achilles-tendinitiWhat is it?

Achilles Tendonitis is an inflammation of the common tendon of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the posterior compartment of the leg. Achilles Tendonitis is a term that commonly refers to an inflammation of the Achilles tendon.  Achilles Tendonitis is typically an overuse injury that is experienced by  joggers and jumpers, due to the repetitive action and so may occur in other activities that requires the same repetitive action.

What causes it?

The Achilles Tendons is a tough fiber that connect muscle to bone. Most tendon injuries occur near joints, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle. A tendon injury may seem to happen suddenly, but usually it is the result of many tiny tears to the tendon that have happened over time.

Tendonitis (or Tendinitis): This actually means “inflammation of the tendon,” but inflammation is rarely the cause of your tendon pain.

Tendinosis: This refers to tiny tears in the tissue in and around the tendon caused by overuse.

Most tendon injuries are the result of gradual wear and tear. Its going to happen overtime with alot of use. Almost anyone can have a tendon injury. People who make the same motions over and over in their jobs, sports, or daily activities are more likely to damage a tendon.

Patients that have equinis deformity and/or run up-hill are candidates for this disorder. As the tibia moves over the foot, the ankle joint needs to be able to dorsiflex at least 10 degrees. If this is not possible, due to tightness of the aforementioned musculature, the tissues of the tendon can be damaged. In addition it is thought that over-pronation may reduce the blood supply to the area by “wringing out” the arterial blood supply to the tendon. This is due to the twisting movement of the tendon associated with over-pronation of the foot.

Some of the other causes:

  • Over-training
  • Sudden change in training surface
  • Flat (over-pronated) feet   – This is when an orthotic would help
  • High foot arch with tight Achilles tendon – This is when an orthotic would help
  • Tight hamstring (back of thigh) and calf muscles
  • Wearing high heels often
  • Poorly supportive footwear
  • Hill running.
  • Poor eccentric strength
  •  Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or levofloxacin (Levaquin), increase the risk of Achilles tendon rupture.

                               Achilles Tendonitis Symptoms

You may feel a burning pain at the beginning of activity, which gets less during activity and then worsens following activity.

Your tendon may feel stiff first thing in the morning or at the beginning of  your exercise.

  • Achilles tendonitis usually causes pain, stiffness, and loss of strength in the affected area.
  • The pain may get worse when you use your Achilles tendon.
  • You may have more pain and stiffness during the night or when you get up in the morning.
  • The area may be tender, red, warm, or swollen if there is inflammation.
  • You may notice a crunchy sound or feeling when you use the tendon.

 

How Can I Help?

A very effective method of treatment has been found to be A.R.T., Graston therapy, combined with Chiropractic adjustments along with heat and cryotherapy. Active Release Technique® (ART®) has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of Achilles Tendonitis.  Graston therapy is a soft tissue technique aimed at breaking up scar tissue and adhesions to promote the rebuilding of scar tissue in the correct line of force to strengthen the muscle, increase flexibility and movement, and promote normal function of the soft tissue. Graston therapy incorporates the use of stainless steel tools that are used to detect and treat scar tissue within muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and all other forms of soft tissue. By breaking up this poorly formed scar tissue and encouraging the body to form healthier and stronger scar tissue, the plantar fascia will be allowed to move properly and will no longer be irritated, inflamed, or painful. We will also show you exercises and stretches for you to do. Kinesio tape will also be applied over and around muscles in order to assist and give support or to prevent over contraction, affecting change in deeper layers of fascia by manipulating the skin and muscle and creating space underneath the skin.

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