As the largest tendon in the body, withstanding forces of 1,000 pounds or more, the Achilles tendon is also the most vulnerable to injury and rupturing. Overuse of the Achilles tendon, most common with athletes, leads to injury and inflammation. Though most occurrences of Achilles tendonitis are fairly moderate and easily treated, more severe cases often require surgery.
Causes of Achilles tendonitis include:
- Lack of flexibility in the calf muscles.
- Inadequate stretching and warming up before running or other exercises.
- Too-rapid of increase of mileage or speed while walking or running.
- Improper footwear.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include:
- Localized, recurring Achilles tendon pain during and/or after exercise or running.
- Morning tenderness in the tendon.
- Muscle weakness or sluggishness in the leg
- Swelling, sometimes severe.
- Stiffness upon standing until tendon is warmed up.
- Gradually worsening pain after exercise.
Achilles tendonitis treatment often includes:
- Specifically-designed bandages that are meant to restrict motion.
- Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication.
- Corrective shoe inserts, or orthotics, meant to support the muscles in the area and to relieve stress on the tendon.
- Rest and reduction or adjustments to exercise plans.
- Stretching and other physical therapy meant to strengthen muscle groups that surround and support the tendon.
- Massage and ultrasound.
- Surgery to repair any tears or to remove damaged tissue.
Fortunately, with proper diagnosis and treatment, your Achilles tendon pain doesn’t have to be permanent. Schedule an appointment at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center now to discover how our team of specialists can help you take your next step towards freedom of living pain-free.