What’s Behind Achilles Tendonitis

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If you’ve recently started a new fitness regimen and are now suffering from pain in your lower leg, ankle or foot, you may have aggravated your Achilles tendon. At FL Foot Health, we’re committed to educating patients about common podiatric problems and what to do about them.

The Achilles tendon is one of the largest and strongest tendons in your body, but also one of the most frequently injured. In many instances, the inflammation of this tendon is the result of physical activity. Below is a checklist of possible ways your workout is hurting your Achilles tendon:

Improper Stretching—failing to warm up and stretch before working out can make your muscles and tendons more vulnerable to injury.

Poor Form—if you are starting a new sport or using different machines at the gym, make sure you are doing the activity properly. Often patients have incorrect form or positioning which puts undue strain on the tendon.

Overdoing It—going from couch potato to fitness warrior in a very short period of time is the quickest path to overuse injuries such as Achilles tendonitis. Start out slowly and gradually increase the length and intensity of your physical activity. Be sure to program some days of rest into your routine as well.

Existing Foot Problems—there are certain conditions which make you more prone to developing Achilles tendonitis. These include:

Treatment Options

Your first response to Achilles pain is rest and icing the sore area. If this does not bring relief, it’s time to visit the podiatrist. Need to find a podiatrist? You can find a qualified foot doctor in your community with our online directory.

The foot doctor will examine your feet and legs and determine the best course of treatment. Immobilizing the affected area may be necessary to allow the tendon time to heal. Long-term treatment will depend on the source of your pain. The podiatrist may prescribe a custom orthotic device to correct a biomechanical defect or give you specific stretches and exercises to help prevent inflammation from recurring.

If you have questions about Achilles tendonitis or other foot and ankle conditions, contact us and consider subscribing to our free e-newsletter.