Achilles injuries are common, even among people with relatively sedentary lifestyles. The cause of Achilles tendonitis is wear and tear on the Achilles tendon, which can be caused by sports injuries, repetitive injuries such as standing on tiptoes, or even intensive movement while wearing high-heels. Certain existing conditions and medications can also increase the risk of tendonitis. Since the Achilles tendon runs between the heel and the calf, it can make movement difficult and dramatically decrease the quality of life.
Insertional Achilles tendonitis is simply Achilles tendonitis that occurs right at the base of the heel and requires targeted treatment methods to reduce pain and expedite recovery.
Since Achilles tendonitis is a muscle injury, it’s important that treatment options give the muscle time to recover. Reducing the mobility of the muscle is one strategy that can facilitate recovery. A full cast or brace is usually unnecessary. Instead, taping can be used in the early stages of insertional Achilles tendonitis treatment.
Some injuries are best treated with stiffer tape that significantly limits joint mobility. This tape may be wrapped fully around the ankle and around the bottom of the foot. Others only require kinesiology tape, which remains flexible to allow a broader range of movement. Sports fans may occasionally see black Kinesio tape on professional athletes, even when they’re in the middle of a game. Kinesiology tape is often only applied to the back of the heel, ankle, and calf for insertional Achilles tendonitis treatment.
Taping methods are generally easy to use, and patients can often apply their own tape after a licensed chiropractor helps them with the first application. Kinesiology tape, in particular, has to be carefully applied to achieve the desired effect since it relies on gently pulling the skin away from the muscle to allow smoother muscle movement and reduce inflammation.
Road to Recovery
Other Achilles tendonitis treatment methods, such as heel raises and changes in footwear, can be done in conjunction with taping. Taping is not a long-term fix for tendonitis and should only be done as part of a larger strategy that addresses the main cause of the pain. An exercise and stretching routine will usually be created for the patient to encourage muscle recovery.
Recovery from Achilles tendonitis is not easy and requires the disciplined use of all prescribed treatment methods. Wearing inappropriate shoes and overexerting one’s leg muscles will only slow down the recovery process. Taping can be a powerful supplement to other methods and help patients maintain their mobility and quality of life as they recover, but make sure to work closely with your chiropractor to manage all possible risk factors.