Is your heel swelling and in constant pain? Is the pain sharp and gets worse when you try to walk, stand, or go about your daily life? Can’t go on your evening run anymore? You might be suffering from Achilles Tendonitis, which is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
As the largest tendon in your body, your Achilles connects your calf muscles to your heel bones, and while it can withstand a great deal of stress from running or jumping, it can succumb to tendonitis due to disease or injury.
There are two primary types of types of Achilles tendonitis, which include insertional Achilles tendinitis and noninsertional Achilles tendonitis. Insertional impacts the lower portion of the tendon, while noninsertional deals with fibers in the middle of the heel. The latter condition usually affects younger, active individuals.
Unfortunately, Achilles tendonitis can occur at any time, though is more common with highly active runners or athletes from years of overuse or strain on the tendon. However, if you have a sudden increase in activity, exercise, or are not stretching properly before intense workouts, you can experience this condition as well.
While some patients can specifically remember the inciting incident, many more cannot recall the precipitating event that lead to their Achilles tendonitis. Just keep in mind that any repeated activity can put pressure on your tendon, which could lead to this condition.
So what are the common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis? In addition to the general discomfort or swelling of your heel, you might experience a tightening of your calf muscles, your skin feeling warm to the touch, or a limited range of motion when using or flexing your foot.
Home Treatment and Prevention
Sometimes, simple home treatments can help treat Achilles tendonitis. These remedies may include rest, anti-inflammatory medication, reducing your physical activity, icing the area after exercise, and elevating your foot to decrease chances of swelling.
Many experts also recommend combining all these treatments into the RICE method, which involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation after any physical activity of injury that may result in Achilles tendonitis. Look up this home remedy strategy to learn more.
When to See Us
While home treatment is always a great first step, if it doesn’t work, you may need to seek out professional help. For more serious conditions, the tendonitis can worsen and tear. If this occurs, you may need surgery or consistent medication to take care of the pain.
For severe or debilitating conditions, please come in to see our office podiatrist, Dr. Brad Gipson. He will be able to help you find the right treatment plan for your situation.
How We Treat This Condition
When you come into the office, your evaluation and treatment process may involve x-rays and an ultrasound to confirm your diagnosis. Then, Dr. Gipson may suggest a range of options, such as rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, therapeutic ultrasound, or physical therapy exercises, depending on how bad your condition may be.
Sometimes, a temporary heel lift and orthotics may be used, while other serious cases include offloading with a pneumatic CAM walker. Surgical options are usually only pursued after six months of non-effective, nonsurgical treatment.
Call Us Today
Stop hobbling around your home and don’t suffer another moment from Achilles Tendonitis! To make your appointment today, call us at(865) 769-9685. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or subscribe to our Newsletter for more information during Foot Health Month.