Pain at the back of your heel may be a symptom of Achilles tendonitis, a condition that occurs when the large tendon in the back your leg becomes stressed and inflamed. Luckily, your Marietta, GA, podiatrist Dr. Mathew John of Ankle and Foot Centers offers treatments that will help relieve your tendonitis pain.
What causes tendonitis?
Achilles Tendonitis occurs when you strain your Achilles tendon, the long band of fibrous tissue that connects your heel to your calf muscle. The injury can happen if you increase the intensity of your workout, push yourself too hard or don't ease back into your workout routine after a little time off.
As you get older, your Achilles tendon is less flexible, weakens and is more easily damaged. The risk increases even if you've been running or exercising for years without problems. Other factors that can increase the risk of tendonitis include shoes that don't properly support your feet, flat feet, tight calf muscles, high blood pressure, psoriasis or overpronating (turning your feet inward when you walk or run). Achilles tendonitis affects men more often than women.
What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis?
You may notice an achy sensation in the back of your heel or lower part of the leg after you run or exercise. Pain and stiffness may also occur first thing in the morning. Once you begin walking, the pain and stiffness gradually decrease but may increase by the end of the day.
Pain may be accompanied by swelling or difficulty flexing your ankle, weakness in your ankle or lower leg, and redness and warmth on the skin over the tendon. Some people also develop bone spurs as a result of tendonitis.
How is Achilles tendonitis treated?
Like most injuries, Achilles tendonitis often responds well to rest. If you run, it's a good idea to participate in a form of exercise that doesn't stress your tendon, such as swimming, while you recover. Ice and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce pain and swelling.
If you still have pain after a week or two, make an appointment with your Marietta foot doctor. He can offer a variety of helpful treatments, which may include prescription shoes inserts and heel cups that relieve pressure on your tendon, massage, ultrasound or physical therapy to strengthen your calf muscles. Dr. Mathew John also is one of few specialists offering the technology breakthrough treatment called MLS Laser. High powered MLS laser treatments is very effective in treating Achilles tendonitis. Surgery isn't usually needed but may be an option if your condition doesn't improve or your tendon is torn.
Are you concerned about heel pain? Call your Marietta, GA, podiatrist Dr. Mathew John of Ankle and Foot Centers at (770) 977-3668 to schedule an appointment.