Tendinopathy refers to a tendon injury that is caused because of long-term overuse. This results in the deterioration of the tendon. Unlike tendonitis, tendinopathy is non-inflammatory and is rather caused by the degeneration of the tendon due to repetitive overloading.
Often confused with tendonitis, tendinopathy typically results in little or no inflammation, so the suffix -itis would be incorrect in these cases.
- Pain and Swelling
- Changes to the foot shape
- The tendon may feel tender
Tendinosis, a form of tendinopathy, is caused by the overuse of the tendon and is often a result of the wear and tear associated with a sporting activity, such as running or jumping.
Tendinosis in the Achilles may also be the result of overdoing exercise – such as undertaking high volumes of activity on a weekend, and nothing in the week. This can lead to micro tears forming in the tendon, which over time can cause pain.
Individuals with a flattened arch may also be at risk of tendinosis due to the greater demands placed on the tendon while walking.
The most important self-help measure for tendinopathy is rest. Avoid stressful activity, but gently stretching the lower leg may be helpful.
An insole can be used to raise the heel and reduce the stress on the tendon. Well-padded and supportive shoes can also have the same effect.
Ice can help reduce any swelling, as well as provide relief from pain.
Painkillers will also help relieve pain, but as there is little inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs should not be taken for too long.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy may also help with recovery. Over the course of a few sessions, shockwaves applied through the skin may help promote the body’s natural healing process.
If, after several months, symptoms are still having an adverse effect on day-to-day life, surgery may be required. Often this will involve the removal of damaged areas of the tendon, with tendons transferred from other parts of the foot and ankle being used for the repairs. A synthetic tendon can also be used.
Find out more about how we can help treat Tendinopathy
To find out more about how we can help treat Tendinopathy or for more information about Total Foot Surgery, contact us on 07449419401 or use our online contact form.