Tendinitis

Every move you make—from huge strides to the tiniest gestures—involves a tendon.

Actually, a lot of them.

These tough and fibrous connective tissues are what attaches muscles to bones, translating the simple expansion and contraction of muscle fibers into fluid, 360-degree movement.

Unfortunately, tendons can easily be injured, inflamed, or otherwise irritated in a number of places, and in a number of ways.

Achilles Tendinitis

Of the 4,000 or so tendons you have in your body, the two Achilles tendons—the tough “cords” at the backs of your heels—are the thickest and strongest.

They have to be. The Achilles is responsible for connecting the powerful calf muscles to the heels and feet, and has to withstand heavy forces whenever you walk, run, jump, or rise up on your toes.

Unfortunately, while your Achilles tendons may be tough, they are not indestructible. In fact, it’s estimated that there are more than 200,000 cases per year in the United States.

Other Types of Tendinitis

Although Achilles tendinitis is the most common form of foot and ankle tendinitis, it is certainly not the only one. Other conditions we see and treat often include:

  • Posterior tibial tendonitis (inner ankle)—often associated with flat feet.
  • Peroneal tendonitis (outer ankle)—sometimes, although not always, associated with high arches.
  • Extensor tendinitis (top of foot)

Tendinitis is also common in the knees, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.

Tendinitis Symptoms

Tendinitis weakens tendons, and severe cases may even lead to a tendon rupture. And even if that doesn’t happen, the pain and stiffness can keep you from enjoying your favorite activities.

When that happens, you may experience dull aching pains, tenderness, stiffness and swelling where the tendon attached to the bone—usually near a joint. The discomfort is often worst after a period of exercise or activity.

Early treatment is recommended so that you can begin the healing process and prevent the condition from worsening. Untreated tendinitis may eventually result in a more serious tendon rupture.

Other Types of Tendinitis

Although Achilles tendinitis is the most common form of foot and ankle tendinitis, it is certainly not the only one. Other conditions we see and treat often include:

  • Posterior tibial tendonitis (inner ankle)—often associated with flat feet.
  • Peroneal tendonitis (outer ankle)—sometimes, although not always, associated with high arches.
  • Extensor tendinitis (top of foot)

Tendinitis is also common in the knees, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.

Tendinitis Symptoms

Tendinitis weakens tendons, and severe cases may even lead to a tendon rupture. And even if that doesn’t happen, the pain and stiffness can keep you from enjoying your favorite activities.

When that happens, you may experience dull aching pains, tenderness, stiffness and swelling where the tendon attached to the bone—usually near a joint. The discomfort is often worst after a period of exercise or activity.

Early treatment is recommended so that you can begin the healing process and prevent the condition from worsening. Untreated tendinitis may eventually result in a more serious tendon rupture.

Treating Tendinitis

Every case is unique—because every patient is unique! We believe in personalizing our treatment plans not only based on the location and severity of the tendinitis, but also to meet the personal needs of each patient.

For example, many cases of tendinitis can be resolved with extended rest. However, that isn’t always a viable solution for athletes or factory workers who just can’t afford to stay off their feet for long! What works for someone else may not work for you.

Possible treatment options can include:

  • Rest, ice, compression and elevation (REST) therapy.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises—we’ll instruct you on which exercises to do, and when and how often to perform them.
  • Prefabricated insoles or custom orthotics.
  • MLS laser therapy. This revolutionary treatment has proven extremely successful in accelerating natural tissue healing and repair and eliminating pain fast. It’s an optimal choice for athletes and active people, and also an alternative to surgery if other conservative treatments haven’t worked.

More serious cases of tendinitis may require immobilization (via a cast, walking boot, brace, etc.) or, rarely, a surgical repair.

Don’t allow your tendinitis to continue slowing you down—or worsen into a severe tendon rupture! If home care isn’t working, give us a call so we can help. You can schedule with Kalamazoo Podiatry by calling (269) 373-1019. You can also request an appointment online.

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