What is Achilles tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis is a painful and fairly common condition caused by inflammation, irritation or degeneration of the Achilles tendon – the large tendon that runs down the back of the lower leg.
Are there different types of Achilles tendinitis?
There are two types of Achilles tendonitis: insertional and non-insertional.
Insertional Achilles tendonitis affects the lower portion of the Achilles tendon, where it attaches to the heel. Small tears and swelling are typical of this type of Achilles tendonitis and it is common in people with a Haglund’s deformity, a foot condition where the back of the heel is prominent, which causes irritation to the tendon.
Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis is characterized by pain and inflammation of the middle portion of the Achilles tendon. It can result in degeneration of the tissue due to stress and pull of the tendon. Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis is more commonly seen in young, active people.
What causes Achilles tendinitis?
Generally speaking, Achilles tendonitis is caused by repetitive stress and overuse. It can also be cause use by an increase in physical activity that takes place too rapidly. However, there are other possible causes as well such as a pre-existing foot problem, an abnormal bone growth, improper footwear, tight muscles or tendons, and even foot biomechanics such as over pronation.
What are its symptoms? How do you know if you have it?
Below is a list of the most common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis:
- Pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon or the back of the heel, often most significant in the morning
- Pain and swelling along the tendon or heel that worsens with activity
- Thickening or swelling of the tendon
- A boney protrusion or bone spur at the back of the heel (insertional tendinitis)
- Severe pain the day after exercising
How is Achilles tendinitis diagnosed?
Doctors will typically order an x-ray to check for calcification or bone growth in the tendon. The x-ray can show which part of the Achilles tendon has calcified. When the lower part of the tendon is calcified, it indicates insertional Achilles tendinitis. When the middle section of the Achilles tendon becomes calcified, it indicates severe non-insertional Achilles tendinitis.
In some cases, the doctor might order an MRI. MRIs are used when the doctor is concerned possible large tears to the tendon. MRIs can show the level of damage to the tendon and help the doctor plan for surgery, as the type of surgery will depend on how severe the damage.
How do you prevent Achilles Tendinitis?
One of the most important questions asked about Achilles tendinitis is how to prevent it. Here are a few steps you can take to lower your risk of developing this foot condition.
- Avoid overtraining and exercising. Rather, gradually increase the intensity and length of your training time.
- Avoid running on soft surfaces such as sand or grass for extended periods of time. The softer surfaces cause the heel of the foot to drop down more than they would on a hard surface, which in turn causes more stress on the tendon.
- Make sure you follow a proper warm-up routine before exercising and that you do your stretches not only before and after exercising, but on your rest days as well.
- Make sure you use proper footwear. Don’t use old, worn out shoes that don’t provide adequate support. Insufficient support can increase stress on the Achilles tendon.
- If you over pronate, you should use a special type of shoe that helps correct overpronation and comes with: a. firm heel counter, which reduces overpronation. b. orthotic insoles with good arch support. c. Shoes that are softer at the back of the heel can reduce friction and irritation of the tendon.
- Shoes with ergonomic soles design that provide a heel lift to help reduce strain on the tendon.
- For shoes that don’t provide adequate orthopedic features, orthotic insoles with anatomical arch support and heel lift are commonly used to treat Achilles Tendinitis.
Orthofeet has a wide variety of shoes and orthotics that can help with over-pronation and reduce strain on the Achilles tendon.
What are the treatment options?
There are both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. Obviously, surgical treatment is a last resort and should only be considered after nonsurgical treatment has been attempted for at least six months.
Let’s start with nonsurgical treatment options:
Rest. Top on the list of treatment options is rest. This means either stopping completely or at least decreasing the activities that deepen the pain.
Ice. Icing the painful area of the Achilles tendon is another helpful option. This can be done whenever it is convenient throughout the day and can be done in up to 20-minute intervals.
Calf stretch. Calf stretches are a good exercise to perform because it helps strengthen the calf muscles and reduces stress on the Achilles tendon.
Supportive shoes and orthotics. Shoes that are softer at the back of the heel can reduce friction and irritation of the tendon. Shoes that incorporate Heel lifts can also help reduce strain on the tendon.
Physical therapy. Physical therapy can be very effective in treating Achilles tendinitis. A good physical therapist can show you how to follow an eccentric strengthening program – a muscle tightening exercise for building strength and releasing stress. It’s important, however, that a licensed PT show you how to perform these types of exercises, since doing them incorrectly can cause damage to the tendon.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. These types of drugs can help reduce pain and swelling, during the recovery process, but they do not actually treat the degeneration of the tendon.
Now for surgical options:
The type of surgery performed depends on the severity of the damage to the tendinitis and its location. There are several types of surgical options.
- 1. Debridement and repair – this surgery is only performed when there is less than 50% damage to the tendon. In this operation, the damaged part of the tendon is removed and the remaining tendon is repaired with sutures.
- 2. Debridement and tendon transfer – this surgery is used when there is greater than 50% damage to the tendon. Essentially, an Achilles tendon transfer is performed whereby a tendon from the big toe is moved to the heel bone.
- 3. Gastrocnemius recession – a surgical lengthening of the calf muscles.
And remember, comfort doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style.
COMBINATION OF GREAT FOOTWEAR AND GREAT HEAT MODABLE CUSTOMIZED INSERTS IS THE WINNING COMBINATION!
Let this video explain what a therapeutic design or construction is all about dealing with footwear. Therapeutic/Orthotic consider an extra depth construction.
We are a therapeutic line, and the explanation between a conventional comfort line and our’s found in the video below
Now let’s talk, in more detail, about the ten reasons what makes Therapeutic footwear so much superior to a Comfort Shoe:
1) The strongest mid-support in the shoe business. No bilateral movement view the video above for illustrations and a midsection depth that gives you support and the maximum room in the footwear world. One of many reasons why therapeutic is considered extra depth
2) The strongest heel counter in the business that helps create no bi-lateral movement and the tallest heel counter in the footwear world. A reason whey therapeutic footwear considered extra depth
3) A taller toe box to create more wiggle room and space for your toes a reason why considered an extra depth footwear
4)Extended bottoms to give you the fullest width and support than any other shoe line anywhere
5) A lightweight shoe for less wear and tear on your feet but with all that great added support
6) all removable arch support to put a more advanced support system or a customized inserts
7) Women’s styles having a 3 to 1 combination last for better fit and support for your heel
8) Fuller forefront in the construction of the footwear to create more comfort and room for that maximum support and comfort and a reason why considered extra depth footwear
9) Deeper heel counter to build more balance and support to the heel section of the foot and other reason why consider an extra depth footwear
10) Leather lining that creates more flexibility and breathability to the foot
We have 4A (Slender width for Ladies) 2A (Narrow width for Ladies), B ( Medium width for Ladies and Narrow width for Men), D (Medium width for Men and Wide width for Ladies), 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E, 6E, 7E, 9E, 10E, 14E widths in Men’s and Ladies styles
We carry up to 20 in Men’s styles, and 15 in Ladies dealing in lengths
We have 5 to 6 lengths, in selected styles for Men and 4 to 5 in Women’s length
Some additional information and explanation of this type of footwear for all the Ladies out there:
ATTENTION LADIES, HERE IS MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR NEEDS:
We have all those wide widths that are needed but with our 32 new styles of women’s footwear that we will be offering a 4A (Slender) 2A (Narrow) B (Medium) D (Wide) 3E Extra Wide) 5E Extra Extra Wide, 7E Full Extra Wide 10E Extra Full Wide, 14E (Superior Extra Wide Width) widths for you ladies- that is unheard that is offered by one website.
Why having this 3 to 1 combination last is so important in creating that perfect fit for all our ladies. What does 3 to 1 combination mean? The heel counter is 3 times narrow than the ball width of the shoe. Okay, big deal? Well, this is a critical factor because a women heel structure is a great deal narrow than a Men’s and if we made all our Ladies footwear as the same last of a Men’s style- the ladies heels would slipping all day long or have a terrible fit!
Having these 1 to 3 Customized Heat Moldable Inserts ( that is Free and remember that the shoe has to have a removable footbed for these inserts to work. Not all AA widths have this, but we’ll state, on our descriptions if you can receive 1 to 3 pair of these inserts FREE- up to a $240.00 value) will make that perfect fit, comfort and support experience out of this world — especially for those NARROW FEET!.
If you know someone (Ladies) that needs sandals, casual footwear, athletic footwear in a 4A (slender width) or AA (Narrow) width- let them know we have then and a great selection as well.
All new Slender (4A) and Narrow (AA) widths for ladies- look out we will have a ton for you to choose. New Dress Boots, up to 14 inches in shaft height, for women, Dress boots and new dress styles for Men as well. All Weather Footwear and Boots for both Men and Women. Some new dressy footwear for Men and women.
All our new and old styles are therapeutic/comfort that has the best fit and support in the shoe world.
It’s nice being called the “King Of Widths”, again 4A to 14E widths, on the internet, and all found at www.dtfootweear.com
Ron Heinlein | President/Founder | Cell # 909–215–1622
Designer Therapeutic Footwear Co.
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