Chronic Achilles Tendonitis
Chronic Achilles tendinitis (also spelled tendonitis) occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed over a period of time. Usually due to repetitive overuse, irritation or may be a result of acute tendinitis that has been left untreated or has not been allowed sufficient rest.
The pain of chronic Achilles tendonitis can occur lower down the ankle at the insertion point of the tendon (insertional tendinitis) into the heel bone or part way up the tendon (midpoint or non-insertional tendinitis). In addition, it is common that the tendon becomes enlarged and inflexible with the build up of scar tissue.
Although this condition is very common among male recreational runners between the ages of 35-45, Achilles tendinitis can also affect people participating in lower impact sports, like golf, and less active pastimes, such as gardening who may have poor foot mechanics or weakened muscles in the calf and tendon tissue.
Symptoms of chronic Achilles tendinitis include:
- A gradual onset of pain with no specific event known as the cause
- A thicker or swollen Achilles tendon
- Constant pain throughout exercise and even during daily activity
- A possible lump in the tendon approximately 2 inches above the heel
- Pain that increases when walking uphill or up stairs
- Pain and stiffness after long periods of rest
- Tender and warm to the touch
- Pain becomes most significant when pushing off or jumping
- A creaking feeling may occur when you press the tendon or move your ankle
If you feel a sharp pain, as though you've been hit in the back of the ankle, and hear a "pop" sound, your Achilles tendon has likely ruptured. A ruptured (completely torn) Achilles tendon is caused when the Achilles tendon is overstressed to the point of tearing. It will be very difficult for you to walk or move your ankle if this is the case.
Causes of chronic Achilles tendinitis include:
- Acute Achilles tendinitis that has gone untreated.
- Not warming up or stretching before and after exercise.
- Wearing high heels over a long period of time. High heels cause the calf muscles to shorten (contract) providing less slack in the Achilles tendon.
- An inflexible Achilles tendon (i.e. tendon with scar tissue from previous injury or wear and tear or acute Achilles tendinitis).
- Training on uneven terrain or a change in terrain (i.e. hills) .
- Weak or inflexible calf muscles (gastrocnemius or soleus).
- Flat feet (also called pes planus or fallen arches) can cause extra stress on the Achilles tendon.
- Overpronation of the foot (rolling your foot inward too much when you walk or run which may be due to having high arches).
- Bony growths around the heel (sometimes caused by arthritis) which irritate the Achilles tendon.
- Heel bones can very in shape and size from person to person. With such variations, a small heel bone can put extra stress on your Achilles tendon causing you to more of a chance of damage then the next person. An irregular shape calcaneus (heel bone) can cause the Achilles tendon to twist causing further irritation.
Chronic Achilles tendinitis can be a difficult condition to treat due to the build up of scar tissue on the tendon. Scar tissue can form in any direction. Ultimately what causes stiffening, entrapping a nerve, restricting movement, less elasticity, poor circulation, flexibility and leaves the tendon more chance to further injury.
Achilles Treatments - What You Can Do!
Be Proactive About the Health of your Injury!
The trick with any tendon injury is getting it to heal with minimal scar tissue growth and with as much realignment of tendon fibers as possible - something the Inferno Wrap® is great at! Even with optimum healing, there is always less elasticity in a previously injured tendon. This will cause the tendon to hurt, during ANY exercise.
Allowing your Achilles tendon to rest is always recommended following injury. Avoid all activities that may have caused the injury or irritation and begin cold compression treatments as soon as possible. The Achilles tendon is a difficult tendon to rest completely as it is an essential tendon for walking and daily activities.
Alternative medications like cortisone injections are NOT advised for any type of Achilles Tendon condition. This is because there is increased risk of rupture of the tendon following a cortisone injection.
"Medical evidence shows that cortisone shots can damage the surrounding tissue, fray the Achilles tendon, and even trigger a rupture. Most side effects are temporary, but skin weakening (atrophy) and lightening of the skin (depigmentation) can be permanent." (reference: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
Cold Compression Therapy
For years, doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, and after any re-injury.
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and freezer gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been another option to treat painful conditions and injuries, so ice and freezer gel packs have been the only choice.
Fortunately, you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, and numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late. The Ankle/Achilles Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your calf in an effective and convenient way. Cold Compression Therapy works by stopping and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your Achilles Tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur.
The Freezie Wrap® is your organic pain reliever!
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy
After the inflammation and swelling is gone you can begin to treat your Achilles tendon with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy, or BFST®. Increasing the amount of blood that flows naturally to your ankle to nourish your tendons, ligaments and muscles to increases your body's natural healing power.
The Achilles tendon receives a limited blood supply compared to other tendons in the body and this greatly reduces its natural ability to heal itself.
Fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from the injury leaving the area clean and able to heal faster. Our Ankle/Achilles Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
Fortunately, with use of the Freezie Wrap® cold compression wrap and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) from using the Inferno Wrap®, you can treat your scar tissue and heal your tendon to restore its proper function.
With these 2 easy therapies you will notice incredible improvement in your tendon. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results! During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your Achilles tendon until your pain and inflammation settle.
Learn More About These SUPERIOR Achilles Treatments
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Remember: Always consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.