Achilles tendonitis is a regular injury for athletes, it occurs when the tendon that connects the back of your leg to your heel becomes swollen and painful near the bottom of the foot.
There are two large muscles in the calf. These create the power needed to push off with the foot or go up on the toes. The large Achilles tendon connects these muscles to the heel and allows you to push your foot down. You use your Achilles tendon when walking, running, and jumping. Tendonitis due to overuse is most common in younger people. It can occur in walkers, runners, or other athletes. Tendonitis from arthritis is more common in middle-aged and older adults.
There are a few risk factors for athletes that contribute to the risk of sustaining an Achilles tendon injury, including age and foot structure. But being active in sports at any level significantly increases the risk because the athletes significantly increase the amount of stress put on the tendon.
For example, football requires lots of sprinting up and down the field, fast stops and changes of direction, and jumping, all of which stress the Achilles tendon. Other athletes like basketball players, long-distance runners, and tennis players also run a higher risk of Achilles tendon injuries.
These activities can injure your Achilles tendon slowly over time due to overuse or suddenly as a result of a rupture or tear. The likelihood of injury goes up even more if you suddenly increase your level of activity or only exercise occasionally.
What does Achilles tendonitis pain feel like?
The pain associated with Achilles tendonitis typically begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other sports activity. Episodes of more-severe pain may occur after prolonged running, stair climbing or sprinting.
Pain in the heel and along the length of the tendon when walking or running. Pain and stiffness in the area in the morning. Pain in the Achilles tendon when touched or moved. Swelling and warmth in the heel or along the tendon. Difficulty standing up on one toe are the symptoms.
The chiropractic solution to Achilles tendonitis
Treatment approaches to Achilles tendonitis would be non-pharmacological. Chiropractic care is an effective solution where individuals do not want drug therapy or surgical intervention.
Chiropractic care can assist in the aid and recovery of more serious injuries. The Achilles tendon receives low blood flow and can benefit from an improvement in blood circulation to the area. Lengthening the calf muscles during exercise can also be done through chiropractic care and can help treat Achilles tendonitis.
Many times, the issues with your Achilles tendon are the result of misalignment in other parts of your body. When your joints are misaligned it tends to put extra stress on your feet and Achilles tendons. To minimize the stress on your joints, the chiropractic therapy will adjust your spine and other joints to ensure proper alignment.
There are other forms of chiropractic care, such as Traction Adjustments or Mobilization – These are carried out on the hip and knee to improve range of motion and relieve tension and stiffness.
Active Release Techniques (ART) – These techniques are used to relieve tension by removing fibrosis/adhesions which develop due to repetitive use and overload on those tissues.
Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) – This is used in physical therapy. In IASTM, the chiropractor uses specialized instruments in place of his hands to provide more direct treatment of the soft tissues involved with movement.
Diversified Chiropractic Adjustments – These are performed as necessary on the spine and feet. Spinal manipulation is the most commonly performed adjustment where chiropractors use their knowledge of the relationship between the spine and pain in several parts of the body. In spinal manipulation, chiropractors apply controlled and quick thrust using their hands or other devices to the spine to relieve tension and stiffness, reduce swelling, and improve nerve function.
Suction Cupping – This is targeted at relieving pain. It involves the use of multiple static cups or just one cup to create a sliding motion along the painful area. The patient’s tolerance determines the cup size, sliding location, and the amount of suction. Cocoa butter is applied over the painful area, pressure is set and applied for 10-15 seconds.