10 Nov Achilles Heel Pain
Achilles Tendonitis Treatment
We don’t think about our Achilles tendon until something goes wrong—and then we’re forced to pay attention because the pain is too much to ignore.
Healthy Tendons, Healthy Feet
The tendon that connects the heel to the calf muscles, the Achilles tendon gets a workout every time you do. Under normal use, and if you build up to intense exercise gradually, you won’t experience problems.
But if you’re overweight, suddenly increasing how much you exercise, or have other factors, the tendon can get weak and worn out.
If it stretches beyond its capacity, it can become strained and even rupture. The result is a searing pain that can put a halt to all your physical activities.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis
- Sharp pain where the tendon meets the heel, especially after exercising.
- Pain that goes away when you walk but returns later.
- Stiffness and swelling in the tendon area.
- A “hot” or feverish feeling in the tendons.
- Restricted range of motion because of the pain.
What Causes Achilles tendonitis?
- Overuse, especially in runners and people who only exercise on weekends.
- Poorly fitting shoes.
- Playing sports that force lots of starts and stops, like basketball.
- A sudden increase in physical activity.
- Injury to the tendon.
- Use the RICE method:
Rest your foot, stop running and other weight-bearing exercises until it heals.
Ice packs can reduce the swelling and pain.
Compression using bandages or other wraps will ease the symptoms.
Elevate your foot, above the level of your heart if possible, whenever you can.
- Try over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines to ease the pain and swelling, but make sure you’re not using these to mask the pain so you can keep on exercising. Pay attention to any worsening of symptoms.
When to See Your Foot Doctor
If these at-home methods don’t help, you will need to see a foot care professional. You could have a ruptured Achilles tendon, which is a serious condition that can’t be cured at home. Your podiatrist can prescribe:
- a foot cast and crutches, to keep the foot immobile and keep weight off it.
- special exercises to strengthen the tendon.
- anti-inflammatory medicines.
- custom orthotics to provide cushioning and reduce the strain.
- If surgery is required, you will need two to three months of recovery.
Healthy Feet, Happy Feet
- Build up to heavier exercise gradually.
- Use orthotics to prevent stressing your tendons.
- Always wear supportive, well-fitting shoes.
- Begin a routine of gentle stretching a few times a week.
- See a podiatrist for regular checkups.
Your Loudoun County Foot Doctor
At Shuman Podiatry and Sports Medicine you’ll find:
- the most up-to-date treatment options for a range of foot problems.
- the latest diagnostic techniques and equipment.
- a compassionate, whole-health approach.
- a caring environment where your questions get answered.
- everything you need to keep your feet, legs and ankles feeling their best.
You exercise to feel good, so don’t let problems with your Achilles tendon put an end to your workouts. As with many foot problems, proper prevention, wearing good shoes, and seeing a foot care professional can all add up to keeping a healthy spring in your step.
About: Dr Shuman provides podiatry services in Potomac Falls, Sterling, Ashburn, Lansdowne and Leesburg Va. Shuman Podiatry offers: custom orthotics, diabetic foot care, heel pain and spurs, wart removal and more. Contact Dr Shuman today for all your foot care needs.