What Causes Achilles Tendonitis and How Is It Treated?

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis and How Is It Treated?

When you live an active lifestyle, you likely use your achilles tendon a lot. This tendon is vital to things like running and walking, which makes it an important aspect of your body. However, this tendon may become injured, resulting in achilles tendonitis, which causes pain in your foot and ankle.

At Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio, our team helps you when you’re dealing with achilles tendonitis. Leading our team is Dr. Marque Allen, who’s a specialist in both podiatry and foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Allen offers specialized treatment for you when your achilles tendon is causing pain.

What is achilles tendonitis?

Your achilles tendon is a strong band of tissue that joins your heel bone and the muscles in your calf. It is the biggest tendon in your body. Due to its position, the achilles tendon helps when you do activities like jumping, running, and climbing stairs.

Because the tendon is very large, it can take a lot of stress — but there is a limit. Achilles tendonitis happens when that tendon is overused, causing it to become inflamed and irritated. It’s considered an overuse injury, and occurs over time.

There are two forms of this condition. Insertional achilles tendonitis affects the part of the achilles tendon that inserts into your heel. Noninsertional achilles tendonitis affects the middle part of the tendon. 

You can suffer from insertional achilles tendonitis and noninsertional achilles tendonitis separately, or they can affect the tendon at the same time.

Causes of achilles tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is caused by overuse of the achilles tendon. This usually happens when you’re active on your feet or play sports. It doesn’t have to be related to an injury; it often occurs because of repeated stress put on your achilles tendon.

There are a number of risk factors associated with achilles tendonitis. If you’re active in sports, your chances of this condition are higher than average. Other risk factors include:

Whether your anatomy is putting you at risk or you live an extremely active lifestyle, achilles tendonitis can keep you from enjoying your normal activities. Luckily, there are treatments available to treat your pain and get you mobile again.

What treatments are available?

When you have pain around your achilles tendon along with trouble walking, it’s likely time to get treatment. Dr. Allen assesses your symptoms and examines the affected leg when diagnosing achilles tendonitis.

In many cases, achilles tendonitis can be treated with non-invasive measures. If your symptoms are a nuisance but you’re still able to function, Dr. Allen recommends therapies such as:

In some cases, cortisone injections can help to reduce the swelling and inflammation in your achilles tendon. Another treatment called extracorporeal shockwave therapy works to heal your tendon through the use of either high or low energy impulses.

If your symptoms don’t seem to get better with conservative measures, Dr. Allen recommends surgical repair. There are a number of different procedures that can help if you get to this point. Dr. Allen discusses your options to determine the best course of treatment for your condition.

If you’re exhibiting the signs of achilles tendonitis and need treatment, call our office in San Antonio, Texas today at 210-988-6520. You can also schedule an appointment online using our convenient booking tool.

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