Foot Achilles Tendinitis and Tendinosis Treatment Questions and Answers
Dr. Davinder Bhela, DPM, at Hicksville Podiatry provides comprehensive treatment for foot achilles tendinitis and tendinosis. For more information, call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We have 2 convenient locations to serve you in Hicksville NY, and West Hempstead NY.
How do you treat Achilles tendinosis?
Achilles tendinosis is a chronic condition affecting the tendon in the back of the heel. Tendonitis refers to the degeneration of the tendon, identifiable by disorganized fibers and with the tendon having a thickened, hard, scarred, and rubbery appearance. Tendinosis is common in recreational runners and forms over time, making it an overuse injury. It differs from tendinitis, which is an inflammation of the tendon that comes on suddenly with no real damage to the tendon. It is important to understand the difference and have the injury properly diagnosed to ensure the right treatment plan is implemented. Achilles tendinosis can be treated through non-surgical means with a combination of over-the-counter pain medication, rest, stretching and strengthening exercises, and correction of malalignments. There have also been promising testing done to show that calf muscle training may reduce the need for surgical treatment. Physical therapy can be used to treat tendinosis using exercises to stretch and strengthen the tendon and surrounding muscles. Another option if the pain persists could be to try an injection of platelet-rich plasma from your own blood into the tendon which has been shown to be effective in speeding up the healing process. If that doesn’t work either, there are alternative methods available, both surgical and non-surgical, that you can work through with your doctor. Preference will be given to non-surgical treatments to minimize downtime and recovery. Your doctor can walk you through your treatment options and help you decide which one is best for you based on the procedure itself, risks and chances of complications, recovery time, and long-term results.
What causes Achilles Tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis is caused by the overuse of the Achilles tendon on the back of the heel. It is most common in runners, typically caused by a sudden increase in duration or intensity of their regular running routine. It is also quite common in weekend warriors or people who play sports only on the weekends. Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon that comes on suddenly as the result of a change in pressure and use of the tendon. Symptoms primarily pain in the back of the leg, or above the heel, during or after running or other sporting activity that uses the Achilles tendon. The pain can be anything from a dull ache to more severe pain depending on the activity causing the pain and the duration. Tenderness or stiffness can also be felt first thing in the morning with the feeling improving as you start moving. Achilles tendinitis can typically be treated at home, with ice, rest, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. If the pain is severe, it is best to get it checked out by your doctor. They will be able to determine the exact cause of the problem through a physical exam, x-rays, ultrasound or MRI and provide a treatment plan based on the severity of the problem. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy exercises to help with stretching and strengthening the tendon itself and the supporting muscles.
What is the difference between Achilles Tendinitis and Tendinosis?
The Achilles tendon is found in the back of the heel and can become injured through overuse, particularly from running, in the form of Achilles tendinitis or Achilles tendinosis. Many people don’t realize that tendinitis and tendinosis are two different conditions. The primary difference between the two conditions is time. Achilles tendinitis is caused by inflammation to the tendon and often comes on suddenly. With Achilles tendinitis there is no microscopic tendon damage, there is just swelling to the tendon. In the case of Achilles tendinosis, the cause is degeneration of the tendon. This results in the tendon being chronically damaged with a thickened, hard, scarred, and rubbery appearance. An ultrasound can quickly and easily be done to determine if the cause of pain is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon or if there is chronic degeneration. The treatment is very different, so it is important that a prior diagnosis is done to determine the course of treatment required. Tendinitis can often be treated with rest, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, and the use of a strap to help brace the area, with treatment taking about four to six weeks. Tendinosis can require physical therapy sessions, over-the-counter pain medication, and rest, as well as more advanced techniques.
For more information about foot achilles tendinitis and tendinosis, call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We serve patients from Hicksville NY, Bethpage NY, Levittown NY, Westbury NY, Plainview NY, Farmingdale NY, Jericho NY, Syosset NY, Brookville NY, Muttontown NY, Upper Brookville NY, Greenvale NY, West Hempstead NY, Swedetown Village NY, North Wantagh NY, Garden City NY, East Hills NY, Franklin Square NY, Lakeville Estates NY, Queens Village NY, Alden Manor NY, North Merrick NY, East Meadow NY.