Exactly what is Achilles Tendonitis?
Swelling of the Achilles tendon is termed as Achilles Tendonitis. The Achilles tendon is a sizeable tendon linking two major calf muscles, gastrocnemius and soleus, to the back of the heel bone. Achilles Tendonitis is one of many sports-related injuries that results from overexertion of any type (such as excessive exercising and jumping).
Signals of Tendonitis:
- Pain anywhere along the back of the tendon
- Inflammation of the tendon
- Limited ankle flexibility
Causes of Tendonitis:
Out of countless tendons dispersed throughout the human body, there are few specific tendons that have poor blood supply. These tendon areas where blood supply is low are termed as "watershed zones". These watershed zones are provided with comparatively lesser volume of oxygen and nutrients, it makes these tendons prone to tissue damage and poor healing response. Sometimes, the tendon does not have an easy path to glide upon, which results in inflammation. Other well known triggers of tendonitis are repeated, minor impact on the affected area, or a sudden critical injury. Incidentally, individuals aged between 40-60 years are known to be more vulnerable to Achilles Tendonitis. Other known causes of Tendonitis are:
- Improper posture at work or home
- Taking part in sports
- Body exertion or less recovery time between physical activities
- Change of footwear or uneven floor surface
- Inadequate stretching or conditioning just before exercise
- An atypical or dislocated bone or joint that stresses soft-tissue structures
- Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid disorders, or unusual medication reactions
Variations of Tendonitis:
Tendonitis may appear in almost any area of the body where a tendon joins a bone to a muscle. Some of the most typical types of Tendonitis are:
Wrist Tendonitis: One of the most common problems, wrist tendonitis occurs due to inflammation of the tendon sheath. Wrist Tendonitis usually causes pain and swelling around the wrist. Wrist tendonitis rarely demands surgery as an intervention.
Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis can lead to discomfort and inflammation in the back of heel. If it is diagnosed on time, one can avoid serious problems such as Achilles tendon rupture.
Posterior Tibial Tendonitis: Posterior tibial tendonitis usually impacts individuals with signs on the inner side of the ankle. If Posterior Tibial Tendonitis is left uncared for, it may lead to a flat foot.
Patellar (Kneecap) Tendonitis: Patellar Tendonitis (also known as Jumper's Knee) is precipitated by the swelling of the patellar tendon. Recuperation and anti-inflammatory medication are common treatments for Patellar tendonitis.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: Rotator cuff tendonitis is caused by the swelling of a specific area within the shoulder joint.
Top 7 methods for athletes to treat Achilles injuries:
Though tendonitis can be a significant problem, you can positively treat and protect against it from recurring. Here are the top seven ways in which athletes can take care of tendonitis:
1. Emphasize Rest: The first and most important step to treat tendonitis is to avoid activities that can exacerbate it. Avoid working out for a few days. This will help dramatically with the healing of the inflamed tendon. You may also try different exercise activities, such as swimming.
2. Administer an Ice Pack: One of the best therapies of tendonitis is to apply an ice-pack on the inflamed area. The cold temperature will control the irritation and swelling of the affected area. Using an ice-pack will help mend the tendon more quickly.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Tendonitis can be taken care of by taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn, Celebrex. These medications will lessen the pain and swelling in the affected area.
4. Cortisone Injections: When tendonitis signs continue for a long period of time, some may seek cortisone injections. Injected directly into the inflamed area, cortisone injections assist treating tendonitis that can not seem to heal after many medical therapies have been attempted.
5. Wear a heel pad: By wearing heel pad, you can lift the heel and take some stress off the Achilles tendon. This is a short-term measure while the Achilles tendon is repairing.
6. Running Shoes: Make sure you have the right running shoes for your foot type and the sport in which you are participating.
7. Consult a sports injury professional: Take advice from someone whose line of work deals with proper training, or with sports injuries specifically, and who is experienced with both healing and rehabilitation techniques.