You may not know it, but we owe a lot of our everyday movements to our Achilles tendons. These tough bands of fibrous tissues are the largest in the body and connect the calf muscles to the heel bone. When our calf muscles flex, the Achilles tendon pulls on the heel allowing us to stand on our toes to run, walk, or jump.
So when the Achilles tendon is injured through overuse such as a sports or workout injury, Achilles tendonitis – an inflamed tendon – is the result.
If you have injured your Achilles tendon, you will begin to feel pain after exercise in the ankle or lower calf area. The pain will get worse gradually and you may experience sluggishness in your leg along with swelling.
The pain and stiffness may diminish as you warm up your tendon by walking, but don’t be fooled that it’s not an injury that should be treated.
Conservative methods may ease the pain and inflammation of this injury. These include rest; bandaging to restrict the tendon’s motion; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication; custom-fitted orthotics to help support muscles and relieve stress; strengthening and stretching exercises to restore range of motion and strengthen weak muscles.
One very effective technology that we employ for Achilles tendonitis is radial pulse therapy. Radial pulse therapy, or RPT, uses a low-to-medium electromagnetic impulse that creates a radial wave. This wave penetrates into the targeted tissue to help break up scar tissue and adhesions that put pressure on the surrounding nerves. Reducing the pressure and increasing circulation to the problem area promotes healing and increases range of motion.
During the treatment, patients may experience slight discomfort in the form of a thumping pressure. The pain quickly eases after the treatments. Generally, most patients need 4 treatments but up to 9 may be required for more severe injuries.
RPT therapy has a high rate of success with Achilles tendonitis and also plantar fasciitis and severe ligament and tendon tears. There is no need for local anesthesia before the treatment and it is fast and convenient.
For any type of foot or ankle pain, call us. Foot pain is not normal! If you have pain from bunions or any other foot or ankle condition or have suffered any type of foot injury, please call Dr. Christopher M. Funk, Dr. Bradley A. Whitaker or Dr. Peter C. Merrill at Desert Podiatric Medical Specialists. Our professional staff offers expert podiatry services at three Pima County offices: Tucson, Oro Valley and Green Valley. Please call us today at (520) 575-0800 to schedule your appointment.