Your Achilles tendon, which is the largest tendon in your body, is essential for doing everyday activities like walking and climbing stairs. So when you have an injury to this tendon (which connects your heel bone to your calf muscle), the resulting pain and discomfort can be extremely debilitating, causing a condition known as Achilles tendonitis.
The Achilles tendon is thick and tough, but it has a hard job to do. This tendon often becomes inflamed, swollen, and tender from repetitive stress and the pressure of overuse. As with all tendon strains, immediate attention to the problem will help to avoid a worsening of symptoms and will speed the recovery process and avoid downtime.
Achilles tendonitis is a common condition in athletes, dancers, and anyone who is on their feet all day doing repetitive motions. All the stress can combine to severely overload the tendon, causing stretching or possibly even completely breaking the tendon. When that happens, a loud snap is often heard followed by extreme pain.
For a more minor Achilles tendon pull, continuing to perform the exercise that caused it can rapidly increase the severity of the condition. It’s best to stop and evaluate the damage before continuing.
Treatments for less severe Achilles tendonitis include the following:
Rest and elevate the affected foot to reduce swelling and pain
Hot and cold compress therapy can help
Physical therapy exercises to stretch the calf muscle are useful in many cases
Custom orthotic inserts can redirect pressure away from the heel area
Low-impact activities like swimming should be substituted until the tendon heals
For a severely stretched or torn Achilles tendon, surgery may be necessary for complete healing to occur. If you are having problems with Achilles tendonitis, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!