What is Achilles Tendinitis and How Is It Treated?
Achilles tendinitis, one of the longest tendons in the body, extends from the back of the ankle to the calf muscles. This flexible, ribbon-like texture can be felt on the go. Achilles tendon, which helps to stretch the toe and stretch the foot, can easily be damaged, although it is the strongest tendon in the body. The Achilles tendon, which acts to lift the heel bone during walking or running, creates excessive threats as a result of prolonged walking, running or standing, and this can result in injury, called Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis is an injury that results from excessive use of the Achilles beams. Achilles tendonitis, which is usually seen in athletes, is an inflammatory disease that develops due to sudden strain or excessive use of the tendon.
The task of the Achilles tendon is to slow down, stabilize and then accelerate the foot during the walking cycle. In addition to structural disorders in the foot or ankle, excessive use of the foot causes this tendon to become more prone to injuries. Therefore, pain may occur in sports activities.
Tendinitis, which occurs in the middle part of the tendon, usually occurs due to excessive use and often occurs in individuals in the middle age group. This type of tendinitis is degenerative and occurs as a result of excessive use of the muscles in the attachments. For this reason, it usually occurs in young and active people. However, Achilles tendinitis is most common in the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis seen around the heel bone is a condition encountered in individuals of an inactive older age group.
Causes Achilles Tendinitis?
There is no direct injury in the formation of Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendonitis, one of the problems usually seen in athletes, often occurs as a result of excessive use. Achilles tendon strain is at the basis of the formation of Achilles tendonitis. We can list the causes of Achilles tendonitis in the form of excessive use, suddenly increasing the level of activity, using continuous heels and overweight. Using high heels for a long time can cause the tendon to be subject to too much pressure. Also, excess weight causes flat insoles. In this case, tendons and muscles are stretched and they tend to injuries.
Achilles tendinitis may occur in cases such as wrong training, keeping warm-up movements short, doing sports in uneven areas, too high curvature of the feet and leg inequalities. In addition, patients with hemodialysis, diabetic patients, and those with anatomically high heel bone posterior upper protrusion are at higher risk of Achilles tendonitis.
Factors That Trigger Achilles Tendinitis Attack
- Take very fast action after rest
- Suddenly increase speed while running
- Adding stairs or running to the routine sports
- Excessive use of muscle
- Adding extra effort to the foot
- A sudden or severe contraction of a calf muscle
What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis?
If an explosion sound came from the Achilles tendon during sports, tearing may occur. In this case, we recommend that you consult a doctor immediately. Achilles tendonitis, which manifests with pain, causes pain in the heel or lower leg after running or other activities. Another common complaint in Achilles tendonitis is difficulties during walking or climbing stairs. In addition, in cases of Achilles tendinitis, pain and stiffness are felt along the tendon in the morning. In addition, tendon thickening and swelling are seen.
- Pain that occurs after exercise and continues throughout the day
- Pain and stiffness felt along the Achilles tendon in the morning
- Thickening and swelling in the tendon
- Pain and sensitivity increase in the area where the tendon is attached after excessive activity
What is Achilles Tendinitis Treatment?
In the treatment of Achilles tendinitis, the severity of the disease is primarily taken into consideration. In treatment, first of all, pain and sensitivity are tried to be reduced. For this, rest and cold applications are done. In addition, heel lift increases the load on the tendon by increasing the heel. First of all, the patient is provided with plenty of rest. In the initial stages of treatment, the patient is recommended to avoid sports activities that require high effort. In this process, medication can also be used. A variety of medications can be used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. In the treatment process, the shoes used by the patient are also very important. It may be useful to use boots, support straps or a plaster base to keep the heel steady. You can also reduce pain and swelling by using heel laces or shoes that reduce heel pressure.
If the patient does not benefit from the initial treatment, gypsum or brace treatment can be applied. In addition, physical therapy can be applied to this process. For surgical intervention, non-surgical treatment should be applied for an average of 3-6 months. With surgical intervention, an extension of the gastrocnemius muscle can be performed to reduce the tension of the Achilles tendon. However, if the tendon has less than 50% damage, the damaged places are cleaned. After this procedure, boot or plaster treatment is applied. If the damage is more than 50%, tendon transfer is made.