Are you suffering from pain in your Achilles tendon? It can be a frustrating injury. You may feel a burst of pain every time you take a step. If you haven't suffered a tear in the Achilles, then your pain is likely the result of Achilles tendinitis. You get tendinitis when a particular tendon suffers an extreme amount of stress or pressure in a limited amount of time. The tendon can then become inflamed, tear, and even form scar tissue. Achilles tendinitis is especially common in runners and those who place a substantial amount of pressure on their feet. If you're suffering tendinitis in your Achilles, you have options available. Here are three of the most common treatments for Achilles tendinitis:
Rest and stretching. Perhaps the best thing you can do for your tendon is to simply get off of your feet. Sit down and elevate your foot to relieve the inflammation. Also, if possible, regularly ice the tendon to further help with inflammation. When the pain has subsided, try some stretching exercises on your calf muscle and your Achilles. One effective stretch is to stand on a step on the balls of your feet and lower your heels. You should feel the stretch in your Achilles. Stretch it regularly until you are able to resume your normal activities without pain.
Immobilization and physical therapy. If the combination of ice, rest, and stretching doesn't do the trick, you may need professional assistance and more intensive treatment. One effective form of treatment could be to immobilize the Achilles over a long period of time. That could involve wearing a boot or even using crutches. That will relieve the tendon of additional pressure and give it a prolonged opportunity to heal. You could then incorporate regular treatments with a physical therapist to give the tendon a good stretch. A foot and ankle doctor could examine your Achilles and recommend whether a boot or physical therapy may be effective.
Surgery. In the most severe cases of Achilles tendinitis, surgery may be the only option. A surgeon can open up the back of your foot, cut out scar tissue, and manually stretch the tendon to the appropriate length. Keep in mind that while surgery can be very effective, it can also require a lengthy recovery. You will probably have to stay immobilized for a period of time, possibly wear a cast and use crutches, and then go through an extensive round of physical therapy. However, if the tendinitis is severe, this may be the only way to get back to optimal condition.
For more information, visit a foot and ankle doctor. He or she can examine your Achilles and recommend the best form of treatment.