Tendonitis can be a very stressful foot and ankle condition to manage on a daily basis. It can affect numerous joints around the body but is very common in the feet and ankles. Seek treatment from an orthopedic doctor and surgeon to ensure that a case of tendonitis does not get so advanced that it reduces your ability to move around, exercise, and participate in your normal activities.
What Is Tendonitis?
A tendon is a thick cord of tissue that links muscles to the bones in your body. Tendons are what keep the network of bones and muscles in your feet connected. For instance, there’s a posterior tibial tendon that reaches from the area behind your ankles to the lower part of your foot, and an anterior tibial tendon that connects the area in front of the ankle to the mid-part of the foot. Tendons can become stretched and inflamed, causing a condition called tendonitis. Symptoms include pain (gradual or sudden) and limited motion.
The treatments for tendonitis of the feet or ankles depends on the damage to the tendon and the severity of pain you’re experiencing. The ideal solution is a non-surgical or minimally invasive treatment, but in some cases, surgery is the best option. These are some of the most helpful therapies available:
- Podiatric physical therapy provided by trained therapists using high-tech equipment. - Pain management, such as cortisone injections or anti-inflammatory medication. - Digital X-rays and MRI images to determine the cause of your pain. - Foot and ankle arthroscopy (images are taken of the inside of the foot to identify tendon damage and repairs can be made in some cases).
Tips for Better Foot and Ankle Health
Tendonitis is caused by stress put on the feet and ankles from the way you walk, the shoes you wear, and trauma or injury to the feet. It is also common in patients who have a history of arthritis or similar joint problems. Follow these tips to minimize your chance of developing tendonitis:
- Continue practicing the physical therapy exercises you learn from your orthopedic doctor. - If you are an athlete, consider foot bracing and wearing orthotics in your sneakers or cleats while playing to reduce pressure on tendons. - Take it easy and take your time when working out or exercising—don’t push things too far. - Ice your feet regularly to reduce swelling and pain.
Relief from Tendonitis Is Within Reach