Our Achilles tendon plays a critical role in the health of our lower leg, foot and ankle. If this tendon stretches or tears, it can cause severe pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and inflammation. It is essential to address the injury quickly to prevent long-term problems. But don’t worry, we are here to help with any damages you may have!
What is Achilles Tendonitis?
One of the most common injuries to occur in runners and athletes is achilles tendonitis, also known as achilles tendinopathy. This type of injury occurs because of repetitive microtrauma or general overuse, direct trauma, or degeneration. Over time, these lead to pain and a loss of flexibility in the tendon.
Why has this happened?
The Achilles tendon (also called the calcaneal tendon) is integral to the human body. It is a strong and flexible band that connects the heel to the calf muscles and expands your mobility. It allows the movement of the heels. If it is overused or injured, inflammation can develop. Symptoms of this condition include pain and swelling in the lower leg or heel. The main cause for this condition is overuse of the tendon.
Tendons are made of collagen, which is a type of tough, dense tissue. It’s arranged into lines and bundled together. When specific tendon bundles become too sensitive to trauma, it can lead to reactive tendinopathy. The condition is characterised by an abnormal amount of water accumulating around the bundles. Its symptoms are an altered structure of the tendons and softened or weak tissue.
What can you do to help Achilles pain?
The Achilles tendinopathy pain will usually self-resolve over time. That said, there are ways to help accelerate and minimise the pain and swelling. Your podiatrist may recommend taking time off from activity, physical therapy, rest, and anti-inflammatory drugs. One of the best treatments for this issue is to take time off from running, biking, or other activities that are causing pain. If you are someone suffering from achilles pain, you can also see a podiatrist, like ourselves, to aid your treatment.
Activity and load management – Resting an injured Achilles tendon, for most people, can be difficult. It may mean taking fewer trips or staying away from any activity that will put stress on the tendon. But this is necessary if you want it to heal properly. It’s okay to cut back slightly on your usual activities until the tendon recovers.
Foot pain is a common occurrence, but there are ways to manage it. You can swim or cycle to meet your fitness needs without further stressing your feet. If you feel the need to see a podiatrist, don’t hesitate. They have the skills to help you find balance in your day-to-day life, sports, and physical therapy.
Strengthening exercises – Tendinitis can make simple daily tasks painful. Fortunately, people with this condition can take some steps to ease the pain. Speak with a professional before starting an exercise regimen, though. They’ll help you choose what exercises are best for your fitness level and your current level of tendon pain.
In order to get back on your feet, it is essential to do exercises that will help your calf injuries. One of the most popular ones is isometrics, which can help you get better and work for various people. They are a great way to bridge the gap between rest periods and build muscle while also reducing your risk of future injury.
Medication – One of the most common causes of tendinitis is inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce swelling and reduce the pain you feel in your ankle. The theory behind this treatment is that it prevents specific proteins from building up in the tendon.
When you have an injury, it’s essential to find the root of the problem. Podiatrists will start by determining what caused your injury to get to the bottom of the issue before designing a program for your rehabilitation and load management. What did your injury stem from? If you have tendonitis or inflammation of a tendon, examples of the issues podiatrists might address are adjusting your shoe size and type or wearing orthotics.
Standing up straight and staying active can help to prevent injuries. Doctors, such as podiatrists, can use clues from your walk to identify potential errors in your movement pattern and help you correct them. This is an important first step before identifying and treating your pain.
Have you been experiencing achilles pain? You can find treatment at a podiatrist! A podiatrist is a medical professional who specialises in the foot and the ankle. They have the training to help you with your achilles pain. They can perform a physical examination to determine what’s going on and recommend treatment that will relieve your pain, prevent future injury, and restore your mobility. Call a podiatrist if you’re suffering from achilles pain!