What is Tendonitis?
The cord which attaches the muscle to the bone is called the tendon. Inflammation of the tendon is Tendonitis. Tendons are the strong, cord-like bands of connective tissue that link muscles to bone. If a tendon is made to work too hard, for too long or in the wrong way, damage and tiny tears develop in the tendon. This is accompanied by inflammation which is the tell-tale sign of the condition.
The body’s normal response to an injury is to send extra red blood cells carrying the oxygen and nutrients required for healing and white cells to fight off possible infection. Waste products such as inflammatory chemicals are then carried away. All of this helps speed up healing but should only last for a few days. If an area is repeatedly irritated, the process keeps going resulting in the continued inflammation described as tendonitis.
There are four main causes of foot and ankle tendonitis:
- Overuse: It most commonly occurs when the tendon is repeatedly overloaded i.e. being asked to work too hard, or it is repeatedly over-stretched
- Injury: It can develop after any foot or ankle injury e.g. ligament sprain, or from repetitive friction on the tendon e.g. from a shoe rubbing
- Abnormal Foot Structure: If your foot is an abnormal shape e.g. flat foot or high arches, it can put more stress on the tendons resulting in the condition
- Medical Conditions: Some inflammatory conditions such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis can cause foot tendonitis