When you are an athlete, the last thing you want is to suffer a chronic condition like Achilles tendinopathy, in which you feel weakness and pain in your calf and Achilles tendon. However, if you do discover that you have developed Achilles tendinopathy, your next concern is likely trying to figure out what podiatric sports medicine can do to help you treat your condition and stay on your feet and on the court. Get to know some of the treatment options available for you and your Achilles tendinopathy so that you can get started right away.
Custom Orthotics and Pain Management Treatments
Generally, your podiatrist will want to start treating your Achilles tendinopathy conservatively with standard podiatric treatments like custom orthotics. Custom orthotics are special shoes or shoe inserts and leg sleeves that are designed to be supportive and to restrict the movements in that area of the body. The restriction of movement is not meant to completely immobilize your ankle or heel, but rather prevent undue strain, excessive pressure and improper movements.
Custom orthotics do not, however, solve the issue of the damage that has already been done and the current pain levels. As such, doctors will also prescribe a pain management regimen to help you get back on your feet and feel better while your Achilles tendon heals.
These treatments can include icing the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day, taking over-the-counter pain medications, and even corticosteroid injections. Some podiatrists do not recommend steroid injections for Achilles tendinopathy, because injections directly into the tendon could cause more harm than good, but others will inject the medication in the surrounding area to help reduce inflammation and pain.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a form of treatment for Achilles tendinopathy that is administered as an injection by a podiatric sports medicine or orthopedic physician. These injections basically take what the human body does naturally when it gets injured and concentrates it to make the effects faster-acting and more potent.
When a person is injured, the body sends platelets to begin repairing the injury. The injected PRP is a plasma (suspending fluid) that is densely filled with those same platelet cells to jumpstart recovery. This is accomplished through a simple blood draw.
Your blood goes to the lab to be processed by a technician who will concentrate the platelets. The platelets, therefore, are entirely yours and will not be rejected by your body. This remixed blood sample is then injected back into your Achilles tendon.
Now that you know a few of the treatment options for your Achilles tendinopathy, you can get started on your treatment program and get back on the court before you know it.
Contact a center like Elmhurst Podiatry Center Ltd to learn more.