What is tendonitis? How does it happen?

When you accidentally bend or twist your leg, what do you think happens to your ankle? What is an ankle? Is it a bone, ligament or a tendon? The ankle is basically a hinge joint that helps you in moving your feet in two basic directions- away and towards. Now, what do you understand by that? Ankle facilitates in directing your feet towards your body (dorsiflexion), and away from it (plantar flexion). It is made up by joining 3 bones- tibia (shinbone), fibula (small bone) and talus (large bone).

You experience pain in your ankles when you come across any injury or disease, affecting specifically your ankle joint. There are ligaments present on both sides of your ankle, to aid you in walking or standing. You measure the severity range of ankle sprains from moderate (curable within a day),) to severe (requires surgical attention).

On the other hand, tendinitis refers to the swelling of your tendons. It happens when you suddenly injure the tendons supporting your ankle while playing, running or accidents. To cure ankle sprain and tendinitis, you may either go for medications or take resort to home remedies.

Why do you get ankle sprains?

Ankle sprains are musculoskeletal injuries that you often come across in your daily life. What do you understand by sprains? Is it the same as strains? Both these terms refer to damage or injury of soft tissues that can be ligaments, muscles, bones or tendons. However, they are not similar. The strain is something that damages your muscles and tendons on accidental twisting. A sprain is damage to the ligaments that hold your bones together or connects cartilages to bones. If you hurt your ankle, it is basically a sprain. When the injury concerns your tendon, as in tendinitis, it is a strain.

When you get ankle sprains, the ligaments holding your ankle joints together tear off due to excessive stretching or twisting. You feel immense pain due to sprains, which is why you require immediate cure actions. The degree of feeling pain depends on the degree to which you have injured or damaged your ligaments. The ligament tear can either be partial or complete. When it is a partial tear, your ankle is still stable but requires treatment for complete stability. However, if it is a complete tear, you lose the entire stability of your ankles. In such cases, you need surgical attention to get back the stability of your ligaments holding your ankles.

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You get ankle sprains when you accidentally stumble upon uneven surfaces on the road while walking or running. Sometimes, you may even twist or bend your ankle inappropriately while playing football or basketball. If the sprain is extremely severe, you should visit a doctor for ankle dislocation. It is a very serious injury where your ligaments are completely ruptured or damaged and needs repair through surgeries.

What is tendonitis? Is it serious?

Tendinitis or tendonitis majorly concerns your tendons. It is a condition where you suffer immense pain due to inflammation of tendons. Tendinitis happens when your ankle suffers from some kind of trauma, which can injury during playing or running. Since the condition concerns inflammation, it may happen if you are suffering from any immunological disorders like:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis or Bechterew’s disease

There are various forms of tendinitis injuring your ankles, such as:

  1. Posterior tibial tendonitis
  2. Peroneal tendonitis
  3. Achilles tendonitis
  4. Extensor tendonitis
  5. Flexor tendinitis

When you suffer from any form of tendonitis, you feel acute pain, tenderness, and swelling of the injured tendons. The onset of the pain and inflammation is very quick, so you need to simmer it down with anti-inflammatory medications.

What are the possible symptoms?

You can diagnose signs of tendinitis and ankle sprain by looking for the following abnormalities in your ankle joints:

  1. Stiffness
  2. Redness
  3. Inflammation
  4. Pain
  5. Discoloration
  6. Warmth
  7. Throbbing
  8. Tenderness

Can you prevent it?

When you are mostly involved in sports activities, you need to be more careful while practicing athletic postures. As far as the cause for tendinitis and ankle sprains is not accidental, you can still take precautions. Follow proper instructions from your trainer while using gym equipment like trade mills, cycles, etc. to keep away from injuries. This is the basic step that you can take to minimize any potential risks of ankle injuries and tendonitis.

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If you are going out for a walk or run in a park, look below in the ground. See if the surface is even or not. Watch out for pebbles and rocks to prevent yourself from tripping over them. You mostly injure your ankle when you do not carefully look out for what you are stepping into. Do not forcefully bend your ankle beyond its capacity, in order to perform a specific athletic activity. Unnatural twisting or bending of your ankles can directly result in ankle sprains.

How to treat?

The basic way to treat your ankles during injuries is to keep them in complete rest. Your body needs time to heal, so give it that time. Do not rush into activities once you feel like you can move your feet a little. It will take you some time to completely get cured, from some weeks to even a few months. Dedicate that time to complete rest and medications, if you are taking any. There are various NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ketoprofen and naproxen. Example of common ketoprofen for tendinitis is Orudis, and naproxen is Naprosyn. If your injury is severe, you need to go for orthopedicmoldings.

You may also consider going for home remedies such as RICE therapy. RICE includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is a very common and fundamental treatment procedure that you can carry out in your home. Try doing alternative hot and cold compressions, followed by little stretching. There are certain exercises as well that you can do lying on your bed. However, you need to consult with a physician for that. Do everything possible under expert guidance that can minimize stress on your ankles, and help you evade pain quickly.

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