Achilles Tendon Problems

Achilles tendon injuries can sometimes be tricky. While it is always a good idea to have severe Achilles pain checked immediately, it is also important to have moderate Achilles tendon pain checked to prevent further injury or aid in healing.

What is the Achilles tendon?

The Achilles tendon is the strongest, thickest tendon in the body and it connects your calf muscle to your heel bone.

What are the most common Achilles tendon problems?

The most frequent problems associated with the Achilles tendon include Achilles tendinopathy, a tear or rupture. Achilles tendinopathy may be caused by tendonitis (inflammation) of the tendon or tendinosis, which are microtears in the tissue (in and around the tendon) that occur with overuse. An Achilles tendon can also tear or rupture either partially or completely.

What if I have severe pain in my Achilles tendon?

If you have a severe pain that restricts movement, go to a hospital immediately. If you are experiencing minor pain, schedule a visit with our doctor.

Can my doctor test to see if my Achilles tendon problem is severe?

If your symptoms persist or appear severe during your first visit with our doctor, our doctor may perform an ultrasound scan, X-ray, or MRI. Treatments for severe cases may include surgery or a device to reduce movement of your tendon. Our doctor may choose a splint, brace, walking boot or cast, as well as recommend exercise in a rehab or a physical therapy program to help your Achilles tendon heal.

What treatments can I expect?

Our doctor performs Achilles tendon evaluations for patients in our region. In order to determine if you have an Achilles tendon problem, our doctor will ask about your symptoms and may treat them with recommended stretching techniques, an OTC pain medicine, or a period of rest. It’s crucial, even if your case is mild, to take the weeks or months of rest recommended allowing your tendon to heal.

How effective are treatments?

Most treatments for Achilles tendon problems take time; however they usually work and most patients are able to return to their exercise regimen or sports activities.

How do I avoid Achilles tendon problems?

Achilles tendon problems can be avoided by stretching before and after physical activities and wearing shoes that cushion your heal, or that reduce stress on your Achilles tendon.