Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are thick cords of tissue that connect muscles to bone.
The three most common types of tendonitis that we see in the office are due to inflammation of the achilles tendon, the peroneal tendon and the tibialis posterior tendon.
Tendonitis can result from an injury or over-use. Improper stretching prior to exertion or incorrect form during physical activity can also contribute to the development of tendonitis. Some people, including those with “flat feet,” tight tendons or arthritis, are particularly prone to tendonitis.
Pain is the most prominent symptom of tendonitis. The pain will be most noticeable when you try to move that part of your body. The involved tendon may swell.
Rest and ice can ease the pain of tendonitis. Stay off your foot or ankle as much as possible and apply ice for up to 15 minutes at a time, three to four times a day.
What we can do to help you solve this pain
If the pain doesn’t go away with ice and rest, or if the pain persists beyond a week, we would recommend that we see you as a patient. It is important not to ignore the pain. Tendonitis can become a chronic problem, and then becomes much more difficult to treat.
Initially, we will perform a complete history and physical examination of your foot. A comprehensive biomechanical examination may be performed to see how your gait may contribute to the formation of the tendonitis. Digital x-rays or an MRI might be ordered to rule out any other problems, such as a fracture or torn tendon.
Treatment will focus on relieving the pain and preventing further injury. We will educate you on proper shoe gear and on avoiding certain activities that may be contributing to your pain. We will discuss stretching exercises to help resolve your pain. We may prescribe an oral or topical anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce the pain and inflammation from the tendonitis. It may also be necessary to perform a cortisone injection to help reduce swelling.
Many cases of tendonitis respond very well to proper arch support or prescription orthotics. If your tendonitis is mild, we may be able to use a pre-made arch support to control any abnormal flattening of your arch. We carry arch supports in our office that are typically much better than what you will find in the store. Some cases of tendonitis are more severe and may require the use of a prescription orthotic. This is a custom-made arch support that is made from a plaster impression or digital scan of your foot and arch. Unlike pre-made arch supports, however, an orthotic completely controls abnormal pronation or flattening of the arch.
If you are having symptoms consistent with tendonitis that are not improving, it is important to make an appointment to see us. The doctors at Council Bluffs Foot & Ankle Care are experts in the cause and treatment of all cases of tendonitis of the foot and ankle. Call today to make an appointment.