Heel Pain & Your Achilles Tendon
Is heel pain making it difficult to do the things you enjoy? A problem with your Achilles tendon may be to blame.
The Achilles tendon serves as the connection between your heel bone and your calf muscles. When it becomes inflamed, the pain can radiate from your heel to your lower leg.
Types of Achilles Tendon Problems
Achilles Tendinitis: Achilles tendinitis is the most common type of Achilles tendon problem. It occurs when a repetitive activity, such as running, stresses the tendon, resulting in inflammation. Suddenly increasing the intensity of duration of your workout can cause the problem, as can participating in activities that cause the calf muscles to contract forcefully, such as sprinting. People who spend long hours on their feet or who have flat feet may also develop Achilles tendinitis.
Achilles Tendonosis: Achilles tendonosis occurs when the tendon begins to degenerate and develop tiny tears. If you don't give Achilles tendinitis enough time to heel before participating in your usual activities or sports, you may eventually develop tendonosis.
Achilles Tendon Rupture: An Anchilles tendon rupture occurs when the tendon tears partially or completely. This can happen due to trauma, such as a car accident or fall. If your tendon is weak, jumping or other movements may cause a rupture. It's more likely to occur if you are between the ages of 30 to 40 or have certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
Treating Your Heel Pain
Rest is an essential part of recovery from tendonosis or tendinitis. If you continue to participate in the activities that caused your problem, you can damage your tendon and increase the risk of rupture. Icing the tendon and take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can help reduce pain and swelling. Your doctor may also recommend placing heel cups in your shoes to relieve the pressure on your tendon or wearing a walking boot. Physical therapy, cortisone injections, ultrasound treatment, shockwave therapy or surgery may also be used to treat tendon injuries.
If your tendon ruptured, your doctor may recommend that you wear a cast or undergo surgery, depending on the severity of your injury.
When dealing with Achilles Tendon injuries and conditions, promt treatment is key. Call (425) 899-5331 today to make your appointment with Robert B. Kierstein, D.P.M., your Kirkland, WA foot doctor!