Achilles Tendinitis

Request Appointment

Achilles tendinitis is a common condition that we frequently address at Premier Podiatry Group, P.C. This ailment affects the Achilles tendon, a crucial structure in the lower leg responsible for enabling movements like walking, running, and jumping. 

Understanding the nature of Achilles tendinitis, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, prevention strategies, and the professional care we provide can empower individuals dealing with this issue to take proactive steps toward recovery and optimal foot health.

Understanding Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis refers to inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). This tendon plays a pivotal role in facilitating the up-and-down movement of the foot. The constant stress and strain placed on the Achilles tendon can lead to irritation, inflammation, and tendinitis.

Causes and Risk Factors

Overuse or repetitive stress on the tendon, sudden increases in physical activity intensity or duration, improper footwear that lacks proper support or cushioning, and biomechanical issues such as flat feet or high arches can all contribute to tendon irritation and inflammation.

Additionally, individuals with tight leg muscles or tendons, middle-aged recreational athletes, and those engaging in sports or activities that involve frequent running, jumping, or sudden movements are at a higher risk of developing Achilles tendinitis.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The hallmark symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include pain, tenderness, stiffness, and swelling in the back of the heel or lower calf area. Individuals may experience these symptoms especially after physical activity or upon waking up in the morning.

Diagnosis typically involves a thorough physical examination by our experienced podiatrists, assessing for signs of tenderness, swelling, and range of motion in the ankle and foot. Imaging tests may also be utilized to confirm the diagnosis and evaluate the extent of tendon damage.

Treatment Options

Effective management of Achilles tendinitis involves a combination of conservative measures and, in some cases, advanced treatments. Conservative treatments include:

  • Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE): These basic first-aid measures help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can alleviate discomfort and swelling.
  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises improve flexibility, strengthen the tendon, and prevent recurrence.
  • Orthotic Devices: Custom shoe inserts provide support and reduce strain on the Achilles tendon. For persistent or severe cases, advanced treatment options may be considered:
  • Corticosteroid Injections: These injections reduce inflammation.
  • MLS Laser Therapy: Advanced laser technology accelerates healing and provides pain relief.

    Prevention and Lifestyle Modifications

    Preventing Achilles tendinitis involves lifestyle modifications and preventive measures such as:

    • Gradual Activity Increases: Avoid sudden spikes in exercise intensity to allow the body to adapt.
    • Proper Footwear: Wear shoes with adequate arch support and cushioning suitable for specific activities.
    • Regular Stretching and Strengthening: Incorporate exercises to maintain tendon flexibility and strength.
    • Cross-Training: Include low-impact activities in your workout routine to reduce strain on the Achilles tendon.
    • Listening to Your Body: Pay attention to early signs of discomfort

    Professional Achilles Tendon Care:

    At Premier Podiatry Group, P.C., we specialize in comprehensive care for Achilles tendinitis. Our experienced podiatrists tailor treatment plans to each individual’s needs, combining conservative measures, advanced therapies, and preventive strategies to promote optimal foot health and restore mobility. 

    If you’re experiencing Achilles tendon pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to contact us at (814) 472-2660 or schedule an appointment online. Our dedicated team is here to help you stay active and pain-free.