Although your achilles tendon is quite strong, it can be prone to inflammation (tendonitis), tears, and ruptures.
In fact, your achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body and can handle forces up to 1,000 pounds or more!
But unfortunately, it’s not invincible. Achilles tendonitis happens most frequently to active people who have suddenly increased their exercise intensity. And it also happens to middle-aged people who engage in less frequent but higher intensity activity (like basketball or tennis on weekends only).
Hill running, stair climbing, calf muscles not in shape and ready for exercise, and trauma to your calf muscles can also lead to achilles tendonitis.
Typically, you’ll experience mild pain after exercising that gradually worsens over the coming weeks and months.
Left unchecked, achilles tendonitis can also lead to “bone spurs,” which can be quite painful.
How Do You Know If You Have Achilles Tendonitis?
It’s actually pretty easy to know. Basically, you’ll have recurring pain in this tendon during or a few hours after exercising. Sometimes, this pain can be severe.
Less painful symptoms include:
How Do You Treat Achilles Tendonitis?
Treatment depends on your symptoms, the duration of the pain, and the type of injury.
It’s important to know that the longer you wait, the more extensive (and expensive) the treatment.
You could even end up needing surgery because ignoring achilles tendonitis for too long can eventually cause a painful rupture. Recovery from this requires several weeks before you can return to any activity. And it can be 4 – 12 months before you are able to play intense sports again.
But if you take care of the condition when you first notice symptoms, you’ll be just fine with pretty standard treatments.
That includes stretching, ice, using anti-inflammatory medications, and perhaps shoe inserts that take more load off your achilles tendon.
North Texas Foot & Ankle Also Offers Noninvasive MLS Laser Therapy
Another potential treatment option for achilles tendonitis includes MLS laser therapy.
This uses a MLS pulse, which is a synchronized and continuous emission of pulsed lasers with varying infrared wavelengths.
The laser helps your tendon’s cells, ligaments, and muscles repair quickly, which calms pain and inflammation much faster than your achilles tendon can do on its own.
If you feel pain in your achilles tendon, come on in and we’ll help you figure out the treatment approach that gets you back to your favorite activities the fastest, and without the pain you’re experiencing right now.
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