Did you know that your Achilles tendon is the longest and strongest tendon in your entire body? Unfortunately, it’s also the most frequently injured. If you regularly experience pain at the back of your heel, Achilles tendonitis may be to blame. At South Texas Podiatrist in San Antonio, Texas, Eddie Davis, DPM, regularly diagnoses and treats Achilles tendonitis. To request your appointment, call the office or click the online booking tool today.
Achilles tendonitis is a common overuse injury that causes your Achilles tendon –– a strong, fibrous band of tissue at the back of your heel –– to become inflamed. Achilles tendonitis usually affects active individuals, especially people who run or play sports such as tennis and basketball.
Most cases of Achilles tendonitis resolve with at-home measures of care and doctor supervision. However, if you rupture your Achilles tendon, a more invasive treatment, such as orthopedic surgery may be necessary.
Achilles tendonitis affects people of all ages and genders. However, there are certain factors that may increase your risk, including:
You might also develop Achilles tendonitis if you wear ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes. Your gait, or how you walk, also increases your risk of Achilles tendonitis. For example, if you overpronate (roll your feet outward) or oversupinate (roll your feet inward), your Achilles tendon must work harder. As a result, it becomes irritated and swollen.
The symptoms of Achilles tendonitis vary from person to person. However, common telltale signs include:
If you have Achilles tendonitis, you might also notice that your pain gets worse an hour or two after exercise.
To diagnose Achilles tendonitis, Dr. Davis reviews your medical history, asks you a series of questions about your symptoms, and physically examines your foot, heel, and ankle. If these steps don’t provide adequate insights, Dr. Davis might also recommend a high-resolution diagnostic ultrasound. This imaging technique uses sound waves to produce images of your Achilles tendon and surrounding tissues. Dr. Davis was an early adopter of this cutting-edge and highly effective technology.
Treatment for Achilles tendonitis depends on the underlying cause and severity of your symptoms. Whenever possible, Dr. Davis recommends conservative, noninvasive methods of care such as taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), splinting the affected heel, or wearing custom orthotics.
If these methods of care don’t provide adequate relief, Dr. Davis might recommend physical therapy or extracorporeal shockwave therapy. In rare instances, minimally invasive foot and ankle surgery may be necessary.
If heel pain is negatively impacting your quality of life, make an appointment at South Texas Podiatrist today –– call the office or click the online booking tool to begin.