What is Tendinitis and How Can it Be Treated?

Have you been experiencing pain in your Achilles tendon? Did you receive a diagnosis of "tendinitis" that makes you wonder if your doctor knows how to spell? If so, this article is for you! 

What is Tendinitis and Why Does it Happen?

Tendinitis is a condition in which a tendon has become irritated or inflamed. Tendons are thick cords in your body that connect bones to muscles. Any tendon in your body can be affected, but the Achilles tendon is a common sight where this condition develops. 

Tendinitis sets in when a tendon is subjected to repetitive impacts of a minor nature--like the force that running, over time, can place on your Achilles tendon without proper rest periods and stretches to relieve pressure. Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury, caused by excessive pulling of the tendon. This can occur because of starting a new exercise or training program, or not having enough rest or recovery time.

While physical activity is often the reason for the inflammation, other factors can increase your risk for tendinitis, including: 

  • Physical abnormalities, like different leg lengths, that place additional stress on your tendons. 
  • Over-pronation (flat feet) that causes pulling on the tendon. 
  • Other outside stressors, like arthritis or gout. 
  • Repetitive wearing of high heels (over time, this can shorten the Achilles tendon and cause stress.) 

Regardless of the cause of your tendinitis, there is one common factor: this condition hurts! Now let's explore how you can find relief from the pain of Achilles tendinitis. 

How is Tendinitis Treated?  

When we treat inflammation in your Achilles tendon, we want to take a two-pronged approach: relieving the pain and addressing the underlying causes. 

The first step towards relief is giving yourself a break: employ the Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE) method at the first sign of discomfort. If pain persists after a few days of RICE, it's time to come into our Houston podiatry practice. 

We can give you prescription medications to relieve pain and inflammation, but we can also help correct the problems leading to that inflammation. If your athletic technique is to blame, we can provide you with a gait analysis to help you run or train in a way that puts less strain on your tendon. 

If a physical imbalance is the cause of your tendinitis, we can provide you with a combination of night splints, custom orthotics, ankle supports and physical therapy to help prevent relapses once your pain has resolved. And, if discomfort persists, we have seen many patients experience relief with the help of shockwave therapy. 

But here's the thing: we can't help you if you're stuck at home, wishing your pain away. So schedule an appointment with our office today and begin your return to pain-free movement. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.