What Causes Tendonitis in Your Foot and Ankle?
The primary function of tendons (thick bands of tissue) throughout the body is to connect muscles to bones and provide joints with the ability to move in the ways they are supposed to. Two peroneal tendons connect the foot and ankle, provide stability for them, and protect them from injury. If the tendons become inflamed (enlargement due to thickening and/or swelling), this is known as tendonitis.
Most commonly, ankle tendonitis stems from overuse during athletic activity. Athletes such as marathon or long-distance runners, gymnasts, dancers, and some basketball and football players often develop ankle tendonitis. Other contributing factors include athletes with high arches, inward tuning heels, weak calf muscles, and even wearing the wrong shoes. A one-time severe injury such as a sprain can also cause tendonitis.
Other conditions may contribute to the onset of tendonitis such as arthritis, infections in the foot or ankle, and other rheumatic diseases. If the same repetitive action occurs in the foot or ankle daily, it is best to consult a trained ankle specialist when the pain becomes chronic or does not seem to have a cause. It could be the start of a more significant tendonitis issue.
Types of Tendonitis in the Foot and Ankle
There are many types of tendonitis and several places that it can present itself through the pain, swelling, and stiffness. The particular types that affect the foot and ankle include:
- Achilles tendonitis: heel and calf pain that can extend up to mid-calf, usually felt while walking or running; this is a prevalent location for tendonitis to develop
- Peroneal tendonitis: the outer edge of the heel has pain and inflammation
- Anterior tibial tendonitis: if walking downstairs or slopes, pain presents on the top of the foot
- Posterior tibial tendonitis: the inner portion of the ankle under the protruding bone has pain and inflammation; may contribute to flat foot
- Extensor tendonitis: a rare form of ankle tendonitis that causes pain on the top of the foot
Pain, swelling, and stiffness can severely impact your life when trying to walk, run, or complete any other activity. If you are feeling this, contact our Utah county foot and ankle specialists at the Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute to request an appointment for an examination.
How is Tendonitis Diagnosed?
In addition to the common causes of tendonitis, our foot and ankle specialists will consider other risk factors that may contribute to tendonitis as a diagnosis. We will check for factors such as involvement in sports which require repetitive movements and overuse of the same muscles and tendons (running), age (40 years old and over are at higher risk), gender (men develop tendonitis more than women), weight (excess weight can cause unwanted stress on the feet and ankles), wearing of unsupportive or worn-out shoes, and previous chronic ankle instability injuries.
During your examination, a full physical will be completed, and your medical history will be discussed. We will then take an x-ray to assess the damage that has been caused to your tendons. We want to ensure that we have thoroughly evaluated your condition and provide a proper diagnosis so that we can recommend the best course of treatment. If you have been suffering from pain and discomfort, and think it may be caused by tendonitis, schedule your appointment online with our professional staff!
Tendonitis Treatment In Utah County
If our Saratoga Springs or American Fork ankle doctor has told you that you are suffering from tendonitis, you will have many options for treatment. These are dependent on the severity of your condition. Your treatment will generally start with a therapy referred to as R.I.C.E. The name stands for the treatment itself which consists of rest or immobilization of the injured area, ice to help relieve the inflammation, compression to alleviate the strain and aid in the healing process, and finally elevation to relieve the pain and inflammation.
Along with the R.I.C.E. treatment will be physical therapy. This treatment will help you to increase your range of motion while strengthening the affected tendons. One final option is surgery to repair the damaged tendon if your tendonitis is severe, and other treatment options do not provide the necessary relief. This will then be followed by physical therapy and rest.
Finding relief from your tendonitis pain in Utah County is achievable with a visit to your podiatrist. Left untreated, your tendonitis can progress and cause symptoms such as stiffness, limited range of motion, pain not relieved with rest or pain medications, swelling and inflammation in the affected area, and, in some severe cases, such as those involving Achilles tendonitis, the rupture of the tendon.
At-Home Tendonitis Prevention and Remedies
Because your feet and ankles are important to the successful accomplishment of most activities throughout your daily life, you must keep them in the best possible condition. Preventing ailments such as tendonitis is easy with a bit of forethought and ensuring that you make an effort daily.
It would be best if you did things such as stretching well before exercise and other physical activities, wearing appropriate shoes, avoiding worn-out athletic shoes, and gradually increase time and intensity when you begin a new sport or activity.
If you are beginning to feel pain in your feet or ankles, the best at-home remedy is the R.I.C.E. method because it ensures that you give your body time to heal. Resting, icing (or in some cases alternating with heat), compression, and elevation are vital in allowing your body to work on its healing without resorting to the need for medical assistance.
A podiatrist may give you a walking boot to immobilize and stabilize your ankle or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the stress of inflammation on your foot and ankle. Using the boot or prescription in conjunction with the at-home remedy will give your body its best chance to heal without surgery.
Helping You Find Your Sure Footing In Life.
Our expert podiatrists are dedicated to helping you find your sure footing in life at the Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute in Utah County. We have two convenient office locations in Saratoga Springs and American Fork, which are proud to offer unique and individualized care to all of our patients. Our doctors are the leading experts in today’s modern foot procedures and treatment, and they are likewise committed to continuing education and staying updated on the latest techniques.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of tendonitis, you must request an appointment with our professional staff. We understand how important it is to have firm footing throughout your day, so we take pain and discomfort very seriously. Contact us today for a tendonitis examination or if you are dealing with any other type of foot or ankle trouble such as arthritis pain, chronic ankle instability, a fracture or sprain, or an Achilles tendon rupture. We have the experience, knowledge, and skills to diagnose your issue and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Your feet are a very important part of your daily life. Make sure you keep them in good shape by applying these recommended at-home remedies. We promise that you will start to feel a difference in the way your feet feel and function. We are looking forward to working with you.