The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Foot Tendonitis Takes Down Powerful Wizards Forward: How to Treat This Painful Foot Injury

Posted by on Thursday, December 12th, 2013

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The Washington Wizards aren’t renowned for having the greatest team in the NBA, but they’ve been in quite a slump since Brazilian power forward / center Nenê has been out with an injury. According to the Washington Post, “Nene has missed 38 of 123 games since he joined the Wizards — and the team’s record in those games is 7-31.”

In Friday’s game, the Wizards’ “big guy” left the third period with right foot tendonitis, an injury our NYC podiatrists commonly treat at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine.  Bustle magazine recently mentioned tendonitis — inflammation of the tendon — as one of the five most common gym injuries, in fact.

foot tendonitis
The Washington Wizards have been in a losing slump since their power forward’s foot tendonitis injury. Image Source: WashingtonWizardsNews.com

How We Treat Foot Tendonitis

When you visit a professional podiatrist, there are several types of treatment you may receive, including:

– Physical Therapy: While pain management is important, we ultimately want to treat the root cause of your foot tendonitis so you can enjoy full, long-term pain relief. We’ll assess your shoe type, walking and running biomechanics, and body alignment to find out what may have caused the chronic overuse injury. We’ll teach you how to do important stretches — like calf exercises — that reduce tension in the feet.

– Massage: Improving blood and oxygen flow to the injured area prompts the body’s natural healing, so massage is a very relaxing and enjoyable type of treatment for tendonitis.

Shockwave Therapy / Ultrasound TherapyHigh frequency sound waves may be used in advanced cases of tendonitis that involve built-up scar tissue. This non-invasive, painless treatment heats up the affected area, improves circulation, and creates a histamine response in the body that naturally reduces inflammation.

– Cortisone Shots: Cortisone medication alleviates acute pain in tendonitis sufferers and can be used every few weeks, as necessary. While it’s not a good long-term treatment, many patients find it advantageous while going through recovery.

– Surgery: Surgery may be needed in very rare cases of total tendon rupture, arch collapse, or chronic tendonitis. There are several different procedures, but generally speaking, a surgeon will remove the inflamed, damaged tissue and rebuild any structures that have become badly injured.

foot tendons
There are many different types of tendons in the feet. Image Source: HealthFavo.com

Home Remedies For Foot Tendonitis

Most people try to deal with the pain of tendonitis on their own before going to see a specialist. Ten common home remedies for foot tendonitis include:

– Rest: Rest is the most important remedy, but also the most difficult for some people. Swimming is a great exercise to remain active during your recovery period, without causing further injury.

– Ice: Alternate 20 minutes of ice, followed by 20 minutes off to reduce swelling.

– OTC Medications: Ibuprofen or aspirin can be purchased at your local pharmacy without a prescription to reduce chronic swelling.

– Epsom Salt: A hot foot soak with two tablespoons of Epsom salt for 20 minutes can provide the body with magnesium to help fight inflammation.

– Olive Oil: An olive oil massage will moisturize the skin and relax the burning sensation. WikiHow mentions several different techniques that comfort sore tendons and foot muscles.

foot massage
A foot massage works wonders for acute pain management. Image Source: Wikihow.com

– Cayenne Pepper: Put cayenne pepper on a cloth applied to your foot for up to a half-hour. Many medications use the capsaicin in cayenne pepper as a natural way of shutting down pain nerves.

– Sage: You can rub fresh sage leaves along your injury, create a soak with apple cider vinegar, or drink as a tea to reduce inflammation.

– Asparagus: This natural diuretic flushes out pain-causing toxins and reduces swelling.

– Vinegar: Soak a towel in hot water and vinegar and apply to your foot for added comfort.

– Chickweed: The vitamins and nutrients in this herb allegedly reduce inflammation, pain, and tenderness when applied as a paste to the affected area for a few minutes, according to one site. Drinking chickweed tea several times a day is also believed to help.

When To Call A Doctor

It’s a common misconception that aching feet is something people just “live through.” There is nothing normal about foot pain. If the pain and inflammation has not subsided after two weeks of rest, it’s best to call a professional.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.