Tendonitis

Tendonitis can occur in the lower part of the body in the feet and legs. It is often caused due to the excess use and pressure and is common to get tendonitis of the Achilles tendon. This is a muscle that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. The symptoms of this first appear as mild inflammation in the back of the leg and above the heel after strenuous or extensive physical activity like running, rock-climbing, sports training drills, etc. among many others. The tendon getting stiff or tender is a common complaint, with the pain intensity being the highest while walking.

Achilles tendonitis usually affects athletes who have very hard and strenuous training sessions which include vast changes in the training schedules and amount of training time, like training for long time or suddenly changing the time of the training session from less to more in a very short duration. Also the athletes who are old or aged and push hard in the training sessions are most affected by this. Athletes of sports like tennis and basketball are also highly affected by this. Even the sportspersons having a history of inflammation or injury to the tendon are most at risk of suffering from this.

Most cases of Achilles tendonitis can and should be self-treated under the supervision of a doctor. Long-term treatments are generally suggested or undertaken to avoid or reduce further occurrences. However, self-care is not recommended or considered when there is persistent pain in the area and in the tendons, or if there is sudden or severe discomfort, especially in case of impaired mobility as it might suggest that the tendon might have been ruptured, thus requiring surgery upon it.

Besides athletic injury or extreme physical activity, the Achilles tendon may become overused with time, which makes it susceptible to injury with ageing. People having flat-feet and/or weak calf muscles, and being a middle-aged person increases the risk of developing Achilles. Also using worn-out shoes which do not provide support and cushion anymore adds to the risk of developing this. As well as people suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes are at greater risks along with those consuming antibiotics .

Treatments recommended for Achilles tendonitis include rest, elevating feet, ice therapy, wearing heel pads to reduce the pressure off the tendons, modifying footwear for a better balance and stress distribution and also getting new trainers if required. Along with it, physical therapy and stretching of calf muscles as well as hips has been proved useful.

Taking special care of the calf muscles and feet that tend to over-pronate is really crucial in recovery. Daily stretching and usage of orthotic devices is recommended to correct over-pronation. High impact activities like running and jumping should be replaces with gentler ones like cycling or swimming.

The usual painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs do help in reducing the swellings and making the pain more bearable but it should not be used as a long-term remedy to this problem. If the problem persists even after a certain time, then doctor’s advice should be taken who might suggest invasive treatments like surgery to repair the tendon.

Invasive treatments are generally considered as final resort after none of the other conservative modes of treatments work. But usually moderate anti-inflammatory drugs combined with conservative treatments do the trick and reduce the risk of it repeating as well.

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