Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that affects the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. Another name commonly used for this is achilles tendinitis. This condition can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the back of the heel, making it difficult to walk or engage in physical activities. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the causes and symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy and chiropractic treatment options that can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.
Causes of Achilles Tendinopathy
Achilles tendinitis can occur due to a variety of reasons, including:
- Overuse: Repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon from running, jumping, or dancing can cause micro-tears in the tendon, leading to inflammation and pain.
- Aging: Our tendons become less elastic and more prone to injury as we age. This can increase the risk of developing Achilles tendinopathy.
- Foot Mechanics: Issues with foot mechanics, such as flat feet, high arches, or abnormal gait, can stress the Achilles tendon, leading to injury and pain.
- Inadequate Warm-up or Cool-down: Not properly warming up or cooling down before and after physical activity can increase the risk of developing Achilles tendinopathy.
Symptoms of Achilles Tendinopathy
The symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy can vary from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the injury. Common symptoms include:
- Pain and stiffness in the back of the heel. This pain can be terrible in the morning or after prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
- Swelling and tenderness in the affected area.
- Limited range of motion in the ankle joint.
- A popping or snapping sound at the back of the heel.
Chiropractic Treatment Options for Achilles Tendinopathy
Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment option for Achilles tendinopathy. Here are some of the chiropractic treatment options that can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with this condition:
- Soft tissue therapies: Soft tissue therapies such as massage, myofascial release, and Active Release Techniques (ART). These are all used to help to reduce pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon. These therapies can break down scar tissue that forms in the tendon, improving flexibility and range of motion.
- Manual adjustments: Chiropractic adjustments can help improve joint mobility and function, reducing stress and strain on the Achilles tendon. This can also help improve circulation to the area, promoting healing.
- Therapeutic exercises: Chiropractors can prescribe specific exercises to help strengthen the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, which can help to improve overall stability and reduce the risk of future injury.
- Footwear and orthotics: Chiropractors can advise on appropriate footwear and recommend custom orthotics to help support the foot and reduce stress on the Achilles tendon.
- Cold Laser Therapy: Chiropractors can utilize Class 4 Cold Lasers to promote blood flow and tissue healing in the damaged tendon
Achilles tendinopathy can be painful and debilitating, but it mustn’t be a life sentence. With proper treatment, it can be managed effectively. Chiropractic care can help reduce pain and inflammation, improve joint function, and promote Achilles tendon healing.
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If you’d like more info, please visit the Mayo Clinic’s website.