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Achilles Tendonitis – Symptoms and Causes

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Identifying and caring for Achilles Tendonitis should be mandatory knowledge for anybody who leads an active lifestyle. Pressure on the Achilles tendon due to intense physical activity can over time cause a painful, nagging injury. This injury can in turn lead to a ruptured tendon, which would require surgical attention. 

Do not let Achilles Tendonitis permanently ruin your way of life. Learn how to lower the risks of this condition, diagnose it before it gets worse, and even treat it yourself so that you can make a full recovery. 

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How To Diagnose An Achilles Tendonitis 

Is your Achilles tendon in pain? You may be suffering from Achilles Tendonitis. Achilles Tendonitis occurs via wear and tear of the Achilles tendon—the tissue connecting the back of your lower leg to your heel bone. 

If left untreated, this condition can render the Achilles tendon susceptible to rupture. Not only would this painful injury require surgical repair, it could also significantly lower your quality of life by preventing you from participating in physical activities. 

As such, it pays to understand the causes that can lead to Achilles Tendonitis and the common symptoms of this condition. 

Discuss Achilles Tendonitis and its treatments with To Healthy Feet Podiatry by calling (917) 398-3668 or by filling out the online contact form.

Causes Of Achilles Tendonitis 

Repetitive strain on the Achilles tendon is the most common cause of Achilles Tendonitis. When you walk, run, or jump, you exert pressure on your Achilles tendon. While your daily routine is unlikely to injure this tissue, irregular and intensive physical activities may increase the risk of Achilles Tendonitis. 

In addition to sudden increases in physical activities, many factors can make you more vulnerable to Achilles Tendonitis:

  • Gender: Men are more predisposed to Achilles Tendonitis than women. 
  • Age: As you get older, the chances of this condition occurring increase. 
  • Poor running routine: Achilles injuries are more common when you run or jog in cold weather, on uneven terrain, and in improper shoes.
  • High blood pressure: People with higher blood pressure are more susceptible to Achilles Tendonitis.
  • Medications: Some antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones have been shown to be connected with Achilles Tendonitis. 

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

Mild pain in the back of the lower leg or above the heel after physical activity is a good indication of Achilles Tendonitis. More intense physical activities are usually associated with worse pain.

Tenderness or stiffness in these regions of the body can also announce the onset of Achilles Tendonitis. 

Reducing physical activity or lowering its intensity can help you manage and overcome the injury. The recovery time can take several months. However, if left unaddressed, Achilles Tendonitis can eventually cause your tendon to tear. 

Preventing Achilles Tendonitis

The main cause of Achilles Tendonitis is wear and tear. As such, there is no guaranteed way to prevent it. However, you can take certain precautions to reduce the risks of this condition:

  • Gradually increase physical activity: Increase the duration and intensity of your workout incrementally.
  • Avoid excessive stress on your Achilles tendon: Running on hills or uneven terrain is a great way to needlessly strain your Achilles tendon. 
  • Warm up before exercising: Warming up reduces stiffness in muscles, which lowers the risk of injury. 
  • Wear adequate shoes when working out: Shoes that you work out with should provide good support for your heel and the arch of your foot. 
  • Stretch often: Stretching the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon before and after exercising helps prevent Achilles Tendonitis. 
  • Work out your calf muscles: Stronger calves can better sustain pressure on your Achilles tendon. 

Questions about Achilles Tendonitis? 

Achilles Tendonitis can be difficult to diagnose by yourself. The condition often begins as mild post-workout pain, which can be easily confused with a relatively benign pulled muscle. However, neglect can rapidly devolve Achilles Tendonitis into a torn rupture. A full recovery may be then too late. 

Preventing Achilles Tendonitis begins with understanding its causes, which are usually a combination of overuse and sudden increases in physical activity. The next step consists of embracing good habits that help preserve your Achilles tendon for as long as possible. 

Worried about Achilles Tendonitis? Book a consultation at To Healthy Feet Podiatry by calling (917) 398-3668 or by filling out the online contact form. Start your journey to recovery on the right foot!

FAQs

Q: Can I recover from Achilles Tendonitis by myself?

A: Yes. There are many Achilles Tendonitis treatments that you can try at home. These include resting, keeping the affected foot elevated, applying ice, and stretching. Manage the injury until full recovery.

Q: How long does it take to recover from Achilles Tendonitis?

A: With proper care, you can expect to recover from the injury in several months. 

Q: When should you see a doctor or an expert?

A: You should seek professional treatment when your at-home treatments are not having any effect on reducing the pain. If the pain is particularly acute, you may have a ruptured tendon. This requires immediate medical attention. 

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