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  • Writer's pictureDr. Keith McGahey

"How Chiropractic Care Can Alleviate Heel Pain and Achilles Tendonitis"

I've been a practicing Chiropractor in Bellevue, WA for over 25 years. In that time I've treated a ton of heel pain. I can tell you for a fact, Chiropractic care, and advanced soft tissue treatment techniques like Graston Technique, and Active Release can work wonders. If you've been suffering from heel pain, chances are they can help you too. Schedule an appointment today for help with your heel pain, or read on for more information.

Heel Pain And Achilles Tendonitis

A man bending down holding his heel due to heel pain

Achilles tendonitis is one of the two most common causes of heel pain. The other is plantar fasciitis.

Heel pain from Achilles tendonitis is common than you might think. a common complaint in It's coming complaint in athletes and runners. But it can affect anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet, whether from playing sports, exercise, working, or in the course of your daily activities.

The good news is, heel pain responds well to conservative care. In fact, most people feel relief in just a few visits. But don't put off seeking help. Heel pain typically heels more quickly the early you pursue treatment. And when you’re ready, give Dr. Keith McGahey at Eastside Chiropractic Group a call. He’s been helping people with heel pain since 1998, and chances are he can help you too.

Heel Pain And The Achilles Tendon Connection

Your Achilles tendon is what connects your calf muscles to the back of your heel. It helps to transmit power from your calves to your feet when you walk, run and jump. Normally your achilles tendon does a great job with this. But when it’s overworked, it can become painful and inflamed, usually where it attaches to your heel.

This type of heel pain is more common in people who spend a lot of time on their feet. And if some of that time is spent being active and exercising, your risk increases. In fact, any repetitive activity involving your feet and calves can lead to achilles tendonitis. And that can make simple acts like climbing stairs pretty painful. And the longer it goes on, the more painful it can become.

What's Causing MY Heel Pain?

Different causes of heel pain and Achilles tendonitis

Activities like walking, running, exercise and playing sports can put a lot of stress on your Achilles tendon. Over time, that repetitive stress can lead to tiny tears in the tendon, called micro-tears. With repeated activity, these micro-tears can accumulate, leading to scar tissue and increase the chances for a more serious injury.

Achilles Tendonitis

In the early stages of injury, these little tears result in pain and inflammation near the heel. This early stage injury is referred to as tendonitis. The goal with treatment in this case is to rest and reduce inflammation, and to apply soft tissue treatment to give the tears a chance to heal.

Achilles Tendinosis

Without proper treatment and rest, Achilles tendonitis can become chronic. This is called tendinosis and is the result of improper healing. With tendinosis, scar tissue forms in the tendon, making it stiff, painful, and prone to further injury. There is very little inflammation here, so the treatment strategy needs to change. With continued overuse, or lack of proper treatment, your Achilles Tendon can rupture altogether. With tendon rupture you're looking at surgery, and this is definitely a surgery that you want to avoid!

Common Symptoms: Heel Pain & More!

The most common symptom of an Achilles tendon injury is heel pain. Usually just above the heel where the tendon attaches. Your pain may be mild at first, but can worsen with continued use. Activities like jumping, climbing stairs, running, exercise and standing can make your pain worse. Pointing your toes may also be painful.

And because we’re on our feet so much, sometimes we compensate for this type of injury. In other words, you might favor one side when you walk because your heel hurts. This ‘compensation’ can often lead to pain in other areas. Lower back pain and hip pain are common with chronic tendon injuries. So is foot pain and plantar fasciitis. Your best weapon against these complaints? Don’t allow your injury to become chronic

Effective Treatment For Heel Pain

In the early stages of injury, your best friend is likely ice and rest (and to see a doctor, like a chiropractor!). But if your injury has been around for a little while, inflammation is the least of your worries. With a tendon injury that has become chronic, you're likely past the inflammation stage. These injuries need to be treated more aggressively in order for them to heal properly.

And one of the best ways to do this is with a pair of treatment techniques: Active Release (ART) and Graston Technique. Both techniques can effectively break up scar tissue in your Achilles tendon, leg and foot, and have your heel pain feeling better in a hurry. Chiropractic can help eliminate the stiffness in the joints of your ankles and feet that can go along with an Achilles tendon injury. It’s an effective treatment combination that can have you out of pain and feeling better fast.

What Are You Waiting For?

Don't let pain keep you from what you enjoy doing. Dr. McGahey can create a treatment plan to help get you back on your feet, without pain, as quickly as possible. Schedule an appointment today and let's get to the bottom of your heel pain.

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