The inflammation of the Achilles tendon affects the largest tendon in the human body and is related to the back of the leg near the heel bone. If it is not properly treated, the mere inflammation can degenerate leading to the tendon rupture.
Depending on which part of the tendon is inflamed, there are two different types of tendinitis:
– Not-insertional Achilles tendinitis: the fibers in the central part of the tendon start breaking with tiny sprains with resulting swelling and thickening.
– Insertional Achilles tendinitis: the affected part is the lower one at the tendon insertion into the heel bone.
Causes and symptoms
Achilles tendinitis is the result of repeated stress to the tendon, however, many main factors can cause it:
- Unexpected increase in physical activity intensity;
- Contraction of calf muscle;
- Painful bone spurs when scraping against the tendon;
- Haglund’s deformity
To properly treat it, it is necessary to identify the most common symptoms, among them:
- Pain and rigidity in the Achilles tendon, in particular in the morning
- Tendon thickening
- Bone spurs
- Persistent swelling
- Intense pain the day after exercise
The patient is a man in his 40s who regularly runs who, during “long” trainings over 5 Km, perceived a strong pain in the tendon of his left leg. Thanks to an ultrasound, it has been found out that the pain was concreted in correspondence of calcaneal insertion as exudative insertional tendinopathy.
It has been decided to use the laser technology, in combination with 10 minutes of ultrasounds therapy for each session – with a power of 1,2 W/cm2 at 1 Mhz – in order to reduce pain and inflammation.
Although the scheduled sessions were 10, 8 were enough to heal the injury without necessity of additional treatments.
At the end of the sessions, the patient was able to do sport with a gradual recovery and without excessive effort.