If you are experiencing ankle or foot pain, one common culprit is ankle tendonitis. Your leg, ankle, and foot muscles are connected to the bone with tendons. Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. This condition often causes pain that worsens with activity and goes away with rest. There are different types of ankle tendonitis including Achilles tendonitis, peroneal tendinosis, and flexor tendonitis. In most cases, symptoms disappear with a few weeks of self-care.
Causes of Ankle Tendonitis
There are several different known causes of ankle tendonitis. Some of the things that increase your chances of developing the condition include:
- Overuse. Overuse is the most common cause of ankle tendonitis. An increase in physical activity from walking to competitive sports can cause the tendon to become overly stretched or even torn slightly.
- Trauma. A sudden, strenuous movement such as jumping can injure the tendon and cause inflammation and pain. Long-term rubbing against an ill-fitting shoe can also harm the tendon.
- Abnormal foot structure. Issues with foot structure such as high arches or flat feet can create muscle imbalances that put excess stress on the tendons.
- Certain medical conditions. A condition that causes general inflammation such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or spondyloarthropathy can also cause inflammation of the tendons in the ankle.
Typical symptoms of ankle tendonitis include pain and sometimes swelling during physical activity or movements that stretch the affected tendon. Rest usually relieves the pain, but the area may remain tender to the touch. Many people notice that the pain is most noticeable when they first begin an activity. It may go away but then return as you continue the activity. Swelling isn’t a common symptom, but it does occur in some patients. You may also notice that your ankle and foot feel stiff.
Self-care measures may be enough to help your ankle heal. These include resting the ankle, applying cold compresses, using an ankle support, and taking anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen. However, if these do not relieve your symptoms, see a healthcare provider to rule out more serious problems such as a fracture or ruptured tendon. You may need a different type of treatment such as a boot or cast to immobilize the ankle, anti-inflammatory drugs, or physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be indicated.
You may not always be able to prevent ankle tendonitis, but there are some things you can do to minimize your chances of experiencing it. First, be sure to do some gentle foot and ankle stretching exercises before beginning your workout, as tight muscles add excess strain to your tendons. Also, always wear properly fitting shoes in good condition and avoid using worn-out shoes with little support or cushion. Finally, anytime you begin a new sport or activity, start slowly and increase your intensity and duration gradually.
If you are experiencing pain in your ankle or foot, take it as a sign that your body needs rest and recuperation. If your symptoms do not disappear with self-care, contact Redefine Healthcare to schedule an appointment to find the underlying cause of your pain and find a solution.