Definition of Tendinitis
Your tendons are thick cords of tissue that connect your bones to your muscles. Like much of the rest of you body, tendons can become inflamed. This inflammation is called tendinitis (also occasionally referred to as tendonitis). (The suffix -itis means inflammation and is attached to words that describe parts of your body, like tonsillitis, to indicate where the inflammation occurs.)
Inflammation of your Achilles tendon, or achilles tendinitis, is one of the most common sources of foot and ankle pain. Other parts of your foot/ankle can experience tendinitis as well, including posterior tibial tendinitis (this tendon is one of the main supports of the arch of your foot) and peroneal tendinitis (these tendons wrap around your ankle and connect to the midsection of your foot; they help stabilize your foot while walking.)
Symptoms of Tendinitis
Like most times when something is not right in your body, the main way you can tell you have tendinitis is pain in the affected area. The pain will be more noticeable when you move the muscles and bones attached to that tendon. You may also feel stiff in the area, especially first thing in the morning. The tendon can also swell. You may notice this swelling as a lump in your foot.
Causes of Tendinitis
There are several possible causes of tendinitis, including:
- An injury
- Overuse of the tendon (during sports or other activities)
- Not stretching correctly or not stretching at all before exercise or activity
- Having incorrect form during physical activity
- Having “flat feet”
- Having tight tendons or arthritis
Treating Tendinitis at Home
Resting the affected tendon(s) by staying off your foot or ankle as much as you can may relieve the pain. Icing the area for up to 15 minutes at a time, three to four times a day can also help.
When You Should Visit Us
If you are still feeling pain after a week, especially if the pain doesn’t go away with ice and rest, you should request an appointment. Don’t put off seeing a specialist because tendinitis can become a chronic problem. It is much easier to treat when it is an injury, rather than a persistent problem.
Tendinitis Diagnosis and Treatment
When you visit one of our Utah offices, we will discuss the pain your are experiencing, along with your general health. We will complete an examination of your feet and ankles. We might also do an x-ray or an MRI to eliminate the possibility of other problems causing the pain, such as a fracture or a torn tendon.
Treatments for tendinitis in Utah are designed to relieve the pain and to prevent any further injury. This may be done with custom shoe inserts or a soft cast. The cast will immobilize the foot or ankle for the needed period of time, normally a few weeks. You might also be prescribed an oral medication to assist in the healing process or to ease the pain.
Prevention of Tendinitis by You and A Podiatrist
Decreasing the chances of your tendinitis coming back will be a joint effort by you and your podiatrist. They may encourage you to preform certain stretches or exercises to improve the tendon’s elasticity and to strengthen the muscles around the tendon. They may also create a custom orthotic(s) for your foot, which will help control the motion of your feet.
You should also gradually increase your activity level through the use of an appropriate training schedule. Slowing building up to running two miles straight is better than trying all at once. This gradual training of your feet and body will also help prevent tendinitis.
You should also be careful while participating in sports. Poor form is a cause of tendinitis, so learning the correct moves will protect your feet and ankles. Also, take the time to stretch and prepare your muscles and tendon for physical activity.
For information on our other services and podiatry resources go to Our Utah Podiatrist Services here.
Contact us here with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment. Feel free to call one of our Utah offices in Alpine at 801.756.1800 or Sandy at 801.571.7911. We look forward to serving you!