Achilles tendinitis can be quite painful, causing discomfort and inflammation in your heel and up through your calf muscles to the back of your knee. It may seem that you’ve developed the problem suddenly, but the condition worsens over time as the tendon sustains dozens of tiny tears.
At Ani Medical Group, board-certified physician Dr. Ian R. Hersh and our team offer the highest level of expertise in Achilles tendon care and other orthopaedic conditions. We diagnose and treat your problem and help you get on your feet.
In this blog, we share more about the causes and symptoms of this painful condition and outline some tried-and-true treatment options that can help you walk comfortably again.
Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis
Does your heel ache with pain when you walk or run? Is there a sharp pain in the back of your heel? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, it’s likely that you have Achilles tendinitis. Other key symptoms are:
- Tense and tender calf muscles
- Limited range of motion in your foot
- Extreme discomfort when you flex your foot
- Warmth in your heel
Swelling is also a telltale sign of Achilles tendinitis. It’s usually the first and longest-lasting symptom.
Causes of Achilles tendinitis
If you’re an athlete or you stay active with sports or exercise, you’re at risk of developing Achilles tendinitis. The condition can be triggered by:
- Repetitive exercise or movements
- Quick stops and starts during sports
- Failing to warm up before exercise
- Straining calf muscles
- Wearing improper athletic shoes
- Wearing high heels for hours at a time
Rheumatoid arthritis is also a culprit in some cases of Achilles tendinitis. Our team meets with you to discuss your symptoms and health history to determine the root cause of the problem so we can treat it accordingly.
Treatment of Achilles tendinitis
Dr. Hersh always begins his treatment approach with the least invasive options. Depending on the severity of your Achilles tendinitis, he may have you rest, elevate, and ice the area. Many times, fortifying the tendon with a splint, boot, or cast helps it heal on its own. Other nonsurgical strategies we recommend include:
- Decreasing or modifying your physical activity
- Physical therapy
- Stretching exercises
- Anti-inflammatory medications
If conservative therapies are unsuccessful, we may suggest surgical repair. If surgery is the best way forward, we detail exactly what’s involved so you know what to expect and how long your recovery will take.
If your heel pain is slowing you down, we can help. Call the Ani Medical Group location closest to you, or request an appointment online.