What is Achilles Tendonitis?
Tendons attach your muscles to your bones, and when these become inflamed, it is known as tendonitis. The Achilles Tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone and is used for jumping, walking, running and similar activities. When this tendon is injured, you can have either one of two types of Achilles tendonitis: insertional Achilles tendonitis or noninsertional Achilles tendinitis. Insertional Achilles tendonitis affects the area where your bone and tendon meet in the lower portion of your tendon. Noninsertional Achilles tendonitis involves the fibers in the middle portion of your tendon. Younger people who are active tend to suffer from noninsertional Achilles tendonitis.
What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?
There are several causes of Achilles tendonitis with most of them being related to excessive exercise. Not warming up before exercising can cause problems, as well as strain the calf muscles during repeated exercise or physical activity. If you wear old or poor-fitting shoes, you can develop Achilles tendonitis. If you wear high-heels daily or for prolonged periods of time, your risk level of developing Achilles tendonitis is higher. Other causes include having bone spurs in the back of your heels and being older, as your tendon weakens as you age.
When you Should Seek Treatment
If you experience pain or swelling in the back of your heel while walking or running, it’s time to see a medical professional. Other symptoms include tight calf muscles, skin on your heel that is overly warm to the touch or a limited range of motion when flexing your foot.
Why You Should Seek Treatment
Improperly treating your Achilles Tendonitis can lead to more damaging consequences such as the tearing of the tendon. If this occurs, surgery will need to be performed to repair the rupture. If you undergo surgery to repair your Achilles tendon, complications such as hematoma (blood swelling and clotting inside tissue) may occur, as well as deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein). Continuing to put stress on your tendon after surgery can worsen complications or cause another rupture.
Achilles Tendonitis typically goes away after a few days. Reducing physical activity and giving your tendon the opportunity to rest and recover can be beneficial. Icing the area after exercising or when it starts to hurt can reduce pain and inflammation and improve healing over time. Other options include adding compression to the area or elevating it.
Chiropractic care can assist in the aid and recovery of more serious injuries. The Achilles tendon receives low blood flow and can benefit from an improvement in blood circulation to the area. Lengthening the calf muscles during exercise can also be done through chiropractic care and can help treat Achilles tendonitis.
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