Achilles Tendonitis Treatment

WHAT IS THE ACHILLES TENDON?

The Achilles tendon is a band of tissue that runs down the back of the leg and attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. Functionally, the Achilles tendon is involved in raising and lowering the back of the foot. This movement is responsible for walking, running and jumping.

WHAT IS ACHILLES TENDINITIS?

One of the most common disorders that occur in the Achilles tendon is Achilles tendinitis. This is inflammation of the tendon. Most of the time, tendinitis is short-term. However, in some occasions, the inflammation does not resolve and can lead to degeneration of the tendon or other issues.

What causes achilles tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis generally occurs as a result of repetitive movement of the Achilles tendon. Repetitive movements or an increase in activity can lead to added stress and micro-tears of the tendon fibers. Due to continual stress on the tendon, the body is unable to repair the injured tendon. The structure of the tendon is then damaged, resulting in chronic pain.

Achilles tendinitis may also be caused by tight calf muscles or bone spurs on the heel. Athletes who participate in repetitive movements and experience tight muscles may be prone to injuries of the Achilles.

What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis​

The most common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis and include:

  • Stiffness along the Achilles tendon

  • Pain that appears in the morning or the day after exercising

  • Pain that gets worse with activity

  • Swelling or thickening of the Achilles tendon

diagnosed

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

Physical Exam

In order to properly diagnose an issue with the Achilles, it is best to see a medical provider for an evaluation. During an evaluation, your medical provider will palpate the area for tender areas and swelling.  They will also check your range of motion, alignment, and reflexes of your foot and ankle.

Imaging tests

Your medical provider may order imaging to further evaluate the condition:

  • X-ray – Used to visualize bone, an X-Ray may be ordered to rule out fractures and other issues that may present with similar symptoms.
  • Ultrasound – An ultrasound may be ordered to show the soft tissue in the foot and ankle. Ultrasounds work well at showing an image of the tendon while in motion.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – Using a large magnet and radio waves, an MRI can produce very thorough images of the Achilles tendon.

 

What are my treatment options?

  • Physical Rehab
  • Chiropractic
  • Orthotics
  • Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP)
  • Stem Cell Therapy

Often times our medical provider may prescribe specific stretching and strengthening exercises to improve range of motion and strengthen the Achilles tendon and the muscles supporting it.

Conditions with the Achilles are often a result of misalignment in other joints of the body. When your joints are misaligned, extra stress is put on feet and ankles. To correct this, our chiropractor may adjust your joints and spine to facilitate proper alignment.

Orthotics may be prescribed to provide support, stability, and shock absorption for the heel. A shoe insert or wedge that slightly elevates your heel can relieve strain on the tendon and provide a cushion that lessens the amount of force exerted on your Achilles tendon.

If conservative treatments don't work, our medical provider may suggest PRP to repair your Achilles tendon. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. In this way, PRP injections use each individual patient's own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems.

Stem cells are another regenerative method that may be prescribed if conservative measures do not work. Our stems cells are isolated from donated umbilical cords during healthy live-birth babies. The stem cells are able to target damaged tissue, neutralize inflammation, and accelerate healing. Stem cells are a great option for those wanting to avoid surgery.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis, please be evaluated to determine the best course of action. Our medical team at Synergy Medical will work carefully with you to promote success in your treatment.

Call us today at (941) 755-9355 to Schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation.