Strenuous, high impact exercise can be effective for maintaining weight and increasing your athletic performance. However, over time, repetitive motions can cause painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon, known as Achilles Tendinitis. Luckily, the physical therapy team at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic provides highly successful Achilles Tendinitis treatment in Kansas City.
We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Achilles Tendonitis in order to seek the most effective treatment for your pain.
First, what is Achilles Tendinitis?
Achilles Tendinitis, sometimes associated with bone spurs, is an inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects your two large calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and soleus) to your heel bone. Achilles Tendinitis can cause pain anywhere along the length of the tendon into the heel.
This pain is usually due to overuse injuries of the Achilles tendon, which irritates the heel where the tendon attaches into the bottom of the foot. Identifying where the tissue is injured can provide insight into why the injury occurred and which therapies are the most appropriate.
What causes Achilles tendinitis?
Despite its strength, the Achilles tendon can still be injured—often, due to repetition of extreme forces.
Achilles tendinitis is most common in athletes such as runners and those participating in jumping sports; however, it is also common in the general population.
Every time you take a walk in the park, run down the road, or go up the stairs, your Achilles tendons are exposed to forces equal to several times your body weight, making it susceptible to inflammation.
Issues with your Achilles tendons can stem from a variety of reasons, including:
- increasing training load too quickly
- improper shoe wear
- certain training surfaces
- being overweight
- structural deformities of the foot, such as flat feet or high arches
Heel pain can also be due to Haglund's deformity, which appears as a bump on the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon meets the calcaneus. This bony enlargement is thought to contribute to inflammation in the Achilles tendon and bursa.
Factors leading to the formation of Haglund’s deformity include:
- tight Achilles tendon
- high arches
- wearing rigid backed shoes
- certain dysfunctions in gait pattern.
One of the main deviations in gait (manner of walking) leading to Achilles Tendinitis is overpronation of the foot. Excessive pronation during gait creates a rapid increase in the tension of your Achilles tendon.
This repeated stress of the tendon leads to an inflammatory reaction in the outer sheath surrounding the tendon.
It is important to analyze the difference between flat feet during static posture and uncontrolled pronation during gait and stepping in order to effectively intervene and treat Achilles Tendinitis in Kansas City.
Achilles Tendinitis Treatment in Kansas City
Conservative Achilles Tendinitis treatment in early stages can decrease the chances for a tendon rupture and help to keep you moving.
Typical treatment of Achilles Tendinitis should include release of trigger points in the soleus, gastrocnemius, and even in the hamstrings and gluteus medius.
We must assess and treat biomechanical dysfunctions of the foot, ankle, knee, and hip in order to be successful. It is also essential to perform a thorough functional assessment of the foot, knee, and hip when examining a patient with an Achilles injury.
Additionally, after we address joint and muscle dysfunctions, it is vital to retrain proper strength and stability in the foot, calf, and hip to make long-term changes and prevent the recurrence of Achilles Tendinitis.
Treatment for Achilles Tendinitis in Kansas City
The team at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic is highly qualified with the education and experience necessary to provide state-of-the-art care for Achilles tendinitis.
Contact us today with questions or to get started with treatment for your Achilles Tendinitis. If you’re unsure about what you need, you can also use our Virtual Consultation tool. This will help you discover which treatments may be best for the pain you’re experiencing.