A term we often hear about, especially in circles of athletes and runners is tendonitis. Tendonitis literally means overuse and inflammation of the tendon. The tendon is the area of your body that’s connected to the muscle which causes your body to move. They come in all shapes and sizes. Tendonitis is what happens when the tendon gets irritated from being moved outside of its regular motion. It becomes inflamed and the movement becomes painful.
There are several reasons for tendonitis:
- Overuse of the area - this is especially true for those who have recently begun an exercise routine
- Increased exercise - the tendon is unfamiliar to the new level of exertion
- Age factor - tendons lose their elasticity as we age and the ability to move as smoothly as we once did is lost
- Anatomical alignment - if the tendon does not have a smooth channel to glide along, it’s more likely to become irritated and inflamed. In this case, surgery may be necessary
In the area of the foot, the most common type of tendonitis is Achilles tendonitis. This is a condition of irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Achilles tendonitis is a common injury that more frequently occurs in middle-age recreational athletes. The overuse causes inflammation that can lead to pain and swelling.
If you experience tendonitis, it’s important to visit your podiatrist right away to see what treatment options are available for you.