Tips About Achilles Tendinosis From Dr. Warner
Dr. Warner of Warner Orthopedics and Wellness, a Baton Rouge Orthopedic Clinic, feels strongly about patient education. This blog is about Achilles tendinosis, its causes and when you should see your doctor.
There are many causes of Achilles tendinosis ranging from disuse to overuse. Many scientists are working on figuring out what causes this problem as we speak!
Your Achilles tendon is a large band of tissue connecting the muscles in the back of your lower leg to your heel bone. Also called the heel cord, the Achilles tendon is used when you walk, run, jump or push up on your toes. A number of factors may contribute to the onset of Achilles tendinitis:
- A rapid increase in the distance or speed of a running regimen
- New or intense hill running or stair climbing
- Sports that require jumps or sudden starts and stops, such as basketball or tennis
- Exercising without warming up
- A new, intense exercise regimen after a long period of not exercising regularly
- Poor flexibility in the calf muscles
- Running on uneven or hard surfaces
- Wearing shoes that are worn out or inappropriate for the activity
- A naturally flat arch, which can put more strain on the Achilles tendon
- A naturally high arch, which also strains the tendon
- Other slight variations in the foot, ankle or leg anatomy that may put extra strain on the tendon
- Traumatic injury to the tendon
When to see a doctor
If you experience pain around an Achilles tendon or heel, call your doctor. The pain may be caused by Achilles tendinosis, inflammation of other nearby tissue or other tissue damage. Therefore, it’s important to get a prompt diagnosis and appropriate care.
While waiting for an appointment, you may alleviate pain with the following measures:
- Engage in less strenuous exercise
- Take a break from your regular exercise routine
- Put an ice pack over the affected area after exercise or when you feel pain
- Take an over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen (Aleve, others), as directed on the label
- Use a small heel lift in your shoe. Often, you can take discarded inserts from older shoes and cut the insert in half. Put the back half into the heel of the shoe you currently use the most. This can act as a small lift.Get immediate care if the pain or disability is severe. You may have a torn, or ruptured, Achilles tendon if you:
- Experience sudden, severe pain. This feels like someone kicked you in the back of the leg.
- Are unable to bend your foot downward or walk on your toes on the affected side.
- Cannot put weight on your foot or walk normally.
Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Dr. Meredith Warner is a board certified, Fellowship Trained Foot and Ankle, Orthopedic surgeon practicing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Warner is committed to offering her patients an accurate diagnosis along with a comprehensive treatment plan in order to get them back to a pain free life. Dr. Meredith Warner specializes in the treatment of orthopedic issues, providing operative and non-operative treatment plans of orthopedic problems, including musculoskeletal pain such as chronic back, neck and foot pain, reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, arthritis, diabetic, hammer toe, bunion, wound care, work injuries, fitness and nutrition and osteoporosis issues.