It is important to note that Achilles tenosynovitis is described as an inflammatory condition affecting the sheath that surrounds the Achilles tendon. This condition is oftentimes called as paratenonitis.
The symptoms of Achilles tenosynovitis typically include pain in the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is usually sore to the touch. Pushing up onto tip toes or stretching the calf muscles can trigger pain in the Achilles tendon.
Take note that the tendon can be swollen or thickened along with a creaking sensation called as crepitus that can be felt when the individual attempts to move the affected ankle.
It is important to note that Achilles tenosynovitis is an overuse injury that occurs due to repeated micro trauma of the sheath that surrounds the tendon. This injury is quite common among those who engage in running and those who are involved in activities that include repetitively pushing up on the toes or marching while wearing heavy boots. The condition can abruptly develop during the following:
- Tightened calf and Achilles complex
- Using high heels on a daily basis and then shifting to flat shoes
- An abrupt increase in training or walking or running uphill
- A change in the footwear used that are less supportive
Difference between tendonitis and tenosynovitis
When it comes to Achilles tendonitis, it is a degenerative condition of the tendon itself. As for Achilles tenosynovitis, it is a similar condition affecting the sheath which surrounds the tendon instead of the tendon itself.
The two conditions are quite similar when it comes to the symptoms and it can be difficult to differentiate between the two conditions without using an MRI or ultrasound scans. In most cases, both conditions can exist together. The treatment for the two conditions is quite similar and an exact diagnosis is not often needed anymore.
The individual should rest from activity that will worsen the condition. You can apply an ice pack over the tendon for 15 minutes every 3-4 hours to reduce the pain, inflammation and swelling. As long as it is comfortable, you can gently stretch out the calf muscles. If you want to learn more on how to effectively provide cold therapy, enroll in a first aid course. (Read here for more information on the courses offered).
When to consult a doctor
The doctor will usually recommend anti-inflammatory medications in either gel or tablet form to help ease the symptoms. Electrotherapy treatments such as laser or ultrasound can also be used by the doctor.
Sports massage can help loosen up the calf muscles. It is important to note that a specific sports massage involving friction can be applied over the affected tendon to promote the flow of blood and eliminate any adhesions.
A sports injury professional will recommend a rehabilitation program. In most cases, eccentric calf exercises such as heel drops are the suitable exercise for Achilles tendon injuries. On the other hand, if the conservative treatment options fail, corticosteroid injection will be administered.