What Causes Achilles Tendinopathy
Achilles tendinopathy is a painful condition that can render a person uncomfortable at best and immobile at worst. It can happen to anyone, but there are certain factors that put you at greater risk. Understanding the causes of Achilles tendinopathy is crucial if you want to avoid getting it, and also very helpful for treating it.
What is Achilles Tendinopathy?
Achilles tendinopathy is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon. While inflammation is the result of this condition, it's usually not the reason it causes you so much pain. Typically, you experience the inflammation associated with this condition after tearing your tendon. It's the tear that causes the subsequent inflammation, which causes great pain and distress for the patient.
What Causes Achilles Tendinopathy?
The cause of Achilles tendinopathy is almost always overuse. In other words, using the tendon too much or putting too much strain on it can cause it to tear, thus causing inflammation and pain. You can overuse your tendon in a variety of ways. A few most common types of overuse include:
- endurance running
- occupations that require you to be on your feet most of the day
- repeated motions over a prolonged period of time
- standing for a long time
- regular use of staircases
Some of these activities are routine, everyday activities. Others are more involved, such as endurance sports. In any case, if you're on your feet much of the time, it's important to take precautions so that you don't wind up having to deal with this painful condition.
Additionally, if you’re an athlete, be mindful to take extra precautions since studies have stated that nearly half of all Achilles tendinopathy patients are competitors.
How to Prevent Achilles Tendinopathy
As they say, the best treatment is prevention. Learning how to prevent this condition and protect your tendons may help you avoid it altogether. Even if you end up developing tendinopathy, you can still minimize its severity by taking preventative measures. Here’s a few top things to do to keep tendinopathy at bay:
- stretch your feet, legs, and ankles every day
- increase the intensity of your exercise gradually
- implement cross-training into your routine
- work on strengthening your calf muscles so your ankles aren't working so hard
- invest in custom orthotics if needed
- use the right shoes
- use Kinesio Tape to help support your feet and ankles
How to Treat Achilles Tendinopathy
If you’re dealing with tendinopathy in your Achilles tendon, there are some non-invasive ways to help treat it. Look into some of these treatments and see what’s right for you:
Massage therapy can be very helpful for tendinopathy patients because it alleviates the amount of strain and inflammation that the condition can cause. If you seek massage therapy, make sure your therapist knows where your specific injury is, what surrounding areas are giving you trouble, and how severe the condition is.
Many patients have also found relief with physiotherapy. This form of therapy works to strengthen the area you're having trouble with along with the surrounding structures, muscles, tendons, and joints. By working to improve the strength of the surrounding areas, pressure is decreased on the tendon and future injuries can be prevented.
Of course, one of the most effective treatments for tendinopathy is rest. Don't go back to your regular routine until your doctor has said you're clear. When you do return, take it easy and increase your activity level gradually.
Following these tips will help your recovery process from Achilles tendinopathy. If you’ve developed issues with your Achilles tendon, be sure to get help right away. For free consultation with our professionals at Chiro-Med, contact us today!