Posts for tag: Achilles Tendonitis
Heel pain is one of the most common complaints a podiatrist hears about from patients. If you are dealing with heel pain above the heel bone then you could be dealing with Achilles Tendonitis, a result of overuse. The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body and it serves to connect the muscles of the calf with the lower leg and heel bone.
While Achilles Tendonitis tends to occur most often in runners, this condition can still occur in athletes that play certain sports such as soccer or tennis. Unfortunately, this tendon does weaken as we get older, which makes at an increased risk for developing this overuse injury as we age.
What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?
The most obvious symptom of Achilles Tendonitis is pain above the heel bone. When the pain first appears it’s usually pretty mild and you may only notice it after running; however, over time you may notice that the pain gets worse after certain exercises. Along with pain you may also experience stiffness or tenderness in the heel, especially in the morning or after long periods of sitting.
When should I see a podiatrist?
If this is the first time that you’ve ever experienced heel pain then it’s a good idea to turn to a foot doctor who can determine whether Achilles Tendonitis is causing your symptoms or whether it’s something else. If you’re experiencing chronic heel pain around the Achilles tendon it’s also a good time to see a doctor. If the pain is severe or you are unable to put weight on your foot it’s possible that you might be dealing with a ruptured tendon, which requires immediate attention.
How do you treat Achilles Tendonitis?
In most cases, Achilles Tendonitis can be treated with simple self-care options. Unless symptoms are severe you may be able to treat your heel pain by:
- Taking over-the-counter pain medications
- Avoiding high-impact activities or activities that exacerbate symptoms
- Elevating the foot to reduce swelling
- Performing stretching exercises or undergoing physical therapy
- Icing the heel
- Wearing custom orthotics
- Replacing worn-out shoes, especially running shoes
Surgery is only necessary if your symptoms aren’t responding to any other nonsurgical treatment options after several months or if the tendon is torn.
If you think your heel pain could be the result of Achilles Tendonitis then it’s time to turn to a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can provide you with a variety of treatment options, from simple lifestyle modifications to custom orthotics.
It’s a New Year, new you and one of the most common New Year’s resolutions—getting in shape—can lead people to be overly enthusiastic about starting an exercise program, which at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists means we’ll most likely be seeing more patients with Achilles tendon issues. The Achilles tendon is the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. It is the largest tendon in your body and can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. It is also the most frequently damaged tendon in the body and this damage is most often the result of exercising the tendon too much, too soon.
Jumping into a running or other fitness program and rapidly increasing speed and distance without working up to it gradually will cause pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon. Other causes of Achilles tendonitis include inadequate stretching and warming up before beginning exercising, improper footwear, and excessive hill or stair climbing. In cases where there is a sudden, extreme contraction of the calf muscle, like when you take off in a sprint, it is possible to actually tear or rupture the tendon.
How to Recognize Achilles Tendonitis
At first, you may notice mild pain after running or exercising that gets worse gradually and may be severe at times. You may experience swelling in the back of your leg and a feeling of sluggishness or stiffness in the tendon area. Our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will take a complete medical history and examine your foot and ankle. X-rays, an MRI or other imaging studies may be ordered to give a clearer view of the Achilles tendon and to rule out other conditions that produce similar symptoms.
Once a diagnosis of Achilles tendonitis is confirmed, the foot doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment which may include any or all of the following:
- Rest and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to relieve the symptoms and reduce inflammation
- Physical therapy to stretch the Achilles tendon
- Orthotics to position the foot in a way that decreases stress on the tendon
- A special bandage that restricts the motion of the tendon
- Cross training that includes exercise activities that do not put strain on the tendon, such as swimming
- Surgery, usually only for extreme cases or if the tendon has been ruptured
So take it slow if you are starting up a new exercise routine in the New Year and if you have any questions about your fitness plan and your feet, schedule a consultation at one of our Middlesex County offices by calling (781) 944-4044.
Scientists in China focused their study on acupuncture and how it benefits people suffering from painful foot conditions. The study shows that acupuncture is effective when it comes to treating heel pain. Acupuncture is also helpful when it comes to treating plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.
The group of scientists used sixty-six patients that were dealing with ongoing heel pain. After a six month period, the scientists found that the patients that completed the acupuncture treatment gave it an effectiveness rating of 97% while those who only used drugs were only granted a 76% rating.
Causes of Heel Pain
â— Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.
â— Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.
â— Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.
Why Might Heel Pain Occur?
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes
- Wearing non-supportive shoes
- Weight change
- Excessive running
Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a thing of the past.
With the advancements in technology and greater knowledge of how muscles and joints work, physical therapists can turn things around dramatically.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot ankle injuries.
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