Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a common injury to the Achilles tendon which is located along the back of the foot. The Achilles tendon is directly above the back of the heel. Those with Achilles tendonitis experience pain or tenderness in the tendon.

Achilles tendonitis is caused by overuse of the tendon. It is exasperated by an increase in repetitive activity. This type of sudden increase in activity puts too much strain on the tendon. If Achilles tendonitis is left untreated, Achilles tendonosis can develop. In Achilles tendonosis, the constitution of the tendon has been altered by microscopic tears in the tendon.

Athletes are at greater risk for developing Achilles tendonitis due to repetitive stress on the tendon. People whose careers involve repetitive pressure on their ankles and feet are also at an increased risk. People with flat feet or fallen arches are at risk for Achilles tendonitis since the Achilles tendon is at greater demand while they walk.

A doctor can diagnose Achilles tendonitis by manipulating the foot and judging the range of motion. Typical treatment for this condition involve pain relief and preventing further stress on the tendon while it heals. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help with pain relief. It can also minimize the inflammation associated with the early stages of the condition.

The doctor may suggest the use of ice packs. Applying ice packs can help reduce swelling and inflammation after the injury occurs. The doctor may prescribe the use of a walking boot, cast, or other supportive measure to immobilize the area of the injured tendon. Rest and immobilization promotes healing of Achilles tendonitis.

Physical therapy may be recommended to improve the strength of the Achilles tendon and safely increase range of motion. In severe cases, surgery to repair the Achilles tendon may be necessary. After treatment, the doctor or physical therapist may instruct the patient to conduct daily stretching and strengthening exercises.


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