There are numerous causes of foot pain; we are on our feet most of the day so the possibilities for injury seem endless. The ligaments, tendons and muscles of the foot can be sprained and strained, shoes that are too tight or dropping something heavy on the foot can cause bruising, injury to the foot from activities like sports can cause fractures and repetitive stresses can lead to plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and osteoarthritis to name a few. All of this in a person who is within the healthy limits of weight; add to these causes obesity, which can lead to diabetes and then to neuropathy of the feet. In some instances, foot pain is mild and will respond well to at-home care, resolving itself over the course of a few days to a week. In other cases, the pain is more severe and will require medical attention to avoid further deterioration or disability. One such condition that requires intervention is Achilles tendonitis.
The Achilles tendon is a strong collection of tissues that connects the calf muscles of the lower leg to the heel bone of the foot. An injury to the Achilles tendon is generally the result of a sports related trauma or from running, the estimate of Achilles tendonitis as the result of a running injury is 11%. More recently, this condition is thought to not be an inflammatory reaction to injury rather tissue that is degenerated with decreased fiber structure of the tendon. Because of this, some practitioners refer to this condition as Achilles tendinopathy. The calf muscles and the tendons become strained during activity and cause pain. When the injury is severe enough, the Achilles tendon can tear and in this instance, surgery is required to repair the torn tissue. Medical care is generally necessary for Achilles tendonitis because the healing process, on its own, can be slow since the blood flow through the area is poor. A chiropractor can offer rehab for Achilles tendonitis after a brief period of rest to the area if the damage has just occurred. During this resting period, the patient may be encouraged to exercise the opposite ankle. Following the rest period, gentle stretching and foot and ankle manipulation may be provided along with isotonic strengthening exercises followed by eccentric exercises using weight. Heat and ice therapy may also be used in combination with the physical therapy exercises. The main goals of rehab to the area include bringing back range of motion and strengthening to ankle to provide better stability to avoid future injury.
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