Your Achilles heel is the thickest and among the longest tendons in your entire body. A tendon is a stretch of elastic tissue, useful for holding sections of bone and musculature together and contracting them. Without tendons, we’d simply fall apart as sure as we would without the bones supporting us. When doctors refer to tendonitis, they mean a rupture, tear or other trauma that leads to painful swelling on the surface of the skin. Therefore, Achilles tendonitis is a torn Achilles tendon.
Spotting one is fairly easy, as it is usually characterized by a prolonged pain in the rear of the ankle, enduring for longer than a few days. Further, it can be easily identified by a distinct swelling in the affected region. If you notice a pain and swelling where your Achilles tendon would be (the back of the ankle) it’s time to see a doctor. Your doctor may wish to run some tests, or conduct a simple examination to confirm if indeed you do have a torn tendon.
However, the good news is that Tendonitis tends to heel on its own, given proper care by the patient. Firstly it is important to reduce the swelling, generally with simple remedies such as ice or anti-inflammatories. Generic, over the counter anti-inflammation drugs will generally suffice; however, your doctor may prescribe a stronger alternative if they prove ineffective. Secondly, it is vital that you go easy on the afflicted limb for a while and avoid straining it. Keep your exercise light and don’t focus on your legs/cardio for a few weeks or until symptoms subside. Avoid wearing uncomfortable or high-heeled shoes. Try to prop the leg with a pillow when sitting or lying down. Your doctor may prescribe a heel lift. Your doctor may also suggest special stretching or strength exercises.
However, as with any medical condition, the best solutions are preventative. Avoiding heavy spikes in your exercise routine would go a long way to mitigating the risk. Always assume new regimens gradually. Be sure to always warm up and stretch before working out. Avoid wearing elaborate shoes or high heels. Certain medical conditions and medications can exacerbate the risk, such as diabetes.
If you or someone you know is suffering from these symptoms, contact Podiatry Associates today. Our expert team of medical professionals can treat Tendonitis as well as any other Podiatric conditions. Call us today!