Your Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in your body. It is located in the back of the lower leg and connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. The Achilles tendon can become inflamed leading to degeneration of the tendon. Overuse of your Achilles tendon can make it less flexible and small tears may occur. Overuse injury can occur gradually over time or immediately from single trauma. Achilles tendinopathy is the term used to describe an inflamed Achilles tendon. Since the blood supply to your Achilles tendon is quite poor, healing occurs slowly and any injury should not be left untreated. More severe injuries may require you to surgical repair of the tendon.
How would I have injured my Achilles tendon?
Several factors can contribute to you developing Achilles tendinopathy including: Repetitive jumping (volleyball / basketball), sudden explosive activity, lack of recovery between exercise, training on varied surfaces, poor footwear, poor foot biomechanics, restricted ankle range of motion and weakened calf muscles.
How do I know I suffer from Achilles tendinopathy?
Signs and symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy develop over time. Repetitive stress and overuse of the tendon will result in partial tears which can subsequently lead to a complete tear. You may have Achilles tendinopathy if you experience any of the following: pain and stiffness above the heel in the back of the lower leg during or after activity, decreased strength and mobility in your lower legs and /or severe pain in the morning.
What can I do to treat my Achilles tendon?
Firstly, discontinue any activity that you know is aggravating your tendon and causing pain. You can also modify the type of activity (e.g. replace running with swimming), apply ice to the tendon, wear appropriate footwear, use temporary heel lifts to rest the calf muscle, add off the shelf arch supports to your shoes and stretch the calf muscles to improve flexibility.
What can Mount Joy Foot Clinic & Orthotic Centre do for me?
If your having difficulty with recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, our Chiropodist will take a through medical history, perform a physical exam and work with you to develop a treatment plan that works best for you. We can assist you in fitting you with appropriate footwear, custom made foot orthotics, giving you daily exercises and stretches to complete, recommend topical pain relievers and begin physical therapy. If your problem is chronic, our Chiropodist may also recommend shockwave therapy. To schedule your appointment, call us at 905-209-8000.