Achilles Tendonitis: Rely on Podiatrists to Provide the Best Solutions

Achilles Tendonitis: Rely on Podiatrists to Provide the Best SolutionsWhen we go outside to walk to the mailbox or sprint across the street, our Achilles tendon is hard at work. It is the large tendon that helps connect certain muscles in our legs to our heels. Consequently, it may act up after periods of extended use. When the Achilles tendon has clearly been overworked, it has a tendency to stiffen, swell up and feel tender to the touch. It’s a condition that podiatrists call Achilles tendonitis.

What is the Problem?

The pain, swelling and stiffness commonly associated with Achilles tendonitis are surmountable with a skilled podiatrist’s help. Before coming up with a care plan to address a person’s Achilles tendonitis, a podiatrist will generally take steps to confirm the diagnosis. The confirmation is often made with the aid of diagnostic imaging and expert, manual manipulation.

How Can Experience Podiatrists Help?

With confirmation in place, treatment for Achilles tendonitis may begin right away. Podiatrists typically recommend that their patients do the following:

  • Change routines and include time to comfortably rest the Achilles tendon as well as apply compression bandages and ice. Those actions will provide stability to the tendon and surrounding muscles. Plus, when combined with over-the-counter medications, it will help decrease inflammation and tenderness.
  • The addition of heel lifts, braces and other similar devices will provide increased stability to the Achilles tendon too. Subsequently, the chances that a person’s Achilles tendonitis will go away quickly are generally improved when such measures are also put into place.

What’s Next?

Podiatrists well-familiar with Achilles tendonitis cases will stay on top of their patients’ progress. If at any time the podiatrist feels that the Achilles tendonitis treatments are not working, changes may be made to the patient’s plan of care. As a result, it may be necessary for podiatrists’ patients to eventually consider invasive solutions to their unresolved, Achilles tendonitis problems, including surgery.

4 Tips on How to Avoid Achilles Tendinitis for Runners

Treatment for Achilles TendinitisFor runners who compete in long distance marathons, achilles tendinitis can affect your performance. It happens when the achilles (the large tendon that connects your two calf muscles to the back of your heel bone) gets inflamed due to too much stress, or sustained weight. Then, over time scar tissue covers the tendon making it less flexible, which can lead to subsequent damages like a tear.

So, preventing and relieving foot pain like achilles tendinitis through strength-training and conditioning, rather than adding more support, can be an effective way to produce stronger feet that are less likely to have problems.

  1. Foot Grips

    A foot grip is an exercise much like a hand grip. The feet, using an isometric exercise, are contracted as if they are attempting to hold something. It can be done in any position, and when done in conjunction with a healthy eating regimen, can strengthen the foot very quickly. Particularly effective against plantar fasciitis; an overuse injury caused by an imbalance of fascia where the muscles aren’t strong enough to support the load, e.g. your weight distribution.

  2. Flip-Flops?

    Indeed. At first you may consider flip-flops as a negative choice for runners, and in some instances you may be correct. But think for a moment what they do: they cause you to grab the shoe with your toes when you step, strengthening your foot grip. Not a bad idea when the weather calls for it.

  3. Hill Repetitions

    Bare foot. If you find a nice, grassy hill where the sun is just right and the wind is blowing, take of those shoes and, for about an hour, run some repetitions. Not only will this strengthen your calf (remember how the achilles is connected), you will also work your quadriceps. This will also aid in reducing shin and foot splints due to muscle building.

  4. Tiptoeing

    Wearing high heels is contradictory to what you want to achieve if you are a runner. Not only is it never recommended by any medical professional, it actually shortens the Achilles tendon. But walking around on your tip-toes actually strengthens the muscles in and around the metatarsal heads (the exact spot weakened by high heels). Thus, tiptoeing is a good strength exercise for your foot, and can help ward off debilitating running problems.

Want more information on how we can help with your foot & ankle pain? Feel free to contact our Missouri foot doctor any time.


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