The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. This tendon—the largest in the body—is vulnerable to overuse injuries caused by repetitive movements, including those associated with running and jumping.
Achilles tendinitis is a common condition that occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed. If you have Achilles tendinitis, you may experience heel pain, stiffness, swelling, and difficulty walking.
What Causes Achilles Tendinitis?
In addition to tears within the tissue developing due to overuse, Achilles tendinitis can also be caused by wearing shoes with poor arch support or failing to stretch before exercising, which can contribute to tight calf muscles placing extra strain on the Achilles tendon.
It’s also possible to develop Achilles tendinitis when you increase your physical activity. Going from running one mile a day, for example, to six miles a day without giving your body adequate time to adjust increases your likelihood of irritating the tendon.
While the Achilles tendon can withstand stresses and strains, it does weaken and become more prone to injury as you age. Also, certain medical conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis) can increase your risk of Achilles tendinitis.
If Achilles tendinitis is not treated promptly and properly, the condition may worsen, leading to chronic pain and an increased risk of a ruptured tendon.
Can You Treat Achilles Tendinitis at Home?
Achilles tendinitis can be treated in the comfort of your own home.
One way to treat Achilles tendinitis is by stretching daily. A gentle stretching routine can ease the stress on your Achilles tendon and loosen your tight calf muscles.
If your pain is affecting your daily routine, consider taking over-the-counter pain relief medications as needed. These medications alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
Another way to treat Achilles tendinitis at home is by investing in a night splint. This removable brace is worn while you sleep and hold your foot in place to decrease the pull of the tendon on the heel.
How We Can Help You with Achilles Tendinitis?
At Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA, we’re committed to helping our patients regain their mobility and providing results-driven treatment methods. If you’ve been diagnosed with Achilles tendinitis, our trusted team of podiatrists can alleviate your pain by prescribing one or more of these treatment methods:
RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Resting allows your Achilles tendon to begin to heal. While you rest, apply ice throughout the day to reduce inflammation. Compression involves wearing a brace that lessens the swelling and supports the tendon. Elevation involves keeping your leg elevated above your heart level, which reduces swelling.
Stretching and strengthening your Achilles tendon and calf muscles is an excellent preventative care method. Many patients with Achilles tendinitis benefit from physical therapy. At Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA, we can refer you to a physical therapy program. Your physical therapist will customize a treatment plan that would be best for you.
MLS Laser Therapy
MLS Laser Therapy is a painless, revolutionary new treatment method we’re proud to offer our patients. MLS Laser Therapy involves a robotic laser delivering precise doses of light that non-invasively penetrate your skin and target the underlying tissue in the heel area.
This advanced treatment method accelerates your body’s natural healing processes; by promoting tissue repair, MLS offers long-term results.
Custom orthotics are prescription shoe inserts made just for you using high-quality, durable materials and cutting-edge technology that captures detailed digital scans of your feet.
Our office uses Go 4-D to print 3-D custom orthotics. Your custom orthotics will provide the support you need to make moving easier while your Achilles tendon heals.
For Severe Cases – Surgery
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. If your Achilles tendinitis is not getting better, one of our podiatrists can discuss surgical options and allow you to ask questions and share your concerns.
Surgery sounds scary, but we are here for you and we’ll do everything we can to make you feel confident and well informed about the procedure we recommend.
Contact Us Today for Achilles Tendinitis Help!
If you are experiencing heel pain and/or Achilles tendon pain, please schedule an appointment at Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA so you can receive a prompt evaluation and accurate diagnosis.
Dr. Clarke and Dr. Leonard can create a personalized treatment plan for Achilles tendinitis. Our office is located at 4 Flowers Drive Suite 2 in Mechanicsburg.
You can reach our friendly staff by calling 717-620-8225 or by submitting an appointment request via our website. Thank you for placing your trust in us!
“All in all, everyone and everything was perfect with me for me. Dr. Lauren, such a wonderful person. My visit with her have been successful and just great. I will recommend her/the practice to others. Look forward to my next visit.”
“The office is really beautiful and clean. Very caring staff and Dr. Clarke took time to explain things to me. The doctor and staff really tried to get to the cause of my feet and ankle pain. They found the problem and the solution. He kept me relaxed even though I was going to get injections for pain and inflammation.
I highly recommend this office. FANTASTIC!!“
“Prompt, attentive, and knowledgeable are the three best adjectives to describe my visit. I can’t wait to start running again, and I know that will be possible from the care I’m receiving from Dr. Leonard.”