Have you experienced a sharp pain or swelling at the back of your heel and ankle after an exercise session? You may have an inflamed Achilles tendon, or Achilles tendonitis.
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles at back of your lower leg to your heel bone. With overuse, this tissue may be damaged. The fibers of the tendon will stretch and then rip or tear, causing inflammation.
Achilles tendonitis is commonly found in middle-aged men, especially if exercising without proper stretching or warming up. Overweight individuals may develop this inflammation as well as those with flat feet. Even athletes with a regular exercise program may suffer from Achilles tendonitis if they suddenly ramp up the intensity of their running program.
Seek Out a Professional if You Suspect an Achilles Tendon Injury
If you have persistent heel and lower leg pain, especially if it stiffens up at night and is worse in the morning, call the Chicago office of Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, right away. It’s especially important to see a qualified foot doctor immediately if the pain is severe or it prevents you from walking as you may have a torn or ruptured Achilles tendon.
An in-office ultrasound and even an MRI will help determine the severity of the injury. After examining you and based on our diagnostic findings, we may begin treatment with the R.I.C.E. method:
- Rest your foot by avoiding exercise. We may recommend that you use a walking boot and crutches.
- Ice the tendon area about 15 minutes when painful to decrease swelling.
- Compression using wraps can reduce swelling and minimize tendon movement.
- Elevate your foot above your heart whenever possible, especially at night.
We may prescribe an anti-inflammatory pain reliever if ibuprofen isn’t successful. Physical therapy strengthening and stretching exercises can build strength and advance healing. Custom-fitted orthotics to raise your heel can relieve the strain on the tendon and cushion excessive force.
At our office we also frequently use PRP, or platelet rich plasma, therapy with great success to promote healing of deep injuries such as Achilles tendonitis.
If other non-invasive treatments do not succeed after sufficient time has passed, we may recommend surgery to repair the Achilles tendon.
Contact Us Now
It’s important to start treatment quickly if you suspect an Achilles tendon injury. Dr. Alexopoulos, board-certified podiatrist, has the right experience to begin treatments on your Achilles tendonitis immediately. Call our office at 773-561-8100 or contact us through the website for an appointment at your convenience. The sooner you call, the sooner you will receive relief from the pain and swelling of tendonitis.