Achilles Tendonitis- Protect Your Feet From This Painful Injury

By: Gen Wright

Recreational athletes tend to experience more injuries to their Achilles tendon as it takes the brunt of most of your body's weight and stress. Patients with Achilles tendonitis have chronic swelling and pain as a result of degenerative, microscopic tears within the tendon. If not treated properly, Achilles tendonitis can progress, making walking close to impossible-completely halting your game.

The Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is progressive does not manifest itself right away. Pain experienced tends to be mild at first, but worsens with continual activity. The first stage in an Achilles tendon injury is called peritonitis, which has no visible symptoms. You may feel pain during an activity or while at rest, but will not see any physical manifestations of damage.

As it progresses to the second stage, called tendinosis, you may begin to notice some swelling or hard knots of tissue on the back of the leg. If your feet are subjected to more physical activity and strain, the tendon may partially or completely rupture. The result is traumatic damage to the tendons, which is a condition that can impair the legs from walking and require extended recovery periods.

Common symptoms include:

* Recurring localized pain, sometimes severe, along with the tendon during or a few hours after running.
* Morning tenderness about an inch and a half above where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone
* Sluggishness in your leg
* Mild to severe swelling
* Stiffness that may diminish as your tendon warms up with use

Achilles tendonitis can be caused by a series of various activities and exercises such as hill running, stair climbing, overuse, rapidly increasing mileage or speed, starting up too quickly after a period of no exercise, trauma caused by a sudden contraction of muscle and improper footwear.

Understanding Achilles Tendonitis Treatment

One of the commonly used conventional treatment options is a bandage that is specifically designed to restrict motion of the tendon. It is important to restrict movement, as to not worsen the condition. Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for a period of time can also help in providing relief for your pain, but it is important to seek consultation from your podiatrist before taking any medication for your condition.

Additionally, treatment may also include the use of orthotics, which is corrective shoe inserts designed to help support the muscle and relieve stress on the tendon. Rest, stretching and switching to exercises that do not put stress on your tendon will also be beneficial in the treatment of your Achilles tendonitis.

If you are exhibiting heel or Achilles tendon pain, it is important to visit you Lagrange podiatrist for further examination. Your podiatrist will be able to diagnose and properly treat your conditions, further preventing the worsening of a condition.

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Dr. Timothy Quist is a Board Certified podiatrist in LaGrange at Concord Foot & Ankle Clinic. He has been practicing podiatry since 1989, with a staff that has over 58 years of combined experience working in podiatry. Together, Dr. Quist, LaGrange, IN podiatrist, and his staff provide an array of services, including PinPointe laser toenail fungus treatment.

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