Monday, August 20, 2012

Insertional achilles tendonitis

Insertional achilles tendonitis is characterized by inflammation and pain surrounding the point where the achilles tendon and heel connect. This area experiences extreme stress during any movement that involves excessive stretching of the tendon or repetitive high-impact sports, producing either severe inflammation or possibly even the tearing or rupturing of the tendon. 
The symptoms of insertional tendonitis usually involves tenderness directly over the Achilles tendon insertion area--around the back of the heel where the tendon joins the bone. Without proper treatment, this area experiences a gradient of discomfort during repetitive activity, resulted in constant tenderness and/or severe discomfort as the inflammation progresses.

Conservative treatment can resolve most cases of achilles tendonitis. The following treatments below can help treat and prevent this painful foot condition.
1) Ice twice a day with a frozen gel pack or water bottle for twenty minutes.
2) Calf stretching exercises before and after activity three sets for 30 seconds
3) 1/4 inch heel lifts placed in the back of shoes to take tension off of the back of the heel where the achilles tendon inserts.
4) Avoiding explosive activity (jumping, bootcamp) activities for a few weeks.
5) Rest to allow the inflammation to reduce
6) Topical and oral anti-inflammatory medication to reduce inflammation
7) Physical Therapy with ultrasound to reduce inflammation
8) Cross training via lower impact exercises
9) Achilles night splints which help to stretch the achilles tendon at night.
10) Custom foot orthotics with heel lift built into the orthotic and a top cover that incorporates shock absorption for the heel.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Preventing foot pain by finding the right sandal for summer

During the summer months it is important to wear the most supportive sandal or flip flop to help prevent various foot ailments. When looking for the right shoe first and foremost, the more surface area contact there is between the foot and the sandal, the more support the foot will have. This means the wider the sandal and the higher the arch, the better the support as this will provide more of a foundation especially for people who suffer from low arches.
The next consideration is stability. This is best accomplished by finding sandals that are adjustable as opposed to sliding on. Adjustable straps or Velcro fasteners are keys to a stable fit.  Wide straps are preferred compared to narrow straps.
We suggest the Chaco sandals, which tend to be wide, have a high arch and have fully adjustable straps. FitFlop sandals are also wide with a high arch in addition to a thick, cushioned midsole with wide upper straps. Orthaheel has a great selection of styles, many with adjustable straps, high arches and cushioned heel supports.  Birkenstock is another nice option for summer sandals.