Tendinitis is one of the more common conditions that we see. Usually as a result of injuries or overuse. Often the pain can be activity related, or activity limiting, but what exactly is tendinitis?
Tendons are tough fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Tendons often look like fiber optic cable, with many long strands of connective tissue coming from the muscle. When a muscle contracts, it pulls on the tendon, which pulls on the bone. There are a number of tendons in the foot which can cause pain. The main tendons in the foot are the Posterior Tibial Tendon on the inside of the ankle and attaches to the mid-foot. On the outside of the foot is the peroneal tendons, and on the front of the leg and foot is the anterior tibial tendon. The Achilles tendon also attaches to the heel bone in the back of the ankle.
Often tendinitis will be described as a dull ache, especially with movement of the affected area or joint. This tends to be where the tendon attaches to the bone. Tenderness and mild swelling are also common symptoms of tendinitis.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Often tendinitis can be diagnosed with an office exam, but sometimes further tests such as x-rays or MRI's may be needed to rule out other conditions or identify the severity of the condition. Often the symptoms can be relieved with rest, ice, elevation, and NSAID's like ibuprofen. Further treatments can involve PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) or other types of injections. Physical therapy may also be needed to help reduce the inflammation and pain.
When to See the Doctor
If pain persists with conservative treatments, worsens, or fails to resolve completely it might be time to see a specialist. We specialize in the evaluation and treatment of tendinitis. We routinely help athletes with injuries get back to the activities they enjoy. Tendinitis can be difficult to fully resolve, so call today to get scheduled with one of our amazing doctors.