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Achilles Tendinitis Specialist

Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists

Podiatry & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Bradenton, FL & Sarasota, University Park, FL, & Ellenton, FL

Achilles tendinitis causes pain when you step out of bed and restricts your ability to walk, run, or simply stand. If you have pain at the back of your heel that may indicate Achilles tendinitis, contact Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists right away. They can help you heal the inflammation before the tendon breaks down and causes long-term dysfunction. Call the offices in Bradenton, University Park, or Ellenton, Florida, today or request your visit online.

Achilles Tendinitis Q & A

What is Achilles tendinitis?

The Achilles tendon is a thick band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. It can become inflamed and experience microtears, causing tendinitis. Pain from Achilles tendinitis can range from mild to severe.

Achilles tendinitis most commonly affects runners who suddenly switch their routines and increase the intensity of their workouts. But you can also develop Achilles tendinitis if you play basketball, tennis, or another sport that requires you to change the direction and the intensity of your runs. This is especially common if you fail to warm up and cool down properly.

Athletes aren’t the only people at risk of developing Achilles tendinitis. If you work on your feet daily or are a weekend warrior, working out infrequently but aggressively, your Achilles is also vulnerable. People who suffer from flat arches are also more likely to develop Achilles tendinitis and tendinosis.

How do I know if I have Achilles tendinitis?

Severe pain running down the back of your heel or lower leg is a common sign of Achilles tendinitis. But you may experience other warning signs that indicate that it's time to see a specialist, like those at Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists. 

For example, you may experience:

  • Stiffness in the back of your lower leg
  • Lower-leg and heel pain that worsens with activity
  • Severe lower-leg pain at the back of the heel on the day after an intense workout
  • Lower-leg swelling
  • Bone spurs

Achilles tendinitis causes severe pain and swelling. But if you heard a popping sound when you suffered your injury, you should be wary. This sound is a telltale sign that you might have torn or ruptured the tendon. Repairing it will require immediate medical attention.

What are the treatment options for Achilles tendinitis?

How your Achilles tendinitis is treated will depend on how severe your inflammation is and how much damage was done. Conservative treatments help at first. Resting your ankle, bracing it in a boot or cast, icing the injury, and laser therapy can help the tendon heal.

Custom-molded orthotics help those whose Achilles tendinitis is caused by collapsing arches and abnormalities in the way they walk. A night splint that gently stretches the Achilles tendon as you sleep can also help.

Physical therapy could be recommended to improve your running or walking form and develop better muscle function so that stress on the Achilles tendon eases.

In severe cases, surgery will be necessary to fully heal your Achilles tendon. The practice’s surgery center at their Bradenton office offers a convenient and effective way to receive this specialized care. 

To learn more about treatments for Achilles tendinitis, call Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists or request an appointment online today.