Achilles tendonitis affects the largest tendon in the body, which connects the heel to the calf muscle. Straining the tendon often happens to sports and exercise enthusiasts and people who spend a lot of time on their feet for work.
The injury can be very painful and you should always stop doing whatever has caused the pain in your heel so you don’t cause the tendon to tear further or even break.
Some of the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis
Swelling, stiffness, and pain in the heel that radiates up to the calf muscle are the first signs of relatively minor pull and these symptoms get worse with exercise, so the best thing to do is to stop moving the leg and evaluate the injury so you don’t make it worse.
A more severe injury to the Achilles tendon may include a loud popping sound as the tendon breaks. This obviously causes severe pain and an inability to walk.
3 treatments for Achilles tendonitis include the following:
- RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)—Cease the activities that caused the symptoms and as soon as possible rest and raise the affected leg. Apply an ice pack to reduce pain and inflammation. A compression bandage can also help.
- Physical therapy exercises—After the long healing interval has passed, to avoid further injury it will be essential to perform physical therapy exercises to rehabilitate the foot.
- Orthotic shoe inserts—Custom orthotic inserts that raise the heel can help relieve pain and hasten the healing process.
Your foot doctor will take x-rays and possibly and MRI to determine the extent of the damage. In severe cases where the tendon is badly torn or broken, surgery will be required.
If you need help with an Achilles tendon problem your podiatrist is best qualified for the job. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with 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 high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, Woodlyn, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.