Tendonitis (also known as Tendinitis) is the inflammation of a tendon, in this case the Achilles – the tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf. It usually heals within a couple of weeks, but if not resolved correctly can lead to the chronic condition tendinosis.
Unlike tendinopathy, tendonitis is inflammatory and caused by an acute injury that forces the tendon to stretch beyond its normal range of motion, as opposed to repetitive overloading. Tendinosis is a form of tendinopathy.
Tendon injuries are particularly prevalent amongst athletes or those who put stress on their feet and ankle during the working day. Often self-treated, physiotherapy can help in more serious cases, with surgery being a final resort.
- Pain in the affected tendon, particularly when moving, or after periods of inactivity
- Swelling, with redness and heat
- Tenderness, especially when the sides of the tendon are squeezed
- In more serious cases, the tendon may become enlarged
Achilles Tendonitis is the inflammation caused as the result of an injury. The body’s immune system responds to this injury by increasing blood flow to the area, to provide infection-fighting substances to the tendon. This results in the redness, heat and swelling that is experienced.
In the first instance, treatment at home is advised.
Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate (RICE) is a good way of reducing swelling and preventing further damage. Likewise, a cast or walking boot could reduce the stress on the tendon, leading to faster healing.
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation, especially in the early stages of tendonitis; while splints may be prescribed to keep the tendon stretched during sleep.
Physiotherapy and other physical therapy can help strengthen the area and are particularly useful when treating tendinosis, with stretching, tissue massage, and shockwave therapy helping to promote the healing process.
Tendinopathy refers to a tendon injury that is caused because of long-term overuse. Often confused with tendonitis, tendinopathy typically results in little or no inflammation. In the worst-case scenarios, surgery may be required.
Find out more about how we can help treat Achilles Tendonitis
To find out more about how we can help treat Achilles Tendonitis or for more information about Total Foot Surgery, contact us on 07449419401 or use our online contact form.