The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. It attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone and is integral in ankle motion. Although the tendon is very strong, it is prone to inflammation or tendonitis as well as tears and ruptures.
Achilles tendonitis results from overuse of the tendon, and is often seen in active people who have increased or changed their exercise intensity. It can also be seen in middle aged people who are active on the weekends playing higher impact sports such as basketball or tennis.
Events that can lead to Achilles tendonitis may include:
Achilles tendonitis often begins with mild pain after exercise or running that gradually worsens. Over time achilles tendonitis can lead to “bone spurs” and other complications so it is important to seek treatment when you start to have symptoms.
Common symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis include:
Treatment of the Achilles Tendon often depends on symptoms, duration, and type of injury. It is important to seek treatment as soon as symptoms occur as chronic Achilles Tendonitis can require more extensive treatment and even surgery.
Many cases of Achilles Tendonitis can be treated conservatively, or without surgery. Treatments include: stretching, icing, anti-inflammatory medications, as well as modifications to shoes and inserts that can help balance and offload the tendon.
At NTFA we also offer MLS therapy that allow for noninvasive treatment of achilles tendonitis that can be performed in office.
MLS Therapy uses an MLS pulse (a combined, synchronized emission of continuous and pulsed laser emissions with different infrared wavelengths) to simultaneously address swelling, pain, and loss of joint motion. Through exposure to the MLS Laser, cells of tendons, ligaments, and muscles repair themselves faster, allowing pain to subside quickly as inflammation is reduced.
More severe and chronic cases of Achilles Tendonitis can lead to complications such as tendon rupture which often requires surgical intervention and repair.
During your appointment our physicians will discuss the causes, symptoms, and complications of Achilles tendonitis and will work with you to find the treatment solution that works best.