What is it?
Tendons are a type of connective tissue that attach muscles to bones. There are many different tendons within your feet and lower legs. Tendinopathy refers to a disorder of a tendon: this could be within the tendon itself or at the site where the tendon connects to bone.
What causes it?
Tendinopathy is a type of overuse injury, ie. gradual wear and tear over time. This can be caused by an athlete overtraining, an increase in weight on the tendon, or simply by the aging process. People who use the same motions repetitively on a day to day basis (in their job, sport or other activities) are more likely to develop tendinopathy. Your podiatrist will be able to assess your gait and other activities to determine the cause of your tendinopathy.
What can I do about it?
Resting and applying ice to the affected area can help to relieve immediate pain from tendinopathy. A stretching and strengthening program can assist in healing the affected tendon and reduce your risk of tendinopathy developing again in the future. Reducing the load applied to the tendon can also aid recovery; your podiatrist may use padding, strapping or orthotics to achieve this. Once recovered, your podiatrist will guide you through safely returning to sport and daily activities to minimise your risk of further tendon injury.