The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It is located on the back of the lower leg, surrounded by the calf muscle. The calf muscle is made up of three structures that serve to bundle around the Achilles tendon. The calf muscle begins just above the knee joint and extends down the back of the heel.
The Achilles tendon is the primary flexor of the foot. In other words, without it, you would not be able to flatten or point your foot. The Achilles also affects flexion in the knee. In ancient mythology, Achilles was brought down during the battle for Troy when an arrow pierced the back of his heel. Without the Achilles tendon, we would all be defeated.
If you want to protect your Achilles tendon from injury, there are several steps you need to take. First, be sure to stretch your calf muscles before and after exercise. Next, wear the proper shoes to support your ankles and replace these athletic shoes every six months. Finally, maintain a healthy body weight to reduce strain on the Achilles.
The Achilles tendon is particularly susceptible to ruptures and insertional pain. Other issues affecting the Achilles can include tendonitis, degeneration, and cholesterol deposits within the tendon. If you have pain or discomfort in the back of your heel, ankle, or calf, you may have a damaged Achilles tendon. Call the FAAWC today for an appointment and be on your way to better Achilles health tomorrow.
Plantar fasciitis is painful and needs to be treated. Because our tendons are vital to foot movement, healing is slow because we continue to walk and move. Standard treatments for plantar fasciitis include foot taping, NSAIDs, night splinting, and physical therapy. However, new and emerging treatments are opening the doors to faster healing. These new therapies include PRP injections, amniotic injections, and MLS laser treatment.
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. This type of plasma uses the abundance of platelets to naturally stimulate healing. Platelets signal stem cells to start repairing damage in the affected ligament. PRP is created by drawing blood which goes through a centrifuge to separate the plasma. The plasma is then injected into the foot. Patients generally need to be non-weight bearing for a few days following the injection. While this is one of the most beneficial and effective treatments available, it is often one of the most expensive as it is not covered under insurance.
Amniotic injections are working wonders for plantar fasciitis. These injections can be used alone or combined with stem cells, PRP injections, and other therapies. An amniotic injection will help tendons and tissues by synthesizing certain chemicals (cytokines and growth factors) that the body uses during healing. Amniotic injections also work against inflammation and the formation of scar tissue. Like PRP injections, this therapy can be expensive due to lack of insurance coverage.
Laser therapy is safe, effective, and can greatly speed healing time. It does not require the use of drugs or surgery, there are no known side effects, and it is quick and convenient. The MLS laser is specially designed to treat conditions such as plantar fasciitis. The laser is fully robotic and placed above the skin allowing the healing energy to penetrate tissue. Each treatment lasts about eight minutes and there is little to no sensation during the appointment.
Most patients experience positive results with between one and three treatments, with the average full course being seven to ten treatments. The effects of MLS Laser Therapy are cumulative; therefore, expect to see improvement as you proceed through your treatment plan. It is critical that once you start, you complete the course of treatments recommended by your doctor or symptoms are likely to reoccur.
There are many factors that determine what the right course of treatment will be for you. You and your podiatrist will discuss the severity of your condition, your goals for healing, the time and budget available for treatment, and together you will determine the best path. Call the FAAWC today to schedule your consultation.
Heel pain can stem from many causes. Most commonly, it occurs due to plantar fasciitis, bursitis, or Achilles tendonitis. When heel pain just won't go away and conservative treatments aren’t making a difference, it may be time to consider heel surgery.
Generally, surgery is considered when pain has not improved after 3-6 months of treatment. Conversely, if the condition heals but recurs frequently, surgery is worth considering. But not everyone will need surgery.
Achilles tendonitis requires it most often of these three conditions. Plantar fasciitis leads to a surgical solution in less than 20% of cases. The FAAWC performs various heel pain correcting procedures including releasing the plantar fascia, lengthening the calf muscle, PRP injections, and Amniotic tissue injections.
If you are suffering from heel pain that won’t go away, you need to call the FAAWC. Our podiatrists will evaluate your situation and help you determine if a surgical solution is right for you. Call the FAAWC today!
Do you have pain that starts in your heel with your first steps every morning? This is known as post-static dyskinesia. Let’s break it down.
Essentially, post-static dyskinesia is the medical term for any pain from bad movements that occur after a period of rest. As you know, the plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch and is prone to everyday wear and tear, leading to inflammation called plantar fasciitis.
The reason your heel hurts first thing in the morning has to do with what happens to the plantar fascia as you sleep. When not in use, the plantar fascia shortens and becomes tight. When you next try to walk, it is suddenly stretched which pulls on your heel, causing sharp pain.
Heel pain might also develop because of a shortening calf muscle or Achilles tendon. This occurs gradually, as we age and the muscles naturally get tighter. Tension in the back of the leg or ankle will cause increase strain on the plantar fascia where it connects to the heel.
You can help avoid morning heel pain by maintaining a low bodyweight, living an active life, making supportive shoe choices, and completing stability exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles. For existing heel pain, be sure to wear shoes at all times—standing or walking, inside or outside. Use over the counter pain medications and ice to calm inflammation.
If you are experiencing heel pain with your first steps in the morning, call the FAAWC for an appointment. We can help diagnose the source of your heel pain and get you on track to healing. Call 740.363.4373 today.
Plantar fasciitis. We talk about it a lot, and for good reason. There are more than 3 million cases treated in the US each year. Why is it so common? Because the plantar fascia is doing all the work, all the time.
The plantar fascia runs from the heel bone to the toes and supports the arch of the foot. The arch of your foot acts as a shock absorber with every step you walk or run. Think of the plantar fascia as the structural beam of a house. It supports the entire weight of the house and without it, everything collapses. Without the plantar fascia giving structure and bounce to the arch, the foot collapses and does not function properly.
Plantar fasciitis usually develops for one of two reasons. First, the arch could be flattening, straining the plantar fascia. Or, the Achilles tendon is shortening, causing increased stress on the fascia. Either way, it translates into your pain.
Plantar fasciitis develops slowly from the overall wear and tear of daily life. Our tissues and bones age as the rest of our body does. The stress of everyday activity can lead to a strain or tear. Other factors influencing plantar fasciitis include bodyweight, shoe choice, and genetics.
If you suffer from heel pain or pain along the bottom of the foot, call the FAAWC for an appointment today. You don’t have to live with plantar fasciitis. Talk to your podiatrist about solutions that will have you back on your feet in no time. 740.363.4373
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