Achilles Tendinitis - Q&A

Posted by Dana Cozzetto, DPM on 4/26/16 2:00 PM

What is Achilles tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of theRunner.jpg Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.

Achilles tendinitis most commonly occurs in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs. It's also common in middle-aged people who play sports, such as tennis or basketball, only on the weekends.

How do I treat Achilles tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis can be treated with rest, ice, over the counter medications, activity modifications, heel lifts, custom orthotics, physical therapy, night splints, and CAM boots. Sometimes immobilization or surgery is needed in chronic cases.

Will Achilles tendinitis go away?
Acute achilles tendinitis typically resolves after 6 weeks of treatment. Tendinitis can become chronic, however, and should be evaluated by your doctor.

How active can I be with Achilles tendinitis?
For mild cases of tendinitis that are responsive to rest, ice, stetching, and over the counter medications then patients can resume their normal activities. If the pain is worse with certain activities such as running or participating in high impact sports or with certain shoe gear, then it is recommended to stop participating in these sports or wearing these shoes until further treatment is tried and the inflammation has decreased. 

What over the counter medications can I take?
Anti-inflammatories that are over the counter such as ibuprofen, aleve, or naproxen work well. Please check with your doctor to ensure that you are able to take these safely.

What causes Achilles tendinitis?
Achilles tendinitis is caused by a variety of things such as high heels, overuse in sports, going from a level of no activity and suddenly increasing activity level, having a genetically short Achilles tendon or tight calf muscles, and biomechanical causes such as pronation.

What are the risks of running and playing sports if I don’t treat my Achilles tendinitis?
A risk of continual high impact activities or sports on an inflamed Achilles tendon without seeking treatment can cause more inflammation and damage to the tendon which can ultimately result in Achilles tendon rupture.

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Dr. Dana Cozzetto is a podiatrist with Mercy Medical Group in Carmichael. Dr. Cozzetto is board certified in podiatric medicine, foot and ankle surgery and specializes in tendinitis, bunions, fractures, and sports-related injuries. For more information about Dr. Cozzetto, click here: https://dignityhlth.org/cozzetto

Topics: Health & Wellness, DHMG - Sequoia, DHMG - San Francisco, DHMG - Bakersfield, Mercy Medical Group, DHMG - Stockton, DHMG - Merced, Woodland Clinic, DHMG - Dominican, DHMG - Inland Empire, DHMG - Ventura County, DHMG - Northridge, Achilles Tendinitis, Podiatry