What is Achilles Tendonitis?
Achilles Tendonitis is inflammation of the achilles tendon either at the heel bone area or above it in the tendon itself. The Achilles tendon attaches your calf muscles to the heel bone. This tendon is used to jump, walk, run, and stand on the balls of your feet.
What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?
Continuous excessive tension to this tendon can cause inflammation. Faulty biomechanics is commonly a main contributory cause of much of the arch and heel pain.
Symptoms may include pain, swelling, tight calf muscles, warm to the touch.
Current research shows that immobilizing the tendon is not the best for it. Some “Load” on the tendon actually helps it heal. It is important to have it diagnosed and treated accordingly to your biomechanics. However, some still recommend walking boots for achilles tendonitis. Click to learn more about Achilles Tendonitis Walking Boots. Mechanically, I have found that reducing abnormal forces on the tendon through functional orthotics is best not only in the short but also the long term.The latest achilles tendonitis research shows that repetitive loads and vibration on the muscle tendon unit leads to the injury. This is one reason to alter your activity. For example, running on the same road in the same direction every day can lead to an injury.Dr. Sables can help immediately with taping immobilization, therapy, etc. followed by biomechanical correction to alleviate and prevent further injury.
Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis:
It is not a specific brand but the style or features of the shoe that is most important. The features you typically want to look for would be those that help reduce the tension or load on the achilles tendon. Look for a shoe with some heel on it. That is, a zero heel or flat shoe should be avoided at least till it heals. The heel area should have a supportive or stiffer heel counter (the part of the shoe that wraps around the back of your heel bone). This should also match the shape of the back of your heel. Some need to be curved, some straight or with a cushion on top.Also, a shoe with a forefoot rocker (front of the shoe curves upward) to decrease the lever arm of the leg to the foot. This will reduce the force on the achilles tendon as you bend the ball of the foot when you are walking/running. Some cushioning is beneficial but too much can cause increased strain on the tendon.Finally, fit is important. The ball of the foot (base of toes) should be at the widest part of the shoe where the shoe bends. Inhibiting the bending motion will increase stress on the achilles tendon, which is what should be avoided.
Dr. Sables illustrates how to stretch your achilles tendon.
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