Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle
Podiatry, Foot & Ankle Surgeon and Wound Care Specialist located in Yarmouth, ME
Burning, soreness, or pain in the back part of your ankle could be Achilles tendonitis, one of the most common overuse injuries. At Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle, in Yarmouth, Maine, empathetic podiatrist Barry White, DPM, manages all aspects of your Achilles tendinitis, from quick pain relief to returning to normal activity. Call the office or book your appointment through online scheduling today.
Achilles Tendonitis Q&A
What is the Achilles tendon?
The Achilles tendon is the biggest and strongest tendon in the human body. It starts in your lower leg, at the end of your calf muscle, and then travels down the back of your leg to tuck into your heel and connect to your heel bone.
While the Achilles tendon can endure around 1000 pounds of pressure at one time, repeated wear-and-tear can erode the tendon gradually to leave it vulnerable to injury, which is why Achilles tendon injuries are very common in active athletes.
The Achilles tendon also weakens as you age, which is why many weekend warriors in their 40s and 50s experience Achilles tendon injuries.
What is Achilles tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis is an injury in which your Achilles tendon grows very inflamed. This inflammation can lead to swelling and tendon thickening, along with serious pain.
If you have Achilles tendinitis and don't treat the injury properly, you have a high risk of Achilles tendon rupture, in which the tendon tears badly.
What causes Achilles tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis can occur for a few reasons, including:
- Changing your exercise intensity suddenly
- Changing your exercise duration suddenly
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes
- Changing your training surface
Certain factors can increase your likelihood of experiencing Achilles tendinitis, even if they're not direct causes.
For example, people with flat feet and short tendons have a higher risk of this tendon injury. If your sport involves a lot of quick stops or requires considerable repetitive movement, for example, basketball and tennis, you have a higher risk of Achilles tendon injuries.
What is the best treatment for Achilles tendinitis?
At Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle, Dr. White recommends gentle conservative approaches to ease your pain and stimulate healing.
Usually, this includes rest, ice, light compression, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You may need to wear a brace or use crutches to give your tendon a chance to fully heal.
Physical therapy can improve strength and flexibility, which can, in turn, help you avoid another Achilles tendon injury in the future.
Custom orthotics are helpful in maintaining proper foot movement and preventing another injury as well. Dr. White may also recommend other non-invasive healing modalities to help you recover.
For help with quick recovery from Achilles tendinitis, call Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle or click on the online scheduler.