Foot Tendonitis Symptoms & Treatments
Dealing with Foot Pain & Tendonitis Injuries
Foot tendonitis (tendinitis) can happen to anyone, and usually creates pain and tightness in the arch of your foot, your heel and even your toes. If you have tendonitis you'll usually feel pain located where your injury is and in the surrounding area. You may also suffer from swelling, heat sensation, redness and decreased function in your foot and/or ankle. Severe tendon pain (possibly from a tendon rupture or ruptured tendon) can result in an inability to walk or even place weight on the affected foot.
Tendonitis in the foot usually happens from overuse of the tendons from excessive walking, running, or adding to / increasing the amount of exercise or activity that you do. Improper stretching and poor form during activities may also cause foot tendonitis.
Anyone can suffer from tendonitis, but it's most common in adults due to degeneration of tissue as we age. Over time the tendons in the foot will wear down resulting in something called degeneration. This is where the fibers in your tendons will become more weak - it's just a natural process that happens as we age. Any abnormalities in your feet like higher or lower arches (flat foot) can result in foot tendonitis as well.
It may be hard to believe but any other injury or condition affecting your ankle, knee, hip or back that changes the way you walk (biomechanics or the way your foot hits the ground) in order to compensate for that injury can lead to foot tendonitis. This includes conditions like arthritis in your ankle or foot. If you have arthritis or osteoarthritis, this means that the bone and cartilage in your joint is already wearing away - it's a natural progression as we age. Arthritis can eventually lead to tendonitis as the joints in your feet and ankles become weaker.
Calcium deposits in and around the foot or ankle joint is another cause of foot tendonitis, and is often referred to as Calcific Tendonitis.
Symptoms of a Ruptured Tendon in the Foot
If you suffer from a foot tendon rupture (ruptured tendon) you might hear a sudden pop or experience severe pain immediately after you're injured. Tendon ruptures usually only happen from accidents or pre-disposed conditions that weaken the tendon - like repeated anti-inflammatory injections, calcium deposits (spurs) in and around your foot or ankle joints or other diseases (ie. gout). Tendon ruptures usually require surgery to re-attach the tendon to the bone, and if left untreated can result in permanent disability in your foot.
Do You Really have Foot Tendonitis?
Foot tendonitis is only one of many conditions that can cause pain in your foot. Our feet are some of the most complicated joints in our bodies with 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments (reference: 1). Considering how complicated the foot joint is - it's easy to see how so many things can go wrong, leading to chronic foot pain and injuries. The fact that this joint is so complicated does make understanding your foot pain even more problematic.
Foot injuries are so common that 1 in 3 people over 65 have foot pain and 87% of people in the US will suffer from a foot injury or foot pain at some point in their lifetime (reference: 1).
A lot of foot injuries can create pain in the same area, and many foot injuries are caused by overuse, degeneration, improper technique / posture during activity and poor biomechanics. For example, you might have pain around the heel or ball your foot that could really mean you have a plantar fasciitis injury or sesamoiditis. In both of these examples the cause of your pain could be tendonitis in the tendon tissue, but you may also have some other underlying conditions such as a fracture in one of the bones in your foot, or a bone spur (calcium deposit).
Some people will have other foot or ankle injuries, like Achilles Tendonitis, and think that they have foot tendonitis. When researching online or speaking to your doctor, you'll find that foot and ankle issues are often used to describe foot tendonitis interchangeably. It's easy to get many of these injuries mixed up because everything in the body is connected, and sometimes the pain from one injury will be felt nearby or in a different area of the body.
What kind of Foot Tendonitis do You Have?
The most common forms of foot tendonitis are Posterior Tibial Tendonitis and Peroneal Tendonitis. Both of these types of tendonitis affect the sides of your foot. It's common to have one of these injuries and feel pain in the top of your foot or even in your ankle. Toe Deformities can sometimes also lead to chronic foot tendonitis pain.
If you have posterior tibial tendonitis you'll feel pain on the inner side of your foot. With this condition most pain is felt during the "push off" motion done with walking. If you have peroneal tendonitis you'll likely feel pain on the back and outer side of your foot and ankle. This injury will create radiating pain that you'll feel when standing and pushing off with your foot when walking.
When it comes to toes deformities, you'll definitely know when you have this injury because there will be a visual difference in the shape or bend of your toes. The 3 most common forms of foot deformities are hammer toe, mallet toe and claw toe. Along with these abnormalities, those who also suffer from bunions (hard bumps on the big toe joint) and calluses (thickened skin from friction or pressure) may also be at risk of getting foot tendonitis. In most cases bunions and calluses will develop from improperly fitted shoes - if your toes don't have enough space or the widest part of your foot (near your toes) rubs up against the inside of your shoes.
At this point you're probably asking yourself...
What Should I Do?
If you think that you're suffering from foot tendonitis and your mobility is steadily declining the first thing you need to do is see your doctor. Only your doctor can give you a proper diagnosis and from this, determine a course of proper treatment.
If you suspect you have tendonitis in your foot,
- Usually conservative treatment methods are all that's needed to treat foot tendonitis, surgery is only ever used if long-term conservative treatment methods don't work or if you've suffered from a ruptured tendon in your foot. Conservative treatment options for foot tendonitis typically includes rest, icing of the injury, elevation, reducing your activity, wearing shoes that fit your feet and are appropriate for the activity you're doing and anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medication (reference: 1, 2, 3).
- Second, if your doctor has decided that your injury can be treated with conservative treatment options, then you'll find that many of our customers have had great success treating themselves with our T•Shellz Wrap®.
- Or, if surgical intervention is required, talk with your doctor about using these same products for post-surgery recovery as you'll find them to be effective for reducing post-surgery inflammation, enhancing range of motion and reducing scar tissue growth. Keep in mind that the T•Shellz Wrap® should only be used a minimum of 6 weeks after surgery and once you have been assigned home stretching from your doctor or PT - basically not until at least 6 weeks after surgery)
Re-injury of your foot must be avoided at all costs!
Constant re-injury needs to be avoided at all costs. Obviously, it delays the healing process, but what's worse is that every re-injury and additional healing cycle increases the amount of scar tissue that builds up in the area of your original foot tendonitis injury.
Scar tissue is hard, inflexible, and tough to get rid of. The more severe your foot tendonitis is, the more likely that this scar tissue will make your tendon much more prone to injury again later on. The more scar tissue that develops, the more you lose the range of motion in your foot and ankle.
Continuous re-injury and build-up of scar tissue while staying active means you'll have a greater chance of winding up with on-going pain, more tearing in your tendon, tendinosis (thickening of your tendon) or a full rupture.
No one is immune to tendonitis, you can easily reduce your risk of further re-injury with consistent conservative treatments
If you have pain and inflammation in your foot or ankle, it's very important to heal your injury quickly and completely. You must avoid the build up of scar tissue. If you don't, your foot tendonitis injury may plague you forever. This is why it's so important to continuously use conservative treatment tools to heal any recurring tendon damage before it can build into something big. For any foot tendonitis sufferer, having the right tools means all the difference.
Mild and moderate cases of tendonitis / strained tendons are best treated with conservative home treatments. Severe injury to the tendon (ruptured tendons) will require surgery to re-attach the tendon to your bone. If you suspect that you've ruptured your tendon be sure to speak with your doctor for suggested treatment.
Foot Tendonitis Home Conservative Treatment Options!
Step 1 - Reduce Pain and Swelling with Cold Compression
The first step for conservative treatment of your foot tendonitis is to reduce the swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required to heal foot tendonitis injuries. This is why for years, doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, and after any re-injury.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to your damaged tendon and tissues begin to break-down. Without cold compression, tissues break down further because they can't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tendons, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal acute or chronic tendon injuries faster and with less pain!
Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial tendon injury or when you first notice pain and swelling in your foot to stop tissue damage at the microscopic level, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury of your foot tendonitis.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your foot has been over-extended, over-worked, twisted, strained or sprained causing pain and swelling.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation in the tendons in your foot.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your foot.
Step 2 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with a T•Shellz Wrap®
Increased Blood Circulation = Increased Healing Capability
T•Shellz Wraps® contain a unique Carbon Fiber Energy Pad which is flexible and will shape to conform to your body. This Energy Pad emits a uniform wave of perfectly safe energy over its entire surface. This energy is absorbed by soft tissue in the treatment area, opening blood vessels, resulting in an increase in blood flow. Increased blood circulation is what your body needs to accelerate the healing of soft tissue and this is why we recommend the T•Shellz Wrap®.
The T•Shellz Wrap® is an FDA Registered Medical Device and is suitable for use in therapeutic clinics and FROM HOME. It is completely safe for people and patients to use for themselves.
The technology found in a T•Shellz Wrap® has been used for decades in the worlds of professional and amateur sports - a contributing factor as to why athletes seem to recover from injuries so quickly.
Have you ever wondered by an athlete can return to activity after 3 or 4 weeks following a tendon injury - while your average person takes much longer to return back to normal? The secret isn't really that much of a secret - it involves consistent treatments (meaning multiple times a day) using a treatment like the T•Shellz Wrap® to stimulate blood flow to the injured tissues. Most athletes have the luxury of using in-house facilities many times per day.
How many us can afford the time and money to visit a clinic multiple times a day? Very few indeed. This is how you can gain some of the advantages that athletes enjoy in their injury recovery - by using a device like the T•Shellz Wrap® two or three times a day on a consistent basis.
Consistent Treatments = Consistent And Long Term Improvement
What Else Makes the T•Shellz Wrap® So Special?
We believe the T•Shellz Wrap® to be one of the most effective home treatments to increase localized blood flow in and around the treatment area.
We can promise that you will receive a product that is designed to be safe and does what it is supposed to do...quickly relieve pain and aid in the recovery from tendon, muscle and other soft tissue injuries.
The unit plugs into a standard wall outlet to get its power. The nice thing about the power supply is that the same unit can be used in North America and overseas as well. It has the capability to operate between 110v and 230v.
The T•Shellz Wrap® has a special signal controller that can be set for 3 different power levels of application (3=High, 2=Medium, 1=Low). The cord is long enough that you can sit or lie comfortably and watch TV, read or surf the net while you're using it.
Treatments are max 30 minutes in duration and the device can be worn over clothing. This allows you to use the device at work, at home, or really anywhere you have access to an electrical outlet.
Click HERE to Go To Our Online Store If you have questions, call our office at 1-866-237-9608 (toll free continental US).
A Recap of the Benefits of the T•Shellz Wrap®..
- Targeted applications for most areas of the body
- It can be used before exercise to warm up tissue in the treatment area to reduce the risk of injury
- FDA Registered medical device for use in home or clinics - very high quality
- Increases flexibility of tissues (reducing the re-injury factor)
- It soothes pain and whisks away toxins
- Carbon fiber Energy Pad is strong, lightweight, and flexible - contours very easily
- Enhanced blood flow provides an accelerated healing rate that will save time and money when associated with doctor or physical therapist visits
- A boost in blood flow will maximize the bodys ability to recover quickly. This can be beneficial in post-surgery rehabilitation, getting you back to work faster. Do not use until at least 6 weeks after surgery, and only after approval from your doctor.
When Should I Use My T•Shellz Wrap® During the Day?
The most common question we receive from individuals prior to purchasing is - how many times a day should I be using my wrap and when should I be using them? While treatment plans will differ for each individual and their specific injury, there are general guidelines that should be adhered to.
- Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack when you are experiencing inflammation (usually after exertion or movement of the injury area).
The T•Shellz Wrap® would then be used:
- Right after rising from bed in the morning (as this is when it is most stiff)
- Prior to going to bed at night (to relax the area and allow for better sleep)
- Before you know you will be using your injured joint (going to work, driving, typing, etc).
Step 3 - Stretch Your Foot to Speed Up Recovery
The final step in foot tendonitis recovery is stretching - this is a critical step for complete recovery from your injury!
PTs almost always prescribe gentle stretching for to deal with foot tendonitis, and if no device is available, they usually prescribe something called "heel slides". In a PT clinic, your therapist will help you to perform a heel slide if your foot hurts too much to do it on your own.
Outside of the PT clinic (when trying this stretch at home), your therapist might suggest that you try to use a plastic bag, cookie sheet, tension band, belt or any other household tool to help you move your foot.
You'll find in most rehabilitation programs heel slide stretching and conservative treatment will help to:
- build muscle strength in your lower leg (calf muscle)
- increase mobility and range of motion (ROM)
- speed overall healing of your foot tendonitis
- prevent muscle loss (atrophy) in your lower leg
- improve muscular function and capability
- refine tendon tissue alignment and physical balance
- encourage overall foot and ankle joint flexibility
- facilitate proper warm up for regular exercise
- promote healthy circulation in your foot
Use These Conservative Treatment Tools
to Deal with Scar Tissue
It's important to rest the torn tendon because our natural healing process takes time to heal completely. If you don't rest your torn tendon, your acute tendonitis can quickly turn into a chronic tendonitis injury. To repair our damaged tendon tissue quickly, our bodies will use scar tissue to fill in the tears in the tendon. If you need to rest for an extended period of time and avoid certain activities that make your pain worse, you'll be more likely to develop massive amounts of this scar tissue as a temporary healing measure.
Scar tissue may plague you for weeks, months and maybe even years, depending on your level of activity and the amount of conservative treatments you have done during your rehabilitation. Scar tissue is a major problem, especially when it comes to re-injury of your tendon. When dealing with scar tissue it's always important to:
- listen well to your physician and if conservative treatments are recommended. Stick all the treatments daily often to ensure you maximize the opportunity to heal
- Frequent use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack after your surgery will get the swelling down very fast. Much of the pain you feel will be from the swelling, and you will be surprised how quick the pain drops off once the swelling is down.
- when applied before stretching, heat emitted from the T•Shellz Wrap® will help the connective tissue in your joint elongate, and stay elongated for some time after treatment. It will also temporarily increase the flexibility of soft tissue, meaning that it helps improve range of motion while simultaneously reducing your risk of re-injury which is exactly what you want when trying to recover from soft tissue injuries.
- stretching, as assigned by your PT can not only get rid of scar tissue, but also promote growth of healthy, flexible tissue.
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!