As the spring and summer months inch closer and closer, more and more are beginning to exercise again. It is important to be educated and not overdo it in the early stages of working out. Your body fatigues quickly without the proper exercise routine. This can lead to injuries. One of the most common spring and summer injuries we see is tendinitis. Tendons are structures in the body that cause motion by moving joints. If tendons undergo too much stress, then these structures start to fatigue and break down. This is called tendinitis. Tendinitis is an overuse injury. The tendon is being worked too hard and starts to break down. This is commonly seen in our patients who get into exercise and do too much too fast. Signs and symptoms of tendinitis include pain with motion, swelling, and stiffness.
Seeing the signs and catching tendinitis early is the key to successful treatment. Treating tendinitis in its early states is fairly simple. All you need to do is reverse the cause. Since tendinitis is an overuse injury, its treatment is to underuse the tendon. Which means rest. Reducing the strain and motion of the tendon in the early stages allows the tendon to recover. This reduces swelling within and around the tendon. Other important treatments are anti-inflammatories, compression, and ice. Once the pain resolves, a course of physical therapy is recommended. Working on flexibility and strengthening techniques is vital for reducing recurrence.
In many cases, tendinitis can be worsened by poor foot function. This is usually due to flat feet or high arch feet. Orthotics are a great way to give the foot proper function and displace pressures on the foot. This allows the tendons to function at maximum capacity and reduce the chance of tendon flare-ups. I highly recommend orthotics for my active patients. Especially runners.
If tendinitis goes untreated the tendon continues to wear down. This can lead to chronic swelling and possible tears of the tendon. This may require more advanced treatment, including immobilization in a boot or a cast. Other advanced techniques include amniotic or platelet-rich plasma injections. Both of these injections are rich in healing factors that can help accelerate the healing process in advance stage tendonitis. In some cases, further imaging may be needed to evaluate the tendon. Our practice has a new, state of the art extremity MRI to further evaluate these injuries. Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle is proud to have the most advanced treatment options in medicine today.
If you are experiencing symptoms of tendinitis, call and schedule an appointment to see one of our specialists today. We are here to keep your body healthy and make sure you exercise smart!