Your Achilles tendon connects your foot to your calf muscle and assists you in walking, running, and jumping. Although your Achilles tendon is incredibly tough, it’s also susceptible to overuse injuries. Hubert Lee, DPM, at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, Washington, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Achilles tendinitis. If you regularly experience pain at the back of your heel, make an appointment today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.
Achilles tendinitis is a common sports-related injury characterized by inflammation of your Achilles tendon. Your Achilles tendon is a thick band of fibrous tissue that connects your heel bone to the muscles in the lower half of your leg.
Achilles tendinitis affects people of all ages and genders, but it’s especially common in runners who increase the intensity or duration of their workouts. You’re also more likely to suffer from Achilles tendinitis if you’re middle aged and play sports such as tennis or basketball on the weekends.
The symptoms of Achilles tendinitis vary from person to person. However, it usually starts as a dull pain in the back of your heel that occurs after running or other physical activity. As the condition progresses, you may experience more severe pain. You might also experience tenderness or stiffness in your heel after long periods of sitting or when you first wake up in the morning.
Achilles tendinitis affects people of all ages and backgrounds, but there are certain factors that may increase your risk, including:
You’re also more likely to experience Achilles tendinitis if you exercise in worn-down shoes or shoes that don’t provide adequate arch support.
To diagnose Achilles tendinitis, Dr. Lee reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms, and physically examines your foot and ankle. During your exam, Dr. Lee gently presses on your affected heel to determine the location of swelling, tenderness, and pain.
If these tests don’t provide adequate information, Dr. Lee might also order a series of X-rays or an MRI to get a closer look at the joints, bones, and tendons in your feet and ankles.
Dr. Lee usually recommends conservative, noninvasive means of treatment to relieve the symptoms of Achilles tendinitis. Following an exam, he might recommend rest, at-home exercises, or custom orthotics. If these methods of care don’t provide relief, Dr. Lee might recommend corticosteroid shots or physical therapy. In rare cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. This is especially true if you tear or rupture your Achilles tendon.
Achilles tendinitis is a common problem that’s easily treatable. Make an appointment at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.