Description of the Problem
This is Inflammation of the Achilles tendon with pain occurring about 2 inches above where the tendon attaches to your heel bone. The injury is very common is running and jumping sports and people who walk for a living. Weight gain is also a factor. Easily treated if caught early; if chronic it becomes more difficult. Chronic problems can lead to heel spurs and repeated cortisone injections can cause weakening of the tendon and rupture.
Often times the way your foot, ankle and leg works is the cause of the problem. For example: people with flat or highly arched feet, bowed legs or tight calf muscles may get Achilles Tendinitis especially if they walk or run a lot.
How we diagnose the problem
We do a full medical history. This is followed by an orthopedic and chiropractic examination. The tendon is usually very tender to touch if you know where to press exactly. Special attention is paid to your calf muscles and your feet. Tight calf muscles and feet that are flat or highly arched must be addressed. X-rays and MRI are ordered if needed to clarify the diagnosis or to see the severity of the problem.
You will need to rest the area as much as possible. We can help take the strain off the tendon by taping it. For pain relief; ice and light stretching are helpful. We also use electrical stimulation to reduce pain and later we use ultrasound.
As the area heals we give you a strengthening program for the tendon and your feet. In many cases faulty movement mechanics at your feet and ankle are a part of the problem. These mechanical problems must be corrected for you to have lasting pain relief. We correct these mechanical problems with a combination of exercises, adjustments and sometimes we give you an orthotic that you wear in your shoe.
Diligent application of any home exercises we give you is very important. Weight loss may also be important.
We work closely with some podiatrists and some medical doctors. If you need a cortisone injection we will refer you for one. It is best to not have repeated cortisone injections in this area because they can weaken the tendon and even cause rupture.