How to treat achilles tendinitis?
published on 02/05/2018
The Achilles tendon is the largest and one of the strongest tendons in the human body. It is responsible for foot flexibility and a range of bodily motions. When there is pain in the ankle, it is best to consult a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) who has the knowledge and training to treat Achilles tendinitis. Although Achilles tendinitis is difficult to treat, the foot specialist is well-prepared to help patients heal as quickly as possible. Following is more information on the condition and the possible treatments available for treating Achilles tendinitis.
WHAT IS ACHILLES TENDINITIS?
Achilles tendinopathy are divided into two main groups. The most common is tendinopathy of the middle portion of the Achilles tendon. It is more precisely a degenerative disease of the tendon and not due to inflammation. A grouping of small micro-tears that have not adequately healed are responsible for this condition.
HOW TO CARE FOR ACHILLES TENDINITIS?
Usually, conservative treatments that decrease heel pain are recommended. The most commonly prescribed are rest, stretching exercises, the wearing of foot orthotics, as well as the wearing of shoes that are better adapted to the feet.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO ULTIMATELY CURE ACHILLES TENDINITIS?
It is possible to completely heal from Achilles tendinitis. However, a great deal of patience is required and the foot specialist’s instructions must be strictly adhered to. Complete healing may require a period of 3 to 6 months, depending on the severity of the condition. On the other hand, improvement of the condition and pain relief is achieved fairly quickly.
WHAT ARE THE PRE-EXISTING SIGNS OF ACHILLES TENDINITIS?
Achilles tendinitis can be identified by pain in the back of the ankle that is often worse when the patient is walking. The condition causes stiffness when waking and pain that persists throughout the day. Sometimes, it’s also possible to see a round mass at the back of the tendon. This symptom comes from micro-tears that have not properly healed, causing inflammation in the tendon.
THE CAUSES OF ACHILLES TENDINITIS.
Although there are many different causes, Achilles tendinitis is mainly caused by hypermobility in the ankle and in the back of the foot. When there is too much movement from one side of the heel to the other, the tendon eventually forms micro-tears. This process continues until the Achilles tendon is afflicted with tendinitis. Such injuries occur as a result of repetitive movements, excessive pronation, muscle weakness, prolonged jogging or running, or activity changes. Following are some situations that can cause this type of injury:
- Muscle stiffness: insufficient stretching following physical exertion
- Increased activity: at the start of a new sport or activity that is very demanding on the Achilles tendon
- A change in a sports surface or running shoes: training on a new surface, or changing the type of shoes a person wears (for example minimalist running shoes)
HOW TO TREAT ACHILLES TENDINITIS USING FOOT ORTHOTICS?
The role of the foot orthotic is to balance the foot and guide it in the right direction. This will prevent the excessive movement of the ankle and hindfoot, and provide increased stability. A foot specialist is able to prescribe the wearing of a foot orthotic if he determines it to be appropriate for the patient. During the examination, the DPM will conduct a thorough analysis using the CryoVizion medical imaging system to evaluate postural symmetry. They will also verify and ensure that there are no unbalancing conditions that can harm the feet, such as one leg being longer than the other.
WHY CONSULT A FOOT DOCTOR FOR ACHILLES TENDONITIS?
A DPM is one of the most knowledgeable and best-trained professionals capable of treating medical conditions involving the lower limbs. As specialists in the treatment of Achilles tendinitis, they can advise you on the best course of action for your condition, including the proper selection of footwear, and stretching routines. They can also perform tapping techniques, provide strengthening exercises, and prescribe made-to-order foot orthotics.
Originally from Boucherville, Dr. Arnaud Vouligny, a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), has been a member of l’Ordre des podiatres du Québec since 2012. He holds an undergraduate degree in Podiatric Medicine from l’Université du Québec à Trois- Rivières, having completed this four-year university program. He also completed a four-month internship at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine in New York. Committed to always providing the best care for his patients, he continues to expand on his knowledge through ongoing educational and training activities. He has also taken a specialty course in foot mobility, namely, Foot Mobilization Technique Level 1, and the Active Release Technique course for muscle and ligament treatment. Dr. Vouligny, DPM, also completed the Echo-Guided Ultrasound/Infiltration course which permits him to use ultrasound devices for diagnostic purposes. This is a powerful tool that is increasingly being used in the field of medicine. It enables the precise identification and location of certain problems and allows for very targeted injections, if necessary.
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