The stress on the feet and ankles caused by work, exercise, and sporting activities can cause Achilles tendonitis, which is a stretching and possible tearing to the Achilles tendon—the largest tendon in the body that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone.
Continuing to use the foot affected by an Achilles tendon problem can only lead to further injury and more pain, so stop what you are doing and rest the foot. If symptoms do not rapidly subside, make an appointment with your foot doctor for the proper treatment.
The 2 main types of Achilles tendonitis are:
- Insertional Achilles tendonitis—The Achilles tendon attaches or “inserts” into the heel bone and when inflammation and stress occurs at this location it is called insertional Achilles tendonitis. Stressful activities like running, exercising, and playing sports can cause this type of tendon injury. Heel spurs are bony growths that are more likely to occur in patients with insertional Achilles tendonitis.
- Noninsertional Achilles tendonitis—Noninsertional Achilles tendonitis is the type caused by a weakening and tearing of the fibers in the middle of the tendon rather than at the insertion area. The tendon swells causing severe pain and great difficulty with ambulation.
Treatments for Achilles tendonitis
Initial treatment for Achilles tendonitis consists of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Orthotic inserts can be used in your footwear to direct pressure away from the heel area and help promote healing. Taking the pressure off the feet by doing low impact activities like swimming will allow the tendon to heal faster. In cases of a severe tendon tear or break, surgery will be required.
If you are experiencing the pain and discomfort of Achilles tendonitis seeing your podiatrist is the best way to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.