairly simple: at the right power and wavelength, light energy can be absorbed and used by your body’s cells to reduce pain and accelerate beneficial healing activities (like boosting local circulation and delivering more oxygen, nutrients, and proteins to the cells).
But with older types of laser therapy, you had to make choices and trade-offs between pain relief and healing, or between faster results vs improved safety. That’s changed with the MLS system, which uses a synchronized pair of lasers to provide rapid pain relief, reduce inflammation, and accelerate natural healing simultaneously and safely. The twin beams complement and reinforce one another in a way that makes them far more powerful and effective than either would be alone.
Soft tissues like the tendons are among the most receptive types of tissue to laser therapy, too. They are usually just below the surface of the skin (easily within the depth of penetration) and benefit significantly from the kinds of biochemical effects that laser therapy triggers in cells. Achilles tendinitis is one of the most common injuries we treat with laser therapy, along with plantar fasciitis, muscle strains, and sprains.
And if all that doesn’t convince you, how about this: While no treatment plan is ever 100% guaranteed, the success rate of MLS therapy is so high that Dr. Bredeweg is willing to provide a money-back guarantee for those unhappy with the results at the conclusion of treatment. It’s that good!
How Long Is It Going to Take? How Do I Get Back Even Faster?
The exact timeline will, of course, vary from person to person based on the severity of the original tendon injury, as well as other factors—age, health status, activity levels, etc.
That said, we can give you some general ideas of what you can typically expect.
- For acute injuries, a typical treatment course might include 6 brief therapy sessions (about 15 minutes each) spread out over the course of two weeks. Full recovery might take up to 6 weeks total from the start of the initial treatment, but many people are back to running within 2-3 weeks.
- For chronic injuries (i.e. pain you’ve had for at least 6 months) we typically recommend a 12-session, 4-week treatment plan.
Keep in mind that, because the laser therapy is actually healing your tissue—and even accelerated healing takes time—you may not feel dramatically better immediately after your first session. However, the results are cumulative, with each new treatment session yielding better and better results.
Also, keep in mind that laser therapy will likely just be one component of your overall treatment plan. We may also recommend therapies like stretching, taping, switching your shoes, or custom orthotics. Faithfully committing to ALL aspects of your recommended treatment plan will not only help you get results even faster, but also help reduce the risk of re-injury.
Our Mission Is Getting You Back on Your Feet
Even in the middle of a pandemic, it’s still incredibly important to address Achilles tendon injuries—or any other foot or ankle pain you might be experiencing—as swiftly and effectively as possible. Less pain means more activity and better overall physical and mental wellbeing.
That’s why we work so hard to go above and beyond for our patients, with advanced procedures like MLS laser therapy and 3-D printed custom orthotics. And also why we take your health and safety so seriously when you come in for an appointment. We don’t want anything to get in the way of you getting back to doing what you love!
Don’t sit around waiting for an Achilles tendinitis problem to get better on its own. Instead, give our experts a call at (269) 373-1019. We can help!