Our Achilles tendon, right at the back of our heel to ankle area, was named for Achilles, a character in Greek Mythology. It is the largest tendon in the body and incredibly strong, being able to withstand forces of a thousand pounds or more.
We demand a great deal of our Achilles tendon as we run, jump, climb and more. That overuse by professional and weekend athletes can lead to inflammation and painful injuries.
Activities that can contribute to Achilles tendonitis:
- Hill climbing or stair running
- A natural lack of flexibility in calf muscles that contributes to overuse
- Rapidly increasing mileage or speed – easing increases can avoid screeching halts later.
- Starting up too soon after a layoff – again ease into activity
- Putting out extra effort such as a final sprint or other activity that leads to sudden hard contraction of the tendon can contribute to trauma
Usually Achilles tendonitis begins with mild pain after exercise or running. But the pain increases.
- Sufferers may suffer recurring localized pain while running or a few hours afterward.
- Or experience morning tenderness just above the point where the tendon is attached to the heel bone.
- The leg may seem sluggish with mild to severe swelling.
- There may be stiffness that will ease as the tendon warms with use.
When these symptoms are present, you can begin applying R.I.C.E. Therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) while you are getting an appointment with your doctor. If you call 317-660-2115, we will get you set up with an appointment at Hoosier Foot and Ankle. Or you may use our online appointment request option available 24/7 for your convenience.
EPAT® therapy (Pulse Activate Shockwave) is available at all of our five clinics for your added convenience. EPAT® has been used successfully in relieving Achilles Tendonitis.
Other treatment options include:
- specially designed bandages that restrict motion
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
- orthotics such as heel pads or shoe inserts
- Rest or changing to another form of exercise such as swimming
stretching, massage, ultrasound and exercises that strengthen the muscles on the front of the leg and foot flexors which can lead to support to the troubled tendon.
If other treatment isn’t successful, surgery is another option. Getting a correct diagnosis and treatment plan in place can get your Achilles tendon back on track to pain relief. Please call us to get everything started going your way. Let’s learn if EPAT® therapy in the clinic is for you.