Over the years, I've had some on and off issues with my Achilles tendon. It flares up and I limp a bit...and I get to hear a bunch of "The foot doctor needs a foot doctor" comments from my Houston podiatry patients. And honestly, I should know better. I speak about podiatry issues all across the country, thanks to my role in the American Podiatric Medical Association, APMA. Still, doctors make the worst patients, so to make up for my errors over the years, I'll share some information with all of you about this painful condition. Maybe you'll avoid making the same mistakes as me!
Why Achilles Tendons are So Tricky to Treat
Once an Achilles tendon is inflamed, it doesn't take much to make it worse. In my case, something as simple as running through the Houston airport trying to catch my flight (Thanks TSA!!!) in shoes was a frequent trigger. By the time I'd get up to deplane at my connection, I was hurting. At that point, by only option was to shop the airport for some overpriced Aleve...and it was a temporary salve, but when I came home, I knew I'd need more permanent help.
The problem is: the Achilles tendon is not very easily treated. Oral anti-inflammatory medications are not always effective. We are limited in what can be injected into and around the Achilles tendon, too. For instance, a cortisone injection can never be used to treat the Achilles tendon, since there is a risk that the tendon would weaken and rupture.
Restricting the motion around the tendon is another option. When my tendinitis gets really bad, I wear a gauntlet ankle brace to give it some rest. I'll also use some Biofreeze to treat the tendon topically. If that doesn't work, a fracture walker rests it even more. Add to that physical therapy and possibly some shockwave treatments, and most people (even me) will lick their Achilles tendon pain. Sounds involved? Sounds complicated? Sound frustrating? It is!
Treating Achilles tendinitis requires tremendous patience and strict adherence to the treatment plan. But check out this homeopathic treatment option that's proven to be effective at relieving Achilles pain, without creating the risk of a rupture!
Homeopathic Treatments for Achilles Pain
I've reviewed studies from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons on Traumeel, a homeopathic anti-inflammatory medication that is available in ointment, gel, tablet, and injectable form. Traumeel combines a number of homeopathic components to provide an anti-inflammatory effect. This option is preferred by those who hope to limit their prescription medication in favor of more natural solutions. The studies show that Traumeel is a safe and effective alternative for a prescription topical NSAID.
For that reason, I've effectively used the injectable form of Traumeel with great success in my Houston podiatry practice. When there is inflammation of a soft tissue structure, such as a tendonitis, many physicians will use a cortisone injection to address and eliminate the inflammation and pain. But as I mentioned earlier, you can't do that with your Achilles tendon. Even though it's one of the strongest tendons in the body, cortisone can weaken the tendon and cause a rupture...which will be even worse than the intense pain in the back of the heel and ankle this condition already causes.
That's where Traumeel comes in... The injectable form of Traumeel, a non-cortisone homeopathic anitinflammatory, is safe to use around the Achilles tendon with no risk of rupture. This is effective in dramatically reducing the pain and inflammation associated with this stubborn and frustrating injury.
Want more creative solutions for nagging foot problems? Come see me! While it sometimes takes me a minute to treat my own heel pain, I always make relieving your discomfort my top priority!