Ballantyne Podiatrist Shares All You Need to Know About Achilles Tendonitis
Although small, the Achilles tendon plays a vital role in your body: it the calf muscle to the heel bone, allowing you to walk, jump, run, and stand on your tiptoes. This is why injuries such as Achilles tendinitis can be so debilitating. Below is information on this painful condition including symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
What Is Achilles Tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis is a painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon. There are two types of Achilles tendinitis, which include:
- Non-insertional Achilles tendinitis: This form is most common in younger physically active people such as athletes. It affects the middle portion of the tendon.
- Insertional Achilles tendinitis: This form affects the lower portion of the tendon. This is the portion that connects to the heel bone.
Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis can affect the entire foot and calf muscle. Hallmark symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:
- Restricted range of motion in the foot and ankle
- Tightened calf muscles
- Pain, swelling, or discomfort at the back of the heel
- Affected area is warm to the touch
Causes of Achilles Tendinitis
The most frequent cause of either type of Achilles tendinitis is over-exercising, which is why the condition is so common among athletes. Risky behaviors include exercising without warming up the muscles beforehand, suddenly increasing the intensity of the exercise without giving your body time to adjust, repeatedly straining the calf muscles, and sudden stops and changes in direction.
Your footwear can also play a role. When exercising, wearing old shoes or shoes that don’t fit properly can put you at risk. In your day-to-day life, regularly wearing high heels for long periods of time can also put you at risk.
However, it isn’t always about lifestyle behaviors. Certain health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can also increase your risk of developing this condition, and old age can weaken the Achilles tendon and put you at risk for injury.
Achilles Tendinitis Treatment
Typically, Achilles tendinitis treatment can be done at home. Immediately apply the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method and reduce your physical activity for the next few days. If you don’t notice an improvement after home treatment, it may be time to see a doctor. Our podiatrist in Ballantyne can assess the injury and possibly recommend reparative surgery.
If you are suffering from Achilles tendinitis, our Ballantyne podiatrist can help you find relief. Call our office to request an appointment today.