Some of us may have experienced having an inflamed Achilles tendon or Achilles tendonitis. This condition makes it difficult for us to walk or even lift our foot. This is common especially for athletes because the Achilles tendon is responsible for supporting almost every heavy foot movement.
The Achilles tendon is located at the back of your foot and connect your calf to your heel. It is used while walking or running, making it constantly exposed to being overused or abused. But this is not only caused by constant use of the Achilles tendon, it can also be due to arthritis which is often seen in middle-aged people or the elderly.
Symptoms of an Achilles tendon includes pain when walking or running. There could also be visible bruising and swelling at the back of your heels. Although this might cause a slight discomfort, visiting a podiatrist is a good way of preventing further injury.
The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from Achilles tendonitis and other foot disorders.
The goal of treatment for Achilles tendonitis is to lessen the pressure on the tendon and reduce inflammation. Below are a few tips on how to manage the pain and prevent further injury if you suspect an Achilles tendon injury.
- Stay away from activities that can aggravate your Achilles tendonitis
- Make use of shoe inserts to free your tendon from pressure while it heals.
- Ice application for 20 minutes per hour when the stage is at its acute phase.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Casting the foot or wearing a restrictive ankle-boot will minimize your movement and giving your tendon more time to heal.
- Steroid injections may be used, however, this procedure must only be done by a specialized doctor.
Surgery is considered as the last option when treating Achilles tendonitis. This is only performed when conservative treatment fail. A period of 6 months is given for non-surgical treatments before surgery is recommended. Damaged structures may be removed or re-attached.
- Maintain your normal and healthy weight.
- Avoid sudden increases in difficulty when sports training, do this gradually.
- Stretch during warm ups and cool downs.
- Rest your foot once pain is felt.