4 Ways to Manage Achilles Tendinitis

4 Ways to Manage Achilles Tendinitis

If you have Achilles tendinitis, you’ll have problems walking and performing your normal activities. The pain of this condition can be unbearable until you seek treatment.

But do you need surgery right away? There are several other ways you can manage this condition with the help of the team at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute.

Dr. Jeffrey E. McAlister, an experienced podiatrist and a foot and ankle specialist, leads our team. When you’re tired of Achilles tendon pain, Dr. McAlister offers personalized treatment solutions to get you back on your feet in no time.

Understanding Achilles tendinitis

Your Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your musculoskeletal system. It attaches your calf muscles to the posterior aspect of your heel. 

The Achilles tendon is powerful and allows you to jump, run, and walk. It pulls your heel up off the ground, which puts a lot of stress on the tendon.

You use your Achilles tendon more than you know. Every time you go for a walk or play a pick-up basketball game, you rely heavily on your Achilles tendons.

If you’re not careful, you can end up with an overuse injury to your tendon, known as Achilles tendinitis. Repeated stress on your tendon causes this injury, and it worsens without treatment. 

Athletes are at the highest risk for Achilles tendon injuries like tendinitis. If you don’t get it treated early, you can end up with an Achilles tendon rupture. If your Achilles tendon tears the whole way through, Dr. McAlister may need to perform surgery to fix it.

Achilles tendinitis is the most common reason for heel pain. Dr. McAlister can successfully manage your symptoms through a variety of conservative treatment methods.

What are the symptoms?

Achilles tendinitis presents with many different symptoms. Your symptoms depend on the severity of your injury and how much of your tendon is damaged. Common symptoms associated with Achilles tendinitis include:

Your symptoms may seem worse in the morning and get better as you go about your day. Or, your pain might get worse with exercise or physical activity.

When you’re experiencing pain and other symptoms related to Achilles tendinitis, you must seek help from Dr. McAlister as soon as possible. The earlier you get treatment, the quicker you can return to normal activities.

Managing Achilles tendinitis

The good news is that Achilles tendinitis is entirely manageable. Dr. McAlister evaluates your symptoms to determine the best treatment route for your condition. He uses both non-surgical and surgical methods to alleviate your Achilles tendinitis symptoms. Four common treatments he uses for this condition include:

1. R.I.C.E

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are important ways to manage your pain. Resting your affected foot is essential to allow your tendon to heal. Icing the area several times a day for the first few days helps ease inflammation and swelling around the tendon.

Compression and elevation both help to ease swelling and provide support to your ankle as your tendon heals.

2. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories

Dr. McAlister recommends taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to help you deal with Achilles tendinitis. Taking these medications with other therapies reduces pain and controls inflammation around your tendon.

3. Custom orthotics

Dr. McAlister recommends orthotic inserts to help manage your symptoms. These orthotics are custom-made and help take pressure off your Achilles tendon so it can heal. 

If you have severe pain or discomfort, he may prescribe a walking boot for a short time. The boot allows your tendon to rest so the damage can heal. However, you don’t want to wear the boot for too long, as it may weaken the muscles in your calf.

4. Injections

If other treatments don’t help, Dr. McAlister offers injections to ease your pain. He may use cortisone injections or platelet rich plasma injections.. Both injections reduce inflammation around the tendon to allow it to heal.

Surgery and shockwave therapy are two other treatment options Dr. McAlister provides and may end up performing when conservative treatment fails. 

If you’re suffering from Achilles tendinitis pain, don’t hesitate to call our team today at 602-761-7819 to schedule a consultation with Dr. McAlister, or book an appointment online.

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