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DrSugar Answers: Running With Tendinitis?

DrSugar is in the house and answering your questions.

Hi DrSugar,
I was hoping you could help me with some questions. I am an avid runner and was recently informed that I have tendinitis in both my Achilles tendon as well as in a tendon on the top of my foot (I don't remember which one). Basically, my MD told me there's nothing he can do to help them heal, but I could try wearing a walking cast that only "might" help. I really miss running so I'm in the process of trying to find another doc that will try to help me. Do you know of anything that can help, or can you just give me some info on Achilles tendinitis?
— Pain in the Heel

Injuries like this just stink! To see what the DocSugar has to say about this, just


Achilles tendinitis is a common running- and jumping-related injury that affects the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel. The Achilles tendon plays an important role in the mechanics of running; it is the connective tissue that allows us to push off while taking a stride. Scientists have actually measured forces in the Achilles tendon to be 10 times that of the runner’s body weight. Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon and can be due to a number of common risk factors, including improper running shoes, running on uneven surfaces, overuse, or starting a running regimen too quickly. There is also a tendency for women who wear high heels and suddenly start a jogging routine to develop Achilles tendinitis because high heels reduce the use of the tendon, thus leaving it vulnerable to injury.

Preventing Achilles tendinitis is paramount because recovery from tendinitis can be slow and unsatisfactory for the avid runner, which I think is what you're experiencing. Visiting a doctor, as you did, is important to rule out a more serious injury such as Achilles tendon rupture (a tendon tear). Other treatments that can help include orthotics insoles that elevate the heel and reduce stress on the tendon. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can reduce inflammation in the short term, but are generally not recommended for extended periods. Like you mentioned, walking boots are also a treatment, but are generally reserved for fairly severe injury or impairment since they are very inconvenient to wear. Physical therapy and rehabilitation can also help speed the healing process and prevent future injury. Good luck, and you are right — if your doctor doesn’t help, go and try another.

If you have a question for DrSugar, send me a private message here and I will forward it to the good doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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