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Achilles Tendon disorders

Achilles tendonitis is a condition of irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Achilles tendonitis is a common overuse injury that tends to occur in middle-age recreational athletes. The overuse causes inflammation that can lead to pain and swelling. Furthermore, Achilles tendonitis can lead to small tears within the tendon, and make it susceptible to rupture.

The main complaint associated with Achilles tendonitis is pain over the back of the heel. This is the point where the tendon inserts on the heel bone. Patients with Achilles tendonitis usually experience the most significant pain after periods of inactivity. Therefore patients tend to experience pain after first walking in the morning and when getting up after sitting for long periods of time. Patients will also experience pain while participating in activities, such as when running or jumping. Achilles tendonitis pain associated with exercise is most significant when pushing off or jumping.

The best treatment of Achilles tendonitis is prevention. Stretching the Achilles tendon before exercise, even at the start of the day, will help to maintain flexibility in the ankle joint. Problems with foot mechanics can also be treated with devices inserted into the shoes. Products such as heel cups, arch supports, and custom orthotics can be used to correct for abnormalities such as overpronation and help prevent Achilles tendonitis.

The treatments of Achilles tendonitis include:

  • Rest
    Resting the painful Achilles tendon will allow the inflammation to subside and allow for healing. A period of rest after the onset of symptoms is important in controlling Achilles tendonitis.
  • Immobilization
    In patients who have more significant symptoms, a period of immobilization can help. Either a removable walking boot, or sometimes even a cast, can allow the inflamed tissue to cool down quickly.
  • Heel Wedge
    A heel wedge can be inserted into the shoe to minimize the stress on the Achilles tendon. These can be placed in both athletic shoes and work shoes.
  • Ice the Injury
    Applying ice to the area of inflammation can help stimulate blood flow to the area, and relieve the pain associated with inflammation. Apply ice after exercise, as well as several other times over the course of the day.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) include a long list of possibilities such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn, Celebrex, and many others. Achilles tendonitis treatment can be improved by these medications that will decrease pain and swelling. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting these medications.
  • Physical Therapy
    Physical therapists can help formulate a stretching and rehabilitation program to work on flexibility of the Achilles tendon.

Cortisone injections are infrequently used in patients with Achilles tendonitis because studies have shown an increased incidence of Achilles tendon rupture after cortisone injections.

TOPAZ Coblation Therapy has been shown to have excellent results in treating Achilles Tendonitis.

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