Achilles Tendonitis: Episode 48
In this episode: We discuss Achilles Tendonitis
Chip Review: Chio – Sweet Chili & Red Pepper (13:40)
Trivia question of the week: Which 2 US states boarder 8 other states? (13:17)
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Achilles tendonitis is the topic today. Before we get to far into that here is a brief overview of the Achilles.
The Achilles is the largest tendon in the body, it is one of the toughest to tear. We did a whole podcast on Achilles Repair. The Achilles is the attachment for the gastrocnemius, a two joint muscle, and the soleus (one joint muscle). These muscles make up the two layers of the calf. The gastrocnemius is the fast twitch muscle and the soleous is the slow twitch. Both muscles are innervated by the tibial nerve.
The group as a whole is responsible for forced plantar flexion, also known as push-off as well as eccentric dorsi-flexion aka landing. You will see Achilles tendonitis fairly often in a few groups of individuals.
Runners are the most commonly affected group. You also see Achilles tendonitis with impact sports such as basketball, tennis, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball. There is a good deal of research that has found that increased BMI also plays a role.
Some differential diagnosis is often appropriate when given a diagnosis of Achilles tendonitis. With younger ages, people who are going through a growth spurt, you will sometimes see Sever’s Disease diagnosed as Achilles tendonitis. Sever’s is similar to Osgood-Schlatter’s disease at the heel instead of the knee. With an older population you can see calcaneal bursitis and rarely a partial Achilles tear or calf strain.
If left untreated a tendonitis can become a tendonosis. A tendonosis is much harder to treat. This is a chronic condition that is no longer in the inflammatory stage. Our recommendation with tendonitis is to treat it early and not to let it get out of hand. Physical therapy is a great tool in managing and treating Achilles tendonitis.
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