Have you noticed more ankle or heel pain lately without any discernible cause?
Have you changed shoes, reduced your activity level and even tried methods like stretching or massage without receiving any real relief?
That pain may not be caused from being on your feet too often or related to those fashionable, but uncomfortable shoes you love.
It may be a condition known as Achilles Tendonitis.
This condition typically occurs in runners, but it is also a common complaint of middle-aged weekend warriors.
These are the people who lead sedentary lives during the week, and then engage in vigorous physical activity over the weekend.
Sports like running, tennis or basketball are common causes because they can lead to overuse of the Achilles tendon.
This tissue band connects the muscles of the calf to the heel bone and is used whenever people jump, walk or run.
The Achilles can become inflamed and sore with overuse and if not treated promptly, it could advance to tears in the tendon that will require surgery.
The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness.
This will be the most pronounced in the morning or after a long period of inactivity.
Activity may increase the pain in the back of the heel or along the tendon, with the pain intensifying the following day.
Sufferers may also notice the area is swollen or thickening, and the swelling may be the most noticeable at the end of an active day.
During your appointment the doctor will examine the entire foot, heel and the back of the leg.
The examination will be looking for any noticeable thickening of the Achilles and swelling at the back of the heel.
You will be asked to move the foot to determine the flexibility of the ankle.
The doctor will also apply pressure to identify where the most tender spot is along the tendon. Additional testing, including x-rays or an MRI, may be scheduled to confirm the diagnosis.
The extent of the damage and the health and physical condition of the patient will be used to determine the best course of action.
Typical treatment involves several different approaches:
If you have noticed tenderness and tightness in the heel and Achilles in the morning…or have discovered that your morning run or weekend football game leave you uncomfortable that evening or the following day, Achilles Tendonitis may be the culprit.
Scheduling an appointment for an exam before the pain becomes more severe may help to avoid surgery.
Heel and ankle pain can make daily life inconvenient and uncomfortable.
Why suffer needlessly when help is available?
Call The Beltsville Foot and Ankle Center at 301-937-5666 or simply fill out the brief form at the top right of this page to schedule your appointment.
We will help you get back to your daily activities, pain free, as quickly as possible.