Achilles tendon injuries can lead to burning sensations, shooting pain, and stiffness along the back of the lower part of your leg. Because expert podiatrist Tim Grace, DPM, of Family Foot Health Center knows that an untreated Achilles tendon injury can keep you from work and daily activities, he provides personalized treatment plans. Schedule your Achilles tendon evaluation at this Puyallup, Washington-based practice today. Click on the online booking feature or call the office directly.
Achilles Tendon Q & A
What causes Achilles tendon injuries?
Your Achilles tendon — one of the largest tendons in your body — connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. This long and fibrous tendon is responsible for helping you flex your feet, jump, run, and stand on your tiptoes.
Because you use your Achilles tendon with just about every step you take, it becomes inflamed or injured rather easily. Achilles tendon injuries can stem from:
- Overuse or repetitive motion
- Incorrectly landing after jumping
- Running on an uneven surface
- Sudden increase in activity intensity
- Participating in sports or activities that require sudden stopping and starting, like dancing
Your Achilles tendon can even become inflamed, a condition known as Achilles tendinitis, if you have a bone spur on your heel bone.
What are the symptoms of an Achilles tendon injury?
Achilles tendon injuries are most commonly known for causing agonizing pain along the back of your lower leg, right above your heel. You’re probably going to notice that the discomfort you experience is worse when you flex your feet or stand on your toes. Achilles tendon injuries can also lead to:
At Family Foot Health Center, Dr. Grace thoroughly evaluates you during a physical exam. He’s probably going to want to watch you walk to observe what may have caused your Achilles tendon injury. In many cases, he can diagnose you and start treating you on the spot.
How are Achilles tendon injuries treated?
Treating an Achilles tendon injury, as with most soft tissue injuries, takes time. Dr. Grace may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or painkillers to alleviate any current pain or inflammation issues. Depending on the severity of your Achilles tendon injury, your treatment plan may include:
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
- Bracing, splinting, or casting
- Custom orthotic inserts
- Compression wrapping
- Cortisone injections
- Physical therapy
- Daily stretches
If your pain is worsening or just not improving after several months of conservative treatments, or if you have a severe Achilles tendon rupture, Dr. Grace might recommend surgery. Achilles tendon surgery involves lengthening your calf muscles, removing damaged tissues, or performing a tissue transfer.