Custom Foot Clinic & Orthotic Centre
Aching pains along your ankles and legs? Possibly tendinitis.
There are many muscles in the foot, leg and ankle and many of these are susceptible to over use, often resulting in tendinitis. These injuries are most often seen when biomechanical instability, often hyperpronation, is paired with excessive use ie repetitive motions, such as in sports, running or even doing the same type of job for long periods of time.
The most common forms of tendinitis in the foot and ankle are:
- Achilles tendinitis (pain at the back of the heel/ ankle)
- "shin splints" (pain on the front of the leg and ankle)
- posterior tibial tendinitis (often pain on the inside of the foot or ankle)
- peroneal tendinitis (pain on the outside of the ankle or calf)
Tendons attach a muscle to a bone. (Ligaments run from one bone to another bone.) When a tendon is overly stressed, usually as a result of poor biomechanics coupled with increased mileage or excess use, a tendon can become inflamed. A foot that overpronates does so as a result of too much motion between the bones of the foot, especially the first metatarsal. When the skeleton cannot stabilize the foot properly, the muscles in the foot and leg try to make up the difference by working too hard for too long. Each muscle is designed to contract and relax while walking and running. Contracting for too long puts excess stress on the tendon and the sheath surrounding the tendon, resulting in pain.
Control the amount of excess pronation with an orthotic, and the pain will usually go away. Ice and massage will also help to reduce the inflammation associated with tendonitis. In more stubborn cases, your foot specialist may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication. Physical therapies as well as stretching and strengthening exercises may also be recommended. Tendinitis tends to respond very well to laser, ultrasound, and in stubborn cases, shockwave therapy.
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