Achilles Tendinitis Causes and Symptoms
There are various potential causes of Achilles injury, including:
- Increasing levels of physical activity too quickly
- Abnormal foot structure
- Tight leg muscles or tendons
This particular injury does tend to be more commonplace among men and women who are active. They tend to run or participate in sports like baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, football, and volleyball. A problem is more likely to happen when movement is initiated in a sudden manner, such as when making a “cut” in basketball or football.
The most common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis are pain, tenderness, stiffness, and swelling in the back of the heel area. The pain can vary in intensity, but will often begin mild and gradually worsen over time and continued activity.
Treating an Inflamed Achilles Tendon
There are definitely instances when an Achilles tendon requires a surgical procedure, but the vast majority of cases are successfully treated with the use of conservative care measures. These can include:
- Medication – The goal of medication use is to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the Achilles. Over-the-counter pain relievers may work, but we might need to prescribe stronger medications, depending on the severity of your injury.
- Exercise – It might seem counterintuitive to use exercise to treat a condition brought on by “excessive use,” but strengthening and stretching exercises help promote healing. They also strengthen the Achilles and its supporting structures to improve the existing condition and prevent its recurrence. Our office will provide specific exercises.
- Orthotic devices – A wedge or other shoe insert can elevate the heel slightly, which relieves tendon strain and lessons the force exerted on the Achilles. The orthotics we provide are custom-fitted for your unique feet.
- Surgery – Whereas conservative care is usually effective, there are cases when surgical procedures are needed to provide optimal relief and healing. Our policy is to use nonsurgical processes to treat the injury first, though.
- Advanced Options – Along with the options referenced above, we offer unique technology that can aid in healing an Achilles tendon; Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy & MLS Laser Therapy.