• 925 Clifton Ave, Ste. 107 Clifton, NJ 07013

Achilles Tendon

Pain and stiffness in the back of your calf and ankle, down to your heel, limit your mobility. Instead of limping through your day, seek the guidance of the best doctor for Achilles tendonitis in northern New Jersey: Dr. Velimir Petkov of Premier Podiatry in New Jersey. With up-to-date equipment, friendly staff, and years of experience, Dr. Petkov finds the source of your pain and then takes corrective action to get you out of pain and back on track. Call today for an appointment.

Tendons are bands of tough tissue that attach muscles to bone, providing stability and enabling movement. Your Achilles tendon connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. The leverage provided by this tissue gives you the ability and flexibility to walk, jump and run.

Achilles TendonYou may be susceptible to Achilles tendon pain as a runner who suddenly increases the length or intensity of your runs. If you’re a weekend athlete, you become more vulnerable to this health condition as you reach middle age. Overuse of or an injury that causes a tear in this band of tissue often requires Achilles tendonitis treatment to correct, which in some cases may mean surgery.

Dr. Petkov, a foot doctor in New Jersey at Premier Podiatry, is the best doctor for Achilles tendonitis due to his experience. Whether you need self-care measures or minimally invasive techniques, your treatment also helps prevent further Achilles tendonitis pain.

Risk Factors

Achilles tendonitis is a repetitive motion or stress injury. You place repeated strain on the band of tissue from constant walking, jumping, or pushing with your whole body. Running on hard, unforgiving surfaces also weakens the tissue. High-impact activities result in added stress and strain.

Other factors that increase your risk for injuring your Achilles tendon include:

  • Gender. Men are more susceptible to the condition than women.
  • Aging. More incidences occur as you age.
  • Physical characteristics. If you have tight calf muscles or flat arches, you’re more susceptible to Achilles tendon pain.
  • Weight gain. If you’ve gained excess weight recently, you’re placing more stress on your Achilles tendon.
  • Medications. Certain medications, such as some antibiotics, may increase the likelihood that you’ll experience an Achilles tendon rupture.
  • Co-existing conditions. Although they don’t seem related, battling high blood pressure or receiving psoriasis treatment may cause your risk to increase.
  • Training options. You’re at a greater risk for developing Achilles tendonitis if you wear improper shoes while training, run primarily on hills or hard surfaces, or often exercise in cold temperatures.

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Achilles Tendonitis Symptoms

Achilles TendonitisWhen suffering from Achilles tendonitis, you usually notice mild pain, soreness, or flexibility issues in the back of your lower leg — especially after exercises that put a strain on these muscles and tendons. Your ankle pain and heel pain usually increases after prolonged running, sprinting, or even climbing stairs. You may notice stiffness and achiness the first thing in the morning that often declines after minor activity or stretching.

If your pain increases to the point that it impedes your ability to walk, visit our specialist as soon as you can. Symptoms this severe often indicate a ruptured tendon that requires Achilles tendon repair surgery.

Achilles Tendonitis Causes

This health condition is caused by intense or repetitive strain on the Achilles tendon, which is used when you walk, jump, run, or push up on your toes. The Achilles tendon tends to weaken with age making you more susceptible to injury. Additionally, people who participate in sports only on the weekends or who have suddenly increased the intensity of their running activities are at higher risk of getting injured.

There are also factors unrelated to sports activities that might contribute to this health condition. To be more precise, infection and rheumatoid arthritis have been both linked to tendonitis.

The most common causes of Achilles tendonitis include:

  • Intense sports activities without a proper warmup
  • Sports activities that involve a frequent change of direction and quick stops
  • Straining the calf muscles during repeated exercises
  • A sudden increase in physical activity
  • Wearing poorly fitting shoes
  • Being older
  • Wearing high heels for prolonged durations

How is Achilles Tendonitis Diagnosed?

To diagnose Achilles tendonitis, the doctor will need to ask you a couple of questions about the swelling in the heel or calf and the pain. The doctor might also ask you to stand on the balls of the feet while they observe the flexibility and range of motion. Your doctor will feel around and palpate the area where the pain and swelling are most severe. Your doctor might also need to do imaging tests to confirm the condition, such as ultrasounds, X-Rays, and MRI scans.

Achilles Tendon Tear Treatment

Achilles Tendon TearDuring your initial visit, our best-rated foot doctor assesses your injury. With state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, Dr. Petkov gives you a physical exam, followed by a digital x-ray, MRI, or ultrasound, if appropriate. He offers the most effective treatment options, always starting with the most conservative and least invasive, such as:

  • Medications. You may need over-the-counter pain relievers or stronger prescription painkillers to manage the swelling and pain associated with Achilles tendonitis. This treatment is often accompanied by physical therapy.
  • Home treatment. Your Achilles tendonitis treatment may require at-home instructions, including the treatment commonly referred to by the acronym R.I.C.E. — resting to avoid strenuous exercise, icing to reduce swelling and decrease pain, compression using wraps or elastic bandages, and elevation to reduce swelling. You may have to wear a specialized boot or crutches to protect against your injury.
  • Other specialized devices. Orthotics, such as shoe inserts, provide extra cushioning and elevate your heel slightly to relieve pressure.
  • Physical therapy. Various exercises strengthen weakened muscles and encourage successful healing. Your therapist discusses alternative methods of exercise and daily activities to help prevent further injury.
  • EPAT shockwave therapy. A non-invasive procedure, this technique uses safe shockwaves to encourage your body to heal naturally. It may be the final conservative treatment before turning to surgery.
  • Achilles tendon rupture repair. If you’ve torn your Achilles tendon, treatment may require surgical intervention. Achilles tendon repair surgery rebuilds and realigns your torn tissue. Physical therapy usually follows surgery to rebuild compromised muscle and add flexibility.

With adequate and early initial management, Achilles tendonitis has a better prognosis. In 80% of surgical interventions, patients experience major improvements. The possibility of failure in non-operative treatment increases as the number of risk factors increased.

What Are the Complications of Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis, in most cases, leads to pain, which may cause difficulties with walking and exercising. The tendon or heel bone might also become deformed. There is the possibility that the Achilles tendon completely tears and ruptures. In such cases, surgery is necessary to fix the rupture. Some studies show that patients may suffer from infections after surgery for Achilles tendonitis or have difficulties with wound healing. If you don‘t follow the instructions of your doctor after the operation, complications might worsen. If you continue putting stress on your Achilles tendon after the surgery, the tendon can rupture again.

Preventing Future Injuries

Our foot care expert helps you prevent injuries in the future through education and conscious attention. To prevent further Achilles tendon damage, he may recommend:

  • Choosing proper footwear and making sure to replace your worn shoes.
  • Doing daily stretches and exercises that strengthen your calf muscles.
  • Increasing your daily activities and exercise regimen gradually to prevent stress and strain.
  • Incorporating multiple exercise options, such as high-impact and low-impact activities, strengthens different muscle types evenly.

Your Achilles tendonitis treatment may run for several months, depending on the severity of your injury. Patience and perseverance keep you on track to a healthier, pain-free enjoyment of your daily activities and exercise. Contact Premier Podiatry to get Achilles tendon pain relief today.

Page Updated on Apr 27, 2022 by Velimir Petkov, DPM (Podiatrist) of Premier Podiatry

Premier Podiatry: Velimir Petkov, DPM
925 Clifton Ave, Ste 107
Clifton, NJ 07013
(973) 315-5555

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