person holding back of lower leg in pain achilles tendinitisAchilles tendinitis tends to be categorized alongside sports injuries and other problems that highly active people face. And while that’s certainly not wrong, it’s not the entire story.

You don’t have to be a pro athlete for Achilles tendinitis to cause heel pain and discomfort. It can affect different types of people in different situations. However, the only thing that’s really important here is determining the source of trouble for the tendon and effectively treating it!

Third Coast Foot and Ankle has seen and helped many patients with Achilles tendinitis. If you are experiencing a suspected case—or heel pain of any type—don’t delay contacting us. The sooner you receive a proper diagnosis and treatment, the sooner you can get back to comfort.

What Are the Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis?

The symptoms of Achilles tendinitis tend to develop either just above the back of the heel or a little bit farther up the back of the leg. This difference largely depends on where the Achilles tendon has been damaged.

These symptoms can include:

  • Initially, feeling a dull ache in one of the above-mentioned areas
  • An increase in pain or discomfort after going for a run or engaging in other forms of physical activity. Discomfort can also increase after spending time climbing stairs or hills.
  • Sensitivity when the back of the heel is squeezed
  • Stiffness after long periods of inactivity, often requiring a few minutes of movement to go away

Experiencing any of the symptoms above is a clear sign you should not attempt to push your activity further and should reach out to us for help. If you are experiencing severe pain or limited mobility, that may indicate a torn or ruptured Achilles tendon and require immediate attention.

Causes of Achilles Tendinitis

On a basic level, Achilles tendinitis can occur when the tendon is exposed to too much stress or strain than it is able to endure. This leads to the tendon becoming inflamed, aggravated, or injured.

This can happen as a result of overuse injuries while running and playing other sports. You may suddenly push yourself too hard too quickly, or you might place your tendons under repetitive impacts over a long period of time without providing the opportunity for recovery.

However, as we noted earlier, you don’t have to be heavy into workouts or sports to get Achilles tendinitis. Other risk factors can potentially contribute to the condition:

  • Structural conditions, such as tight calf muscles, can exert extra consistent force on the Achilles tendon.
  • Wearing footwear that doesn’t properly support your feet can also add extra pressure.
  • Certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, can contribute to weakened Achilles tendons.
  • Your Achilles tendons can also simply become more prone to injury as you age.

As it goes with many forms of heel pain, the factors behind any two cases of Achilles tendinitis may not be the same. To most effectively treat the problem, we must properly identify its sources.

Treating Achilles Tendinitis

Taking care of heel pain and discomfort is great, but we also don’t want Achilles tendinitis to come back if we can help it. A comprehensive treatment plan will address the roots of the problem to help you keep moving and enjoying what you love in comfort.

Depending on what we find in an examination and through learning more about your personal needs, a treatment plan might include:

  • Simple rest, allowing the body more opportunity to recover
  • Changes to activity levels or footwear
  • The use of custom orthotics to provide extra cushioning and support where necessary
  • Physical therapy (in the form of stretches and exercises) to help condition and reduce stress on the Achilles tendon and connected areas
  • Advanced treatments such as amniotic injections to relieve pain and accelerate tendon recovery
  • Shockwave therapy

Do Not Delay Achilles Tendinitis Treatment

The longer you hold off on treating a persistent condition such as Achilles tendinitis, the higher the risk that you will do further and longer-lasting damage to yourself. Taking the time to treat the problem now can ensure a much more comfortable future.

Our area offices are open for you! Call either of our two locations to schedule an appointment. For Oak Creek, call (414) 764-4500, and for New Berlin, call (262) 821-1588. We’ll be happy to see you!