October 29, 2020

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What is Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy and How Do You Treat It?

Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy

Tendons are flexible yet inelastic fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones. They are essential to our bodies because they allow the transmission of forces from muscle to bone. In short, thanks to tendons, we can move our bones.


What is Achilles Tendonitis?

The Achilles tendon is the thickest tendon of the body, and it is located at the back of the leg, joining the calf muscle to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon is particularly important because, without it, we would lose our ability to walk, run or jump. On the other hand, this tendon is vulnerable to various injuries or conditions due to its low blood supply and the stress placed on it.

Achilles Tendonitis is when the Achilles tendon starts degrading. Its symptoms are swelling, inflammation and pain at the heel. The pain is very intense, to the point where wearing shoes may seem impossible. This condition occurs most commonly due to engaging in impactful activities like climbing and running. The individuals most prone to Achilles Tendonitis are very physically active.

If not treated, the worst-case scenario may be a full rupture of the Achilles tendon.

What is Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy?

Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy affects the area between the Achilles tendon and the bone. It is important to have an accurate diagnosis to determine if the condition is an Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy, in order to obtain the most effective treatment. Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy is normally best diagnosed with an MRI scan.

The bursa, a sac filled with liquid in our ankles, can become painful with Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy. Any sign of pain coming from the bursa is an indication of a patient suffering from Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy.

How is Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy treated?

Physical therapy and a biomechanical treatment program, isometric exercise as well as the appropriate use of other medical treatment options such as therapeutic injections and extracorporeal shock wave treatment, are the primary treatments for this condition.

Adding fish oil or Omega 3 to your diet can be helpful, especially in the reactive phase of Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy.

Insertional Achilles Tendonitis taping can help to manage the pain, but it works best when used in conjunction with a strict work and strengthening routine.

Avoid placing the injured foot in a dorsiflexion position (flexing the foot in an upward) because it can worsen the condition.

Anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can also help to reduce tendon swelling and pain.