How Our Wichita Podiatrist Helps Alleviate Your Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles is the human body’s strongest and thickest tendon. Located behind the leg, it connects the calf muscle to the heel.  We use our Achilles tendon whenever we’re in motion, such as walking, running, or jumping. The Achilles is tough enough to stand up to 1,000 pounds or greater forces, but it’s the most commonly torn tendon due to athletic injuries.

Achilles tendinitis (also referred to as tendonitis) develops when the tendon becomes inflamed due to overuse, stress, injury, or degeneration. It’s important to understand how the body functions and what to do if you notice some key symptoms of the condition. Here’s what Dr. Weaver and the team at Central Kansas Podiatry Associates want you to know about Achilles tendinitis causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Common Causes of Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis can strike anyone, from professional athletes to weekend exercisers and athletes, as well as youth sports enthusiasts. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Sudden trauma to the tendon from causing it to stretch too abruptly, such as when sprinting or jumping
  • Overuse
  • Sudden shifts in walking or running distances without giving the body the chance to adapt
  • Sudden speed increases while walking or running
  • Resuming sports or exercise activities after long periods of inactivity
  • Failure to properly warm up before activity or stretch afterward  
  • Repetitive climbing up stairs or hills
  • Inappropriate shoes, sneakers, sandals, and other footwear
  • Excessive foot pronation

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms 

Here are some of the symptoms most of our patients report: 

  • Mild pain after exercise or activity that gets worse over time.
  • Nagging discomfort or more serious pain along the back of the lower calf, especially after exercises utilizing the calf muscles.
  • Pain when standing on tiptoes or pushing off with the foot.
  • Persistent swelling in the calf, not only during or after exercise.
  • General stiffness, tenderness, or tiredness in the lower calf, especially after a night’s sleep when the feet first hit the ground for the day.

How Dr. Weaver Treats Achilles Tendinitis 

Depending on the nature of the injury, we always strive to recommend the least invasive treatment possible. Sometimes, all you need is to rest the tendon for a while and take a break from your usual activities. After a thorough examination, here’s what else we might recommend.  

  • Massage and ice the area regularly.
  • Wear a brace, support bandage, or walking boot to reduce Achilles tendon motion and avoid additional stress to the area. 
  • Insert appropriate heel orthotics into shoes and sneakers, or wear heel-supportive footwear to alleviate stress and strain on the tendon.
  • Stretch the tendon and surrounding area muscles through physical therapy and at-home stretching exercises.
  • Using over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications temporarily to address pain and swelling. 
  • If an exam indicates an Achilles tendon partial or complete rupture, surgery may be necessary.
Post A Comment