Conservative (non-surgical) treatment for tendinitis is always the first line of management. This includes :
1. Rest. Stop the activities that are aggravating the condition such as running or jumping.
2. Ice. Applying a cold pack to the painful area helps to reduce pain and swelling. You can do it up to 6 times a day and about 10 minutes each time.
3. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Drugs such as Naproxen or ibuprofen are great choices for pain and swelling, but will not reduce thickening of degenerated tendons. You should check with your foot specialist, if you plan on using it continually, for more than 1 month.
4. Stretching exercises. Reducing stress on the Achilles tendon and helping increase the strength in calf muscles, are the goals of these exercises. With one knee straight and your heel on the ground, you will lean towards a wall; the other leg should be in front, with the knee bent. Pushing your hips towards the wall will stretch the muscles and heel cord; you will hold for 10 seconds then relax. You should repeat this 20 times with each foot.
5. Supportive shoes and orthotics. Shoes that are softer in the back, or help lift the heels, as well as other orthotics, have also been proven to help in pain management associated with Achilles tendonitis.
7. Radial shockwave therapy (RSWT). The inflamed tissues are shocked with low impact pulses in this procedure. These shocks improve blood flow to the affected area, promoting self-healing within the tendon. Each session takes about 15 minutes and generally, 5-6 sessions are required for acute conditions and up to 8 sessions for chronic conditions. RSWT is noninvasive and safe and has worked well in our hands for the treatment of this condition.
For a comprehensive consultation to determine which if non-surgical treatment for tendinitis or tendon surgery is more suitable for you, contact us to make an appointment with our internationally renowned sports and joints surgeon , Dr Kevin Lee at Singapore Pinnacle Orthopaedic Group.