Lower Calf, Ankle or Heel Pain? You May Have Achilles Tendinitis

If you have pain along the back of your calf near your ankle or in your heel, especially after exercise, or stiffness and swelling especially first thing in the morning, you may have Achilles tendinitis.

The Achilles tendon connects your lower calf muscles to the heel bone. This tissue may become damaged with overuse or an injury, causing the fibers to stretch and then tear. The resulting inflammation is called Achilles tendinitis.

Causes of Achilles Tendinitis

Middle-aged men often develop Achilles tendinitis, especially if they don’t warm up properly before exercising. Those with flat feet can also be prone to this inflammation.

Other causes are:

  • Overuse
  • Repetitive exercises like running up hills or climbing stairs
  • Increasing the intensity of an exercise too quickly like running speed or walking distances
  • Jumping into an exercise program too aggressively after a period of inactivity
  • Trauma to the tendon from sprinting, jumping or an injury
  • Wearing shoes that are inadequate for the activity

Get a Professional Evaluation for Achilles Tendinitis

If you suspect that you have injured your Achilles tendon, contact Your Next Step right away. A podiatrist should examine you especially if the pain is so severe that it prevents you from walking. You may have torn or ruptured the tendon, which requires immediate treatment.

After diagnosing the problem, we will begin with conservative treatments with the R.I.C.E method:

  • Rest the foot and use a brace, walking boot or crutches.
  • Ice the area when painful and swollen for about 15 minutes.
  • Compression with wraps will minimize movement and reduce swelling.
  • Elevate your foot above your heart, especially at night.

Other Achilles tendinitis treatments include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication to relieve pain.
  • Custom-fitted orthotics to relieve tendon strain and provide cushioning by raising the heel.
  • Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the area.

In some cases surgery may be required to repair the tendon.

Contact Us for an Achilles Tendon Evaluation

Our board certified podiatrists know how important it is to treat an Achilles tendon inflammation or injury quickly. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen want to see you in our Ardmore or Paoli, PA office right away to relieve your pain and swelling. Call us at 610-642-8837 to schedule an appointment or contact us through the website. Don’t live with the pain of Achilles tendonitis or any other foot problem – we can help!

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