Your Achilles tendon is the cord of tendons that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone in the back of your calf. Overuse of your Achilles tendon through physical activity, particularly running, can lead to Achilles tendinitis.
Your Achilles tendon weakens with age, making you more susceptible to injury when you participate in sports and exercise at an older age.
Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:
Worsening symptoms may signify that you’ve torn your Achilles tendon. Call Dr. Perez at Flex Foot and Ankle as soon as possible if your pain fails to improve or continues to get worse.
You use your Achilles tendon when you walk, run, jump, or stand on your toes. When you participate in physical activity that places intense or repetitive strain on your tendon, you may form Achilles tendinitis.
To prevent overuse of the Achilles tendon, it’s important to let your body rest when exercising or participating in sports.
If you plan to increase the intensity of your workout, such as running a longer distance than usual, you should do so gradually. This lets your body adjust to the change in your workout, decreasing your chances of a strain or tear.
Dr. Perez will perform a physical examination to identify the issue, followed by X-rays to see if the bone is involved and assess your foot type. Recommendations after may include rest, stretching, using ice on the back of your leg where you experience the most pain, and taking anti-inflammatory medicine.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can be used to promote healing and custom foot orthotics to support your foot type and realign your foot and ankle allowing the Achilles to function properly. Dr. Perez might also suggest gentle exercises to strengthen and stretch your tendon.
If your pain worsens or continues, Dr. Perez may obtain an MRI to further assess your injury. After determining the severity of your Achilles tendinitis, she might discuss surgical treatment options with you, if necessary.
Surgical options include lengthening your calf muscle which increases the motion of your ankle or removing the damaged part of your Achilles tendon (Tenex procedure). In severe cases, she might suggest moving the tendon that supports your big toe to your heel bone to strengthen the damaged tendon.
If you’re suffering from pain in your Achilles tendon, call Flex Foot and Ankle in Midtown Manhattan or book online today to schedule an evaluation.