Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury especially common in athletes and other physically active individuals. At Birch Tree Foot and Ankle, fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon Jeffrey Weber, DPM, specializes in diagnosing and treating Achilles tendinitis. Using safe, effective means, he can ease your symptoms and help you feel better. To make an appointment at the practice in Traverse City or Manistee, Michigan, call the office or click the online booking tool today.
Achilles tendinitis is a sports-related injury that causes inflammation of the Achilles tendon — a thick band of fibrous tissue that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. The condition affects all types of athletes, but it’s especially common in runners, joggers, and basketball players.
Most cases of Achilles tendinitis respond to conservative, at-home treatments, like ice, rest, and over-the-counter pain medication. If your symptoms last for longer than a week, or they interfere with your quality of life, make an appointment with Dr. Weber right away.
Common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:
As Achilles tendinitis progresses, you might also experience swelling at the back of your heel that worsens over the course of the day.
Achilles tendinitis is a wear-and-tear injury, meaning it occurs due to repetitive use or as a result of an intense strain. Your Achilles tendon moves every time you walk, run, jump, or wiggle your toes. It’s incredibly tough but weakens with age, making you more susceptible to injury.
There’s no way to prevent Achilles tendinitis entirely, but it’s possible to significantly reduce your risk. Dr. Weber recommends exercising in comfortable, supportive shoes that pad your heels, strengthening your calf muscles, and stretching daily.
In addition, listen to your body. If a muscle or tendon feels stiff, take it easy instead of pushing through the discomfort.
To diagnose Achilles tendinitis, Dr. Weber conducts a physical exam and asks about your symptoms, including their location, severity, and if any activities like running or lifting weights make them worse. Next, he evaluates your Achilles tendon’s range of motion, flexibility, and alignment.
If these measures don’t provide enough information, Dr. Weber orders diagnostic imaging like an ultrasound or an MRI. These imaging techniques capture detailed photos of the soft tissues beneath your skin. They help Dr. Weber detect tendon inflammation invisible to the naked eye.
Treatment of Achilles tendinitis usually includes a combination of healthy lifestyle changes, prescription medication, and physical therapy.
If losing weight, stretching before exercise, and custom orthotics aren’t enough to relieve your symptoms, surgical intervention may be necessary. That’s particularly true if you tear or rupture your tendon.
To receive treatment for Achilles tendinitis, make an appointment at Birch Tree Foot and Ankle by calling the nearest office or clicking the online booking tool today.