Experiencing severe pain in the back of your heel may be a sign of Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon is the large tendon that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. When it is overstressed from working too hard or from playing sports, you can feel a great deal of pain in the heel area, calf, and ankle.
Achilles tendonitis can be caused by the following:
- Rapidly accelerating without proper warming up and conditioning—A common reason for injury to the Achilles tendon is by starting a workout program too quickly without stretching and proper conditioning. Starting an exercise program after years of sitting is frequently implicated in Achilles tendon injuries.
- Repetitive stress—Playing tennis, football, and basketball, as well as other repetitive sports and activities, can slowly damage the Achilles tendon.
- Poorly fitted shoes—Make sure that your athletic shoes are the right size and that you have custom orthotic inserts for the correct arch, ball, and heel support. Always be sure to wear shoes that are made for the activity you will be performing.
Treatment options for Achilles tendonitis
Initial pain in your Achilles tendon can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Ibuprofen will decrease pain and swelling and physical therapy will help gently stretch the tendon and strengthen the calf muscles. Custom orthotic inserts can help reduce strain on the tendon and provide cushioning to the heel.
If the pain and discomfort prevent you from walking and don’t start to improve after several days, you may have a ruptured Achilles tendon that will require further testing and surgery to properly repair.
If you are experiencing complications with Achilles tendonitis, enlisting the services of a skilled podiatrist will provide you with the correct diagnosis and treatment. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly-qualified podiatrist Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!