Achilles Tendonitis  New York, NY

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendinitis is caused by overuse of the band of tissues that connects the lower region of your calf muscle to your heel bone, also known as your Achilles tendon. Those at a higher risk for Achilles tendinitis are runners engaging in intense training or middle-aged people who participate in sports on occasion.

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What is Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis occurs due to inflammation of the Achilles tendon in your heel. The Achilles tendon originates in your lower leg, running down the back of your heel and into your foot.

Tendons attach muscles to bones, enabling joints to move correctly, and usually work like a rubber band, contracting and releasing to facilitate movement. If anything affects the structure or alignment of the Achilles tendon, it can get inflamed, leading to Achilles tendonitis.

What causes Achilles tendonitis?

There are many possible causes of Achilles tendonitis, the most common being:

  • Increase in activity
  • Overuse injuries
  • Unsuitable or worn-out footwear
  • Traumatic injury
  • Increase in body weight
  • Short tendons
  • Flat feet
  • Reduced elasticity due to aging
  • Growth spurts in young people

The inflammation of Achilles tendonitis can either be due to tearing of the fibers in the tendon or adhesions between the tendon and the surrounding paratenon sleeve.

What steps can I take if I have Achilles tendonitis?

The primary concern of treatment is to reduce your inflammation and pain, so if you suffer a tendon injury, adopt the RICE protocol:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Gentle stretching, massage, and wearing supportive footwear help, and you can take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease pain and swelling. Your podiatrist may also recommend steroid injections for the same purpose.

How is Achilles tendonitis treated?

To enable the tendon to heal, your podiatrist needs to find ways of relieving pressure off the area so it can rest. Options include:

  • Controlled ankle movement (CAM) walker boot
  • Brace
  • Crutches
  • Custom orthotics
  • A heel cup or lift
  • Arch supports

Physical therapy is essential for healthy healing, and incorporates stretching, massage, and strengthening exercises, as well as therapeutic technologies like electrical stimulation, laser therapy, and ultrasound.

Regenerative medicine techniques can also be useful for Achilles tendonitis, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or amniotic tissue injections that work by stimulating your body’s natural healing abilities.

You may need surgery for Achilles tendonitis that doesn’t respond to preliminary treatment. The team of expert podiatrists at City Podiatry uses the FAST (focused aspiration of scar tissue) procedure, a minimally invasive surgical option for eliminating scar tissue. In the most severe cases, open surgery may be necessary.

You can discuss the various treatment options with your podiatrist at your consultation. Call City Podiatry or schedule an appointment online today.