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Achilles tendinitis and Achilles bursitis are two different types of heel pain that are results from inflammation in the Achilles tendon. These types can occur from being too low on particular nutrients and also dysfunctional local muscle and joints. The Bursa is located between the skin and the posterior aspect of the tendon. Inflammation of either or both the bursa can cause pain at the heel and ankle region. SOL CBD
These are much more common than from trauma and infection. These conditions can occur in different joint areas of the body. Many times this is common with athletes for example tennis players or swimmers can have an occurrence in a joint like the shoulder, knee or ankle that starts out as just some speratic shooting pain in the area and later progresses in to tendinitis. A lot of times the physician can misdiagnose it if not thoroughly ruling out other problems.
The suffix “itis” typically means a more acute issue. The surfaces are of mostly muscle tissue and tendons that glide over or between bony structures of the joint areas in most cases and in the process of protecting these areas from getting inflamed, the “bursa” itself can become inflamed which is the condition known as “bursitis.” The body reacting to the damage will create bursa sacs. These areas in the feet include the first metatarsal phalangeal joint or (base of the Big Toe) or base of the fifth toe associated as a bunionette, or the bottom of the heel and the bottom of the ankle area.
Tendinitis is when the area that the muscle connects to the bone and becomes inflamed in the tendon. Quite often a lot of athletes have this type of injury occur more than other injuries. This is also one of the most used and incorrectly diagnosed because of the similarities in the scientific name and mistaken for other conditions in how the problem can compared to in the beginning of the injury.
Dysfunction and improper gait can also cause tendinitis. If another past injury or wearing improper footwear causes one to walk or run incorrectly due to muscle imbalances can result in tendon issues. Believe it or not; what you wear on your feet can have a dramatic effect your feet and your entire body.
Tendinitis can also affect or involve certain organs; those being adrenal glands, pancreas and liver. Stress is dealt with through your hormonal glands which are the adrenal glands. They will secrete excess cortisol when your nutrients/ diet, emotional or physical well-being is under too much stress or duress which can deplete the beneficial hormone (DHEA) over time. Persistent chronic stress in these areas can result in low estrogen or testosterone levels which come from these hormone glands. This constant cortesol burden will cause the liver to become over-whelmed, in which at the same time, must detoxify the hormones such is called “sulfation process.” Your body will have less of the “good stuff” to heal the injury and inflammation in the tendons as well as cartilage and joints they are attached to. This goes without saying; the body will not be able to heal much else that is injured or sick either. These in-turn can lead to the pancreas being unbalanced as they try to keep the blood sugar levels from going out of control through-out your busy day and may create insulin and carb sensitivities causing more inflammation which will spiral into a downward cycle.
What are the main Causes?
- One common cause that’s typical, it has been found that athletes tend to have bursitis occur when they over-train without a good stretching and proper conditioning routine before training.
- Ladies that wear “HIGH” or 2 inch+ heels for long periods of time.
- Also, Tight fitting or poorly fitted shoes that results in excessive pressure at the posterior heel region.
- Repetitive (cumulative) trauma or over use which induces inflammation and pressure aggravates the bursae.
- Retrocalcaneal bursitis can also be associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis, gout or other degenerative conditions, which many times are factors related to the aging process.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
- Shooting pain towards the back of the heel especially when walking or running uphill.
- The back of the ankle in the small fluid-filled sack that acts as a cushion and lubricant for the joint may have some swelling, tenderness, and inflammation.
- When there is difficulty rising and standing on tiptoes and having pain and tenderness in a throbbing way.
- If there is a lot of stiffness in the ankle/ heel area due to the swelling.
- When both Achilles tendinitis and bursitis conditions are present; which have similar symptoms, physicians refer to this as Haglund’s syndrome.
What are some good home Remedies or Treatments?
Remember that everyone’s system is different and what may work for some, may not work for others.
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- Ice down: Ice or cold compress is always a great way of reducing swelling and pain. It also can relax the local muscles. Try to attach and
secure the ice pack to your ankle with a sock packed with ice in zip lock bag and tie it around your lower leg or attach it in the best way that works for you for about 20 minutes. Also, try elevating your ankle above your heart while it is iced. Don’t apply the ice directly to the skin; always make sure you have thin cotton material between the ice and skin.
- Ginger has been known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds which improve blood circulation and reduce overall pain and inflammation. This herb works well both internally and externally. Try drinking a few cups of tea that has ginger in it throughout the day or adding it to your cooking. If you can find some ginger oil try warming it slightly and messaging the area about twice a day as well. If you have some supplements with ginger try taking some with your meals. Be sure to talk to your doctor to determine a correct dosage and also find out if your body will take it without a reaction.
- Try some Turmeric… cur-cumin is the active ingredient in turmeric which is another powerful anti-inflammatory that works well for swelling and pain and has good healing properties. Make a turmeric beverage by simmering a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a cup of milk and add honey to sweeten and flavor it. Drink this mixture twice a day to promote healing and reduce inflammation. Also, there are several good Turmeric supplements that you can take that will help a great deal as long as you follow the directions on the bottle and find out from a doctor to make sure none of these supplements will conflict with any prescriptions you may be taking.
- Try a Compression Sleeve or elastic wrap to help with reducing swelling, pain and help encourage the healing process. There are many types of these compression sleeves, elastic bandages on the market that will work well as long as you follow instructions properly on how to wrap your leg and foot without wrapping too tight. It is very important not to wrap too tight as this can cause blood circulation to be slowed or cut off and can cause more pain. This will work best if you elevate your leg and foot above your heart and rest it in a comfortable manner. You can leave it wrapped for a few days which you need to re-wrap daily, giving it support while helping the healing process.
- Take some time for a Message… Gently messaging the area will help reduce stiffness and swelling by increasing circulation; besides who doesn’t Love a Gentle Message, right? A good natural oil such as Coconut, Olive, or the Ginger Root Extract, slightly warmed up on your fingertips is a wonderful lubricant for the skin and rubbing gently in the lower part of your foot, ankle, heel and calf for approximately five to ten minutes at the end of the day or bed time. If it is hard to reach the area, try asking this favor from friend, family member, or spouse. This would work best during the healing process to do 3-5 times a week.
- Physical therapy exercises and stretches work wonders if done properly... Your doctor or physical therapist should be able to give you a list with detailed instructions at your request. There are also some stretching bands you can request if they have them or for a few dollars find at a local drugstore. These are very good at building up your strength and mobility slowly without being very painful or straining. These type of gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can significantly help you recover within half the time and also help prevent future re-injuries.
- Another great home remedy that has been found to work surprisingly well is Apple Cider Vinegar ! The natural anti-inflammatory in apple cider vinegar in addition to its alkalizing components reduce inflammation and pain significantly. You can use it both internally and externally in different ways for desirable results. There are some great tea recipes on the internet that you might prefer which include apple cider vinegar or something as simple as 2 tablespoons of the AC-Vinegar mixed with some honey into a glass of water twice a day until the inflammation goes down. Or you can soak your foot in a small bucket of warm water and one cup of AC-Vinegar for 20-30 minutes per day. You can also use Epsom Salt in the same soaking way in hot water a few times a week until complete heeling. The Epsom salt contains magnesium, which relaxes the muscles, reduces swelling and helps with healing.
- Vitamin E a fat-soluble antioxidant that fights free radicals by relieving inflammation and pain. You can take vitamin E as a supplement or eat more foods rich with vitamin E such as spinach, kale, almonds, hazelnuts, turnip greens, and Swiss chard. Castor Oil is also to have found contains capsaicin-like, anti-inflammatory compounds in which the most effective results come from applying to the affected area 2-3 times a day until inflammation stops.
- Some other Vitamin Supplements can be added to your regular routine to boost healing time are the following: Vitamin C as a supplement 250-500mg per day according to studies done at the University of Maryland Medical Center will aid in healing tendinitis, which improves immune function and reduce painful inflammation caused by condition. Also, you want to add more foods fortified with Vitamin C such as citrus juices, citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, papaya, and kiwi are some examples that provide extra Vitamin C. Also this would be a perfect time to give the CBD Oils a try… Calcium; recommended up to 1,500 mg / daily value as another supplement which will aid in healing. Calcium is the most prevalent mineral in the body for bone health, muscle contraction, blood vessel health, secretion of enzymes and hormones. In addition, salmon, fortified breads, cereals, and dairy products will help provide valuable amounts of calcium. Magnesium added to this list which is one of the most abundant mineral in the body, mostly found in the bones, organs and body tissues. It aids in healthy immune system, bone strength, muscle and nerve function, and helps regulate a healthy heart beat. It’s recommended to supplement on average of 750 mg per day of magnesium as a helpful tool in repairing connective muscle and tissues with tendinitis and bursitis. The valuable food sources of magnesium are included in spinach, almonds, halibut, soybeans, potatoes and fortified grains… Remember for proper absorption; Vitamin D is vital to include while supplementing these nutrients. It is created in the body in response to exposure to the sun and is found in high amounts in milk, cheese, eggs, fortified grains, cereals, and things like cod liver oil.
- In addition, the Omega-3-Fatty Acids are the essential fats that must be acquired through diet… They are known to reduce inflammation, reduce irregular heartbeat, and promote healthy heart. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna eaten weekly to reap the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and improves overall health. Or you can substitute with Omega-3 supplements if you OK it with your doctor to make sure it doesn’t interact with any other medications.
- To reduce swelling and advance healing keep affected leg elevated as much as possible during healing process.
- Try avoiding activities that put additional stress on the tendon, such as walking uphill and climbing stairs.
- It is imperative to wear good quality, highly supportive, with adequate cushioning for the heel.
- Avoid as much as possible wearing high heels for any part of the time until fully healed.
- Gradually increase your activity level and periods of time on your feet, to strengthen your muscles, as your tendon heals.
A bursa is fluid- filled sac that cushions an area of friction between tissues, such as the tendon and the bone. This bursa reduces friction between the moving parts of the body (joints). Some examples of these are the shoulder, elbow, knee, hip, and as in this subject adjacent to the Achilles tendon in the heel. There over a hundred of these bursae throughout the body which are lined with specialized cells that secrete a fluid rich in collagen and proteins, which acts as a lubricant for the moving joints of the body. Bursitis is when this bursa is inflamed.
What Causes Bursitis?
Common causes of this condition are repetitive motions with the joint causing injury, for example repeated swinging an axe or throwing a ball; or causing some kind of trauma with direct impact; like continuous kneeling and hitting your knee on the ground, or where there are pre-existing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis … If this minor repetitive injury occurs often again in the same area it develops into Chronic Bursitis.
Infections can occur when the bursae is located close to the surface of the skin which can then get infected with a bacteria condition, known as septic bursitis. This Bacteria that commonly causes the infection most likely is “Staphylococcus” (more commonly known as staff infection.) The risk is higher to have septic bursitis if the affected is diabetic, alcholic, certain kidney conditions, and those with suppressed immune systems. Approx 85% of septic bursitis occurs in men.
Folks that deal with Rheumatoid conditions and diseases like pseudo gout have a risk of having deposits of crystals that form in the bursa, causing inflammation which can lead to developing bursitis.
Symptoms and Signs of Bursitis:
- Tenderness and Pain in the area of affected tendon or bone
- Movement may become difficult due to the bursa sac swelling
- Common affected joints or elbow, shoulder, knee and ankle
Retrocalcaneal Bursitis affects the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel when the bursa becomes inflamed.
In conclusion both Bursitis and Tendinitis can be treated with some of the same suggestions above with exception that in the case of bursitis slow and careful swimming may also help mobility and strengthening, while in the healing process. At times if needed and no infection, the doctor may drain the fluid that may build up, with a needle and follow up with a steroid injection to reduce swelling. Very rarely on occasion, the bursa maybe removed surgically as a necessary recourse. Remember , just like in most health issues, Prevention is Best if possible. The following are some suggestions for prevention:
- Limiting a certain activity that has been known to cause you to develop these conditions
- Protective gear such as knee pads, and cushioned ankle pads
- Improving flexibility by strengthening those weaker muscles involved in the joint motions and rehabilitation exercises
- Try the R.I.C.E. Method listed below:
“R” is for Rest from the constant strain on the area of the foot that is causing all the problems in the first place! Be aware and mindful of the amount of strain and time you’ve spent on your feet and doing activities with the foot area that has been injured. Try to put less strain on the tendon if at all possible and pay attention to swelling or pain.
“I” is for Ice! It’s time to ice your ankle and tendon down. Make sure you do it most often while healing and even regularly at the end of a active day will help. Gradually lower the temperature with towel wrapped ice, to reduce swelling and pain. Use some of the suggestions above under the Treatment and Remedies Section.
“C” is for Compression as applying pressure helps support the area, particularly when sleeping or doing activities requiring a lot of twisting and unusual and complicated movements. It is essential to provide support and stabilize those areas that are prone to these injuries to prevent further strain.
“E” is for Elevation! Elevating your ankle helps with proper blood flow. Gravity can work for you in allowing the blood vessels and capillaries to move more freely towards your heart and throughout your body. Elevating your aching ankles and tendons will surprisingly provide you with a welcomed and almost immediate relief.
If you enjoyed any of this information or would like to share some things that might have helped you in your experiences or have any questions or suggestions, Please feel free to comment below… I always Love to hear from my readers!