Are you on your feet all day? Do you do a lot of walking, running, or a little jumping around? Do you feel that pain in the back of your leg, down by the heel? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may haveAchilles tendonitis.
Achilles tendonitis is a condition that falls under the classification of overuse injuries. Although it can hold up under a lot of stress, it is also likely to show signs of inflammation, which is a natural reaction to disease or injury.
Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include:
- Pain and swelling along the tendon
- Pain that worsens with activity
- Thickening of the tendon
- Bone spurs
There are two types of tendonitis, which include:
- Non-insertional – affects the mid-part of the tendon and is caused by tiny tears in the tendon. It usually happens in young active people.
- Insertional – occurs at the point where the tendon connects to the heel bone and is frequently accompanied by bone spurs. This can happen to people at any time, even if they lead a sedentary life.
Non-surgical treatment is always preferable to surgery, and tendonitis will usually respond, although it may take several months for the symptoms to disappear. If you suspect tendonitis, you should see Dr. Vargas as soon as possible. By doing this you will minimize the damage and shorten the recovery period.
Recommended treatment consists of the following:
- Rest. You should stop the activity that aggravates the pain and change to activities that are less stressful to the injured tendon. If you are a runner and experience pain try swimming or cycling as an alternate exercise.
- Ice. You should ice the injured area for 20 minutes several times per day.
- Over-the-counter medication. May help with pain management, but prolonged use is not good.
Other treatments include certain stretching exercises, cortisone injections and extracorporeal shock wave therapy. There are also a variety of surgical procedures that may be used. As with all overuse injuries, prevention is the best medicine, but prevention is not always possible with tendonitis. Sometimes the best you can do is to reduce the risk by increasing an activity slowly, stretching daily, cross-training and selecting shoes carefully.
Dr. Vargas will discuss the options and explain treatment options, which will vary depending on the severity of your case. Make sure you call Dr. Vargas at (281) 313-0090 or (281) 342-8700 to schedule an appointment.