Your capacity to walk, run, and high five is largely influenced by the correct functioning of your Achilles tendon which allows you to flex your feet and stand on your tippy toes. When you have an injury to this largest tendon in your body that connects your heels to your calf muscles, the pain and discomfort can be quite unnerving and debilitating, especially if it breaks suddenly with a loud pop!
The Achilles tendon can become swollen from repetitive activities such as jogging and competitive sports. The stress and overuse require cessation of activity until the symptoms subside, or you risk increasing the damage and subsequent recovery period.
Achilles tendonitis is common in dancers, athletes, and workers who perform repetitive exercises and movements that can combine to severely overload the tendon. This causes stretching and the possibility of a tear developing. The injury often happens when the intensity of a particular exercise is rapidly increased or decreased, without the proper warm up and cool down.
Ignoring the initial symptoms of the problem and continuing to perform the activity can cause the severity of the condition to quickly accelerate. Professional athletes often push beyond this point in the quest for victory with often sidelining injuries as a result.
Treatments for Achilles Tendonitis
Here are some options:
- Resting the foot
- Hot and cold compresses to alleviate swelling and pain
- Compression and elevation to reduce swelling
- Therapy exercises and stretches for the heel and calf muscles
- Use of custom-made orthotic inserts
- Switching to low-impact activities such as cycling and swimming
- Surgery for a badly damaged or torn Achilles tendon
There are many therapies that you can implement on your own, but seeking the help of a podiatrist is the best way to go. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide excellent podiatric care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area. Please contact us at our Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA offices for more information or an appointment.