Transcription of Dr. Doyle's Video:
Hi everybody. Today I am going to talk with you about a condition called Achilles Tendinitis. This is a type of tendinitis that is very commonly seen in our office. In our feet, we oftentimes compensate for different deformities by over-firing or over-using certain muscles. The calf muscle is one that very commonly is over-used. As the calf muscle contracts excessively with every step you take, every day that you’re on your feet, you can end up with a lot of tightness in your Achilles tendon. This is the tendon that attaches from between the calf and onto the heel bone in the back of your foot. Achilles tendinitis can sometimes be a precursor to further damage that can happen down the line, so coming in sooner rather than later to address this pain is key. In patients who experience Achilles Tendinitis and it goes untreated, little tears can develop within the tendon that becomes more painful and develops a lot of scarring in the tendon. After a period of time, if this scarring process is repeated over and over, the scarring actually creates a certain amount of brittleness to the tendon that wouldn’t normally be there. In these cases, patients become at a higher risk of developing an Achilles tendon rupture.
In the case of an Achilles Tendon rupture, we oftentimes see that there is someone who has been playing a sport outside, basketball or soccer, and takes a step or pivots in a certain way or even lands from a jump and feels a snap in the back of their leg. With Achilles tendon ruptures, there isn’t always a lot of pain after that initial pop that they may feel. This is because a lot of the nerves in that area don’t provide the sensory information to let you know that something is wrong. However, you will notice instability and almost a feeling that your heel is sinking into the ground. When caught early on, Achilles Tendinitis responds very well to anti-inflammatories, laser therapy as well as bracing.
With some rest, anti-inflammatories and bracing, if our condition of Achilles tendinitis improves, we can slowly and carefully wean you out of the ankle brace that you were fitted for. After the condition has resolved or as it continues to improve, custom orthotics are of great benefit. You may wonder why a custom orthotic sitting under your foot may help the Achilles tendon which is behind your heel: The reason for this is that those custom orthotics help to balance your foot in a way which reduces the compensation leading to over-pulling of that Achilles tendon, and it also helps to more evenly distribute the stress that the Achilles tendon places on the heel bone.
Custom orthotics have kept a lot of our patients out of trouble for Achilles tendinitis, and if you have that pain in the back of your heel, like I said, try not to wait too long before you get in. There are some very simple therapies that are very effective and the longer you wait, the more it might be difficult to get rid of this pain. So come in to our office if you’re having any pain in your Achilles tendon or the back of the heel so that we can help get you better, fast.