Your Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in your body. It’s also one of the most frequently injured. The tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone and it helps you walk and run by raising your heel off the ground. At Gentle Professional Foot Care, it’s a part of the body that we treat for injuries often in both avid sports participants and weekend warriors.
Overuse Leads to Injury
The reason Achilles tendonitis is a risk for players of all levels is that its biggest cause is overuse. Any sudden increase or prolonged repetitive activity that involves the tendon can result in tendonitis. In the serious athlete, we see this injury after a period of intense practice sessions without days of rest in between, or in the heat of the season when there are many games close together. For the more casual sports player, Achilles tendon issues usually come about from increasing intensity or duration of a workout or game schedule too quickly. If you’re starting a sport after a period of inactivity, you are particularly at risk. Other causes of Achilles tendonitis include having flat feet or wearing shoes that don’t adequately support the arch of your foot.
Symptoms and Treatment
Signs that you have pushed your Achilles too far include:
· Intense pain or tenderness when the sides of the tendon are squeezed.
· Ongoing or intermittent pain or discomfort in the form of aching, stiffness or soreness anywhere along the tendon from the heel to just under the calf muscle.
· Pain that is worse when you first get up in the morning or after a rest. The pain may get better once you start moving around, but ultimately worsens with increased activity.
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment at our Venice office so that our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, can take a look. In addition to examining your lower leg and foot and checking your range of motion, the foot doctor may ask for x-rays or other imaging studies to confirm a diagnosis.
To treat Achilles tendonitis pain, the podiatrist may recommend immobilizing the leg for a period of time and using ice or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Orthotics, night splints and physical therapy may be prescribed to help heal the problem and prevent future injury.
Tendonitis that is not treated can degenerate into tendinosis—a condition that can take much longer to correct. So don’t wait - contact us today if you have symptoms by calling: (941) 493-7999.