Your Achilles tendon is the largest and one of the strongest tendons in your body. Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center’s leading podiatrists Eric Harmelin, DPM, and Rikhil Patel, DPM, can evaluate your condition to determine the cause when it gets inflamed and provide treatment if necessary. To set up your appointment, call the offices in Annapolis, Stevensville, or Glen Burnie, Maryland, or schedule a consultation online today.
Achilles tendonitis is a common cause of pain in the back of the heel and can also lead to bone spurs and swelling. It happens when your Achilles tendon becomes inflamed and tender as a response to activity modification or degeneration.
Your Achilles tendon is a tendon connecting the muscles in your calf to your heel bone. Even though it’s thick and strong and can withstand forces of running, jumping, and other intense activities, it can become inflamed from overuse.
Achilles tendonitis often develops when you push beyond your body’s current capacity during a workout or if you’ve been placing too much pressure on the tendon by working out too much. A few other factors can put you at risk of getting Achilles tendonitis, including:
Bone spurs are bony overgrowths. If you get one on your heel, it may be due to plantar fasciitis (inflammation or tearing of the plantar fascia ligament on the sole of your foot). A bone spur can rub against and irritate your Achilles tendon, leading to tendonitis.
Your calf muscles may be tight because you don’t stretch or work them out enough or naturally occur because of your genetics. Either way, tight calf muscles can pull on your Achilles tendon, especially if you start an intense exercise program to work out those muscles.
Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center examines your ankle and can make or confirm an Achilles tendonitis diagnosis. They may note that your Achilles tendon is thicker than normal or swollen and that the condition affects your ankle mobility.
Most cases of Achilles tendonitis only need nonoperative care. The RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is often enough to bring down the swelling and allow the tendon to heal. You can also use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling and relieve the pain.
Other treatment methods that Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center might add to your plan include:
If your pain doesn’t improve after six months of nonoperative therapy, Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center offers surgeries to relieve the inflammation. Surgical techniques for Achilles tendonitis involve lengthening the calf muscle or removing a section of the tendon.
To set up an appointment and finally address the pain or swelling in your heel, call Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center for an Achilles tendonitis evaluation or book an appointment online today.