Inflammation can be a good thing. When you have a bacterial infection or get attacked by a virus, your body sends white blood cells and other substances to the area to fight the foreign intruders.
On the other hand, inflammation hurts. For instance, certain types of arthritis are associated with inflammation that has no clear foreign enemy to fight. Another type of painful inflammation occurs when you overuse certain body parts, like your ankle. You have several tendons in your ankle joint that keep your muscles attached to your bones, and when you stress them out or use them incorrectly, they become inflamed and you have tendonitis.
Our expert team at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers understands that ankle tendonitis can be debilitating. If you’re suffering from this chronic condition, we can develop a treatment plan that gets you back to an active life as soon as possible.
Better yet, we can give you some tips on how to sidestep it completely so you never have to experience it firsthand. Tendonitis is typically caused by repetitive motions and is common in athletes who go through the same motions over and over. These preventive measures can help you identify problem movements so you can stay in the game — whether it’s golf, tennis, or life.
1. Get strong
The stronger you are, the better you’re able to withstand the stress of life and sport. Calf raises and isometrics can help strengthen the muscles in and around your ankles. But be careful, the exercises you do to prevent an injury may be different from those you should do to rehab from an injury, so check in with our team to make sure your activities are safe.
2. Stretch your ankles
Range of motion is an important part of keeping your ankles limber and capable of adapting to your various types of physical activity. When your tissues are loose, you’re less apt to suffer trauma. A good time to stretch out your ankles is post-workout when they’re warm and flexible.
3. Change your routine
Because tendonitis results from repetitive movements, sticking to one sport or routine can be the cause. Adopt a cross-training mindset and consider adding new activities to your schedule. For instance, if you’re a runner, try taking a swim or taking up yoga as a way to give your ankle a rest while you keep in shape.
4. Back off
If it hurts — stop. This tip should be obvious, but many athletes tend to push through the pain. In some cases, that’s admirable, but not when it comes to tendonitis. Continuing the painful movement makes your tendonitis and your pain worse.
5. Get better to get better
If you want your tendonitis to get better, you need to make sure you’re performing your sport with the best form and technique. Injuries often happen when athletes hold a racket incorrectly, shift their weight the wrong way, or wear the wrong type of shoes. Taking lessons from an expert in your sport can save you from tendonitis and other injuries.
The good news about ankle tendonitis
If you didn’t get our list of preventive strategies in time and you already have tendonitis, the good news is that we can help you get rid of your pain and learn how to keep your ankle stable and pain-free for years to come.
Depending on which tendon is affected and the severity of the inflammation or injury, we have multiple treatments that can get you mobile again, including:
- RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
- Ankle braces
- Physical therapy
- Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT®)
- Stem cell therapy
Our goal is to give you maximum pain relief with the least invasive approach. So when you feel ankle pain, don’t tough it out. Give us a call or book an appointment online right away.